I am not a shy person. It does not unnerve me to talk to people I don't know. I've always found it fascinating to find out new things about other people. Though I am not always as gregarious and engaging as I may seem to people who have read a large quantity of my written work, I certainly have never felt I am standoffish or rude. Unless, of course, I've been intentionally standoffish or rude. It happens sometimes, when I'm talking to crazy people.
But I would, interestingly enough, classify myself as a reserved person. This is why: I'm open, but not right away. And I determine the extent of my openness. My immediate co-worker is a laugh riot, a single mom, completely non-judgmental, friendly, and it was easy to open up to her. We think similar things, and if I say them out loud, she doesn't gasp.
I got very excited when my company recently hired someone my age to perform a writing job, and I know she likes talking to me and wants me to open up. But sometimes I feel like she's condescending to talk to me, so that makes me not want to open up at all. Perhaps she is more like me than I realize and we are both holding ourselves in reserve, to a certain extent, and nothing will happen about my frustrations until one of us lets go.
But I have a dual nature that way: once people know me, I can be likable. Downright hilarious, at times, even. I've been told I am a delightful surprise once people know me. They are surprised at my wit, my observations, and my sometimes wicked sense of humor.
I periodically wonder if it would be possible for me to not start out in the reserved stage, but the more I think about it, the more I think that's also an essential part of me. My me-ness, I think, would decrease if I didn't periodically hold back, if I didn't sometimes prefer The Thirteenth Tale and leftovers to going to lunch with my co-workers . . . I suppose it's how I bridge my own gap between truth and reality . . .