Hi, I’m a Designer, And I’m Shy.

“Why are you so shy?”

 

Yeah, I get that a lot, and I’ve never really found a way to respond to that. There’s a fine line between being shy and being introverted, and having 85% introversion from my MBTI results (Myers-Briggs Personality Test if you didn’t already know that and have been living under a rock), I would say they do relate to each other quite closely.

 

I’ve always been the drink sipper in the corner, never the life of the party, avoiding chit chats and conversations, socially awkward, basically a party pooper. For me, there’s nothing wrong with being the quiet one in the crowd. Imagine if everyone stands out and fights for attention, how chaotic would that be?

 

But how has that been for me as a designer? Well, specifically as a Junior Art Director as we like to call it here (the bougee term which I don’t mind being referred to),  I’ve always believed in the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”, which explains why I’m struggling right now as I’m writing this because quite frankly – I don’t do well with words.

 

Now that I’m done being dramatic, let’s dive in shall we?

It’s All About Timing.

Shy people don’t just blurt their ideas out on the spot. Well at least I don’t. What do I do instead?

 

I wait. And wait. And wait…

 

… for that AHAA moment when everyone has had their fair share of talking, which leads to the brief intermission of conversation and the air is filled with a somewhat awkward silence, that’s when I come in with an “actually, can we …”

 

Every now and then, by the time this happens we’ve all agreed on someone else’s idea and my ideas shall never be uncovered this lifetime *oooh mysterious*. 

 

The Internal Struggle To Reach Out To Other People First.

As designers, we often cooperate with copywriters, project managers, and of course our fellow designers. The key to effective collaboration is having good communication with each other and making sure everything is cohesive.

 

Well, as a shy designer, I struggle to find the right time and words when reaching out to other people. There’s just a constant overthinking mechanism that stops me from doing it. All I can think about is: 

 

– What if they’re busy?

– Is this a dumb question to ask?

– Am I … annoying them? 

 

I have no chill.

Listen Listen Listen.

Hear me out. It’s not all bad being the quietest person in the room, okay? Over the years as I’ve become progressively quieter with my word expressions, I’ve grown to be an attentive listener. I love listening to people’s stories, be it their route to success, relationship struggles, life crisis, pet peeves, etc. 

 

As I gather these experiences and advice, I find myself having a stronger sense of empathy, which helps me in my design skills. You see, I used to think good design skills meant the ability to create a pretty picture. If it’s appealing to me, surely everyone will think the same, right?

 

Heck no. 

 

Everyone has a different point of view on everything. Every visual strikes a different emotion. Gathering information and opinions from every aspect possible helped me immensely in my crafting skills. The key is to listen and rationalise. 

 

I Got My Own Back.

Given the nature of my personality, I’ve always been too shy to ask for help, even since a young age. I’d take things into my own hands whenever I could, and this has become one of my strongest traits to this day. 

 

Bringing this trait forward as a designer, I strive to comprehend a situation as much as possible on my own. This has led me to think more critically as I engage with my mind with a monologue of rapid-fire questions, leading me up a whirlwind of ideas. 

 

As much as I pride myself on being capable to fight my own wars, the working world has taught me that it’s actually okay to ask for help. 

 

It really is! 

 

Of course, it might seem a little overwhelming, especially from a shy person’s POV as we unconsciously feel apologetic to reach out for help. Don’t get me wrong, I still find it hard sometimes to send out my distress signal. However, I gradually stepped out of my circle by approaching individuals or small groups of people I’m comfortable with, which worked wonders for me and resulted in a boost in productivity. PSA to my fellow shy people! 

With That Being Said…

After being in C27 for almost a year now, I’ve come out of my shell further than I could’ve imagined despite the short time here. I remember coming into the lion’s den as one of the youngest in the company, thinking I wouldn’t have to do much of the talking.

 

Just nod and smile, I’ll be fine. 

 

Well, here I am one year later punching air thinking how naive I was (don’t judge me okay). 

 

But I’m gonna conclude this by cutting myself some slack with a pat on the back for stepping out of my comfort zone. Shoutout to my team for being so supportive in pushing me out of my boundaries without going over the line and for being so patient with quiet Suki. 

 

Being vocal isn’t as scary as I thought it’d be.

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the authors on this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of C27, our CEO, the management, the fish in our fish tank, and/or all the awesome people within the agency. The content and opinions shared are the personal views of the author so please don’t sue us.

 

…or the author.

Suki Chan

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