Overcoming Shyness


This week bubba helps Aaron

Dear Bubba,

I am 19 years old and gay and painfully shy.

I have started to go out to some bars to meet people but I find it very hard to talk to anyone. I also don’t think I fit in and I’m having a hard time accepting who I am.

I am starting my first job in October and really want to make a good impression. I wish I could over come my shyness and meet people, I’m starting to dread going out.

Please help.


Darling Aaron,

First of all mazel-tov on your new job, no matter how shy you think you are, you managed to impress your interviewer in the company you are starting with and land yourself a job and that’s no mean feat in today’s job market.

You bring up some interesting points in your letter which are all connected, I think if we address one, the others will fall into place. They all start with your shyness, if you were to start to meet people, who accepted you as you are, you would start to accept yourself and in turn you would start to impress people. How can you impress people if you are having a hard time accepting who you are?

When you are shy you can also lack confidence, which can stop you from doing all the things you want to do, saying you ‘dread going out’ shows a lack of confidence.

Listen to bubba….

Life is a journey and along the way we discover things about ourselves, some are easy to accept, and some take a little of getting used to and we are all different. Discovering your sexuality can be hard for some and easy for others, if it’s hard it can start to impact the other areas of your life. I get many letters from young people about wanting to meet people and talking about bars and clubs but did you know there are many other places to meet people? Yes, a simple thing like that can make a big difference. I tell people, the ‘world’ is a great place to meet people!

I am a big believer in ‘Evening Classes’, though I wouldn’t recommend Basket Weaving to anyone, I lasted one week and ended up with three blisters!. The trouble with bars and clubs are that you never know why someone is there, should you talk to them, and for a shy person that can be very daunting and if someone comes over to talk to you, what do say? When you go to an evening class or meet people with the same hobby or interest you already have something in common and something to talk about. Suddenly a whole new world opens up. You have something to talk about, plus with an evening class you can begin to develop friendships because you know you will see them each week, I know many people fear rejection when asking someone if they want to meet up, with an evening class you don’t have to!

The first thing I would do, is think about what interests you, any hobbies or something you would like to do, learn a new skill, a new language. Next decide if it’s important to be with other gay people or would you prefer just to get to know other people, the internet is a wonderful place to start, you’ll soon discover what’s available in your area and my advice would be to ‘go for it’, sign-up for a class, lot’s of people go to evening classes to meet people.  Just being with people might be the first step in gaining some confidence back.

Being shy doesn’t have to be a permanent trait, with a little help you can turn it around. Most people have at one time had a shy ‘phase’ I always say, when you have friends you have everything you need.

I hope my words have helped you and good luck with your new job, Bubba thinks you’ll do very well.

Bubba Ruth

If you have a dilemma and would like bubba’s advice, you can email her at bubba@hotsaltbeefandmustard.com, she can’t reply to you personally, in between her kalooki club and watching Masterchef, she doesn’t have much time but she promises she will post her reply on Jewish News and HotSaltBeef&Mustard (such lovely boys, as she says!).

Bubba believes ‘It doesn’t matter who you love, only that you choose to love’. We love bubba’s wisdom.


About Author

Bubba, or Ruth as her family knows her, is ’70-something young’… widow. She shared 35 wonderful years with her husband Harry. Bubba has a stunning daughter, Rochelle, and is grandmother to four wonderful grandchildren (including her beautiful lesbian granddaughter, India), who gives her more "nachus than she knows what to do with", as Bubba puts it. Bubba likes nothing better than a game of Kalooki and solving the crimes on Murder She Wrote… apart from watching every re-run of Masterchef. And of course, she loves your problems, because she can solve them… or at least try to help.

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