Thursday, October 1, 2009

Male View: Why Be Shy

I have decided to throw my hat into the ring and tackle the topic posed bye Shelle:
What do you do when your significant other is socially inept? Does that affect what you do as a couple together? Is it a problem or not?

So often when we attend a wedding we are asked which side of the aisle to sit on. This may be easy if you only know either the bride or the groom, but if you know each equally as well you're not sure where to sit so that you do not offend the other. How often do we list couples in a certain order. "Oh, Dick and Jane are coming to dinner". In what order to you tend to view couples you know? Is it in the order in which you met, or is it by who is the more predominant of the two? I tend to think that when it comes to meeting a couple for the first time it is the second that holds true.

I have the fortunate/unfortunate ability to be able to speak to anybody. My wife tends to be shy when speaking to strangers. I do try to encourage my wife to speak to others so that she does not feel left out of the conversation— but this may not be the root of the problem. I believe that we both have different approaches when it comes to meeting people. I tend to want to join in, where she would much rather sit back and wait for people to ask us to join them. This may be good in itself, but you need to have a very approachable charisma that lends itself to having people want to spend time with you. If either or both of you have low self esteem, this can effect how you are viewed charismatically as a couple. Also, you need to be viewed as the kind of couple who likes to go out in order for people to either accept your invitation, or invite you to join them.

I must admit that sometimes I enjoy being a homebody— but there are times that I wish that we could socialize as a couple. I cannot say that we do not go out… we do, but we only seem to go out together and not with other people. Whenever my wife says: "We have no friends" I have to hold my tongue because we do have friends, but probably not couple friends. We tend to hesitate always asking our single friends out with us because we do not want them to feel like a fifth wheel. We somehow need to meet new couples out there and have a fresh slate in doing so.

We love to eat out, so I have decided to join a food related group that has activities that we can participate together with. I have met with some resistance because I was the one who thought this was a good idea. You have to realize my wife likes being the social director and planning things— so taking this privilege away makes her feel less empowered. I am hoping that my efforts to meet new couples through this group helps build our confidence as a couple so that people can refer to us as that couple that everybody wants to go out with.

Looking back on the question, I do not believe that either of us are socially inept, but we do struggle with being social. But that is what being in a relationship is all about: "relating"— be it relating with each other, or relating with other people as a couple.

Are you the social one or is your significant other??? How do you guys handle it?

To hear what I'm thinking… read my blog:


Cajoh said...

Glad to have been able to post about Real World situations. Here's a related post about couples that helps explain how I view my relationship:


Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I love the idea of doing like a class together, the cooking one would be great going off of DGB's post last week we all would have fun with anything to do with food!

It's hard for me to understand shyness because I've never been that way, but it's cool that you have come up with ways to try and work through it for you guys :)

Thanks for the post!

OneZenMom said...

Oh gosh, I can relate to this!

In our case, my husband is the outgoing one and I am the introvert - until I get to know you, then it's hard to shut me up. ;)

The irony is that my job requires me to be outgoing and even to do quite a bit of public speaking. But, in my personal life, I am the proverbial wall-flower. Happier with my nose in a book than making small talk.

I'm still generally uncomfortable in new social situations and when meeting new people.

But I think my husband and I have managed to balance each other out in this area just a bit. He takes the lead in most new social situations, giving me the chance to get more comfortable and kind of ease into things. :)

Missty said...

I am the social one, and my dh is the more quiet and reserved one. First married it was very hard for me. I wanted a social circle/life, he didn't.

Now he has stepped up to being more social and I am not as much. So we are more even now.

Anonymous said...

Interesting topic . . .

As we've gotten older, I think the dynamic of getting together socially with other couples has changed. When we were younger, it was about having a good time, getting to know new people, and just socializing. Then there was the kid stage, where it seemed every get-together revolved around a PlayLand. Now, since we are able to get out more without the kids, it's about us. Maybe once a year, around a birthday perhaps, we'll do something with another couple. But more enjoyable is just being alone together . . .

Cajoh said...

@Shelle-BlokThoughts: I love the idea of food, perhaps I can come up with some suggestions for topics that revolve around food for you.

@ZenMom: I believe I am also like you. I am typically shy around strangers. Someone said to me one time: "You're so quiet" to which I replied "Just you wait".

@Missty: I think that everybody ebbs and flows when it comes to being social. Looks like you are both on an even keel.

@thecheekofgod: I tend to agree that as we get older the reasons for socializing change. I believe I just want to be accepted as a couple and not have people turned off because of one or the other.

H.K. said...

This was a good post! Fortunately both my husband and I are very social, but it didn't start out that way. I was the shy one and my husband was Mr. Social. I had a job which required me to interact with people, so in time it brought me out of my shell and now I love to entertain.

Kim said...

Im the social one.... its hard sometimes because I often have to turn down nights out with friends because my husband wont go (im talking about couples going out not girls nights).. yet anything work related or his friends invite us I always go. My husband often times has Manditory fun..dinners. Sometimes church events seem like the same thing... and find ourselevs in situations that we are friends by circumstance.(which can turn out to be ok) Finding couples to socialize with that we both enjoy their company??... I am nice to everyone and can have conversations with everyone. The question was.. how do i handle it.. I dont know I just do and I have to let it go at times.