Just a quick observation as I have a busy day tomorrow: I had a normal Shabbat (Sabbath): insomnia on Friday night, oversleeping and missing shul (synagogue) this morning, sleeping and reading all afternoon, then shul in the evening BUT this time I tried to talk to people at shul during seudah (the meal between the Afternoon and Evening services) and to answer questions during the Talmud shiur (religious class). I didn’t actually say anything, but I nearly did, which is better than in the past! I still have a long way to go.
(EDIT: I just remembered that I did say something: the rabbi asked if I had gone on holiday this summer and rather than just saying “No” as I would normally do, I said “No, I’m going after the Yom Tovim (festivals later in the year) for a bar mitzvah” which is practically a whole speech compared to my normal silent self. So that’s something.)
The funny thing is, I am slightly bolder about communicating with people online than in person – not much, but a bit. And people online seem to think I say things that are intelligent, insightful or funny. But it’s hard to accept that people in the real world might feel like that about anything I say. I’m not sure what makes it easier to communicate in one way than the other, except that I don’t have to see people’s reactions online. Or it could be that when I was a child I was bullied or told to be quiet when I expressed opinions in person, but didn’t have any online interactions (as the internet was still in its infancy), so I never “learnt” that my online opinions could be bad That’s perhaps less likely as I do still have something of a filter online: I usually lurk on a site or blog for some time before commenting, and then only tentatively at first.
It’s something for me to think about anyway. I’ve got a whole week to psyche myself up to talking at shul next Shabbat…