I was chatting on Facebook with a girl who graduated from my high school the year after I did. She remembered me, said I looked just the same (oh, how I wish I could pass for 17), and then commented that I had always been quiet.
Me, quiet? It's funny how you forget things about yourself. Once she said it, I realized that of course she would remember me that way. I really WAS quiet back then. Years of being told I had nothing to contribute by boys in my class made me clam up. It took me almost all four years of college (at a women's college) to get over that. And even then, some of my professors told me I was too quiet.
But you know what I learned? Everyone else is just as insecure as I am. And the positive responses far outweigh the negative when you talk to a new person for the first time. I love meeting new people and talking to old friends, and once you get me started, I hope you have some spare time because I WILL talk your ear off.
It turns out, she and I probably would have been good friends back then if I had been willing to talk to someone I didn't know. At least I get a chance now!