Do you feel invisible, shy, introverted and not very talkative, maybe you are a so-called wallflower. Wallflowers are the ones that are the nerds, the deep thinkers, the ones that believe that they are perhaps not as talented, pretty, intelligent or outgoing as others. However we are, we are just internalizing it. How do I know? I was one!
As a therapist, I believe, that parts of it is Social Anxiety. The thing is we all grow up with what society claims is the norm. What we should be or should not be. How we should look, what jobs or education are desirable. It can be a minefield. But no one actually tells us, that being yourself is more than just okay.
We all are unique
I learned to understand that it is actually pretty cool to be different. Why running with the pack? The thing is as a wallflower you might go a bit deeper. Shallow conversations are not our strength. Meaningful conversations are far more interesting for us.
Wallflowers are not naive
I think one misconception people have is, that wallflowers are naive. Maybe because we do not voice our opinion at first. We observe, read up on things because we want to see the bigger picture. We are interested in different opinions or worldviews.
Wallflowers have a high level of empathy
I found that to be true. We see things from all different angles. We try to understand a person because we are naturally interested in them. A wallflower can understand anxiety and concerns, they are probably the best friends you can call up at 3 am in the morning, plus we are not gossipers. We keep secrets, and we are excellent listeners.
Weaknesses of a wallflower
You might wonder, why I stated that I am a recovered wallflower because all the points I listed so far are actually pretty positive. Why would you like to recover? Here is the thing, a wallflower might not have boundaries. We might put other people in front of us on the list. Which means we can get lost in the world of wanting to be accepted.
I mentioned that Social Anxiety plays a big part. From an early age onwards we might be naturally shy, and therefore we are more prone to experiencing bullying, because well, we might not stand up for ourselves. The fear of not fitting in with society can be massive. So we might be quiet and suffer in silence.
How can you recover?
I came across bullying a lot as a teenager and young adult. I am grateful for those bullies today because I finally snapped out of swallowing what I wanted to say and I just said it! It was sooooo freeing. I set boundaries and told people what my thoughts are, what my opinion was, what I like and what I don’t like. I stopped caring what people think about me and realizing that I do not have to be loved by everyone. It is impossible anyway.
Social Anxiety can be challenged in a way that we do the things we are frightened of. Go to those parties, speak to people you never met. Voice your opinion. Speak in front of people. Write down what you predict would happen and then compare it with what really happened.
Wallflowers are beautiful flowers. Make sure that the world sees you. Blossom into your full potential. Do not hold back. The world needs you.