There is a couple that lives across the street from me, we'll call them Bob and Jane. They are an older couple, late 40s - early 50s, no kids, just the two of them. Almost every day they hang out in their garage and drink coors light. Sometimes they sit on the back of their pick up truck and drink coors light. Every time I drive home from work, no matter what time, there they are drinking coors light in front of their house. Needless to say, I do not have a whole lot in common with these people. In fact, I think its pretty strange to stand in your driveway and drink coors light for hours on end.
When we first moved in, I would wave and smile, I even talked to them a couple of times and it was fine. However it became awkward because every damn time I pull up to my house, there they are, drinking coors light. I really have nothing to say to them and I could never think of any conversation topics, so I started just waving and running into my house to avoid an awkward conversation. Now after a few months of this, I can tell, I can just feel, that they think I'm a grade A bitch. Don't get me wrong, I can be bitchy, oh I can bitch with the best of them. But I swear I'm not really a bitch. Even though, I try to smile and wave to show that I am nice and friendly, they still stare me down, coors light in hand, looking at me like I'm the queen bitch.
I suppose I could be offended, but these people hang out on their pick up truck at all hours drinking coors light, so I don't really care. Besides, this is not the first time that someone has thought that I am a bitch. I have heard many times, the following statement, "Oh when I first met you, I really thought you were a bitch, but now that I know you, you are really nice." I can be painfully shy when I first meet people. Eyes to the ground, runaway to a safe place, kind of shy. This does not make sense to people who have known me for years because, when I am comfortable, I am extremely out going. But when I first meet you? Oh wow, I'm a bumbling mess of nerves. I try to remember that people often equate shyness with bitchiness and that I need to be more assertive when I first meet people. This is especially important in my line of work as I am always meeting new people or having to face nerve rattling situations (i.e. a judge yelling at me).
So while my neighbors may think I'm an evil bitch, I thank them for reminding me that I need to ditch the shyness and just be myself from the very onset of meeting new people so that they can see the real me and not the bumbling, nervous, running away, shy me.