Olga writes from personal experience about the challenges and benefits of moving abroad and about making new friends when you have a shy personality.
I've always been a rather shy person. Shy to the point where I would avoid some shops because I am afraid they would laugh at me. I've read articles and books on shyness (including Zimbardo's famous work). He mentions that shy people have fewer friends, are socially awkward, or just don't like themselves. He seems to be treating shyness like an illness to be cured. The stereotypes about shy people are pretty much the same, and while people often feel that their shyness stands in the way of realising their dreams and passions, for many of us, these stereotypes are neither true nor fair.
Olga moved to the Netherlands in 2009 with a 6-week-old baby to be with her German husband. She is now mum to two trilingual daughters and expecting her third child very soon. She is a translator, and trainer in intercultural communication. She blogs about her experiences on The European Mama, which focuses on expat life and raising trilingual children. It won the Expat Blog Award in 2012 and continues to gain readership from all over the world.
Don't be afraid to ask for help! This may mean telling friends: "I am shy, can you help me with this?", or it could mean asking for professional help if you feel that your shyness is really getting in the way of normal life.
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