I think it's almost funny how I've changed over time. When I was a young child, I was very friendly and smart, but I tried to act too smart. As a result, I absolutely hated to be shown up or to be made a fool of. Unfortunately, trying to act smarter than you are will lead to being made a fool of quite a bit, and although I was more intelligent than my playmates, I didn't know my own limits. Eventually I just stopped talking to almost everyone.
Since then, I've made somewhat of a recovery. I'm still afraid to open my mouth sometimes for fear of sounding like a fool (which seems to happen way too much for the amount of times I do open my mouth) and I'm a horrible conversationalist because of my utter lack of practice. But now I'm not afraid to talk to many people about many things.
However, my feelings still remain an issue. I think that part of the problem is that I hold my felings in such high regard that I'm afraid to look foolish because of them. It's as if I can't risk being made a fool of over my emotions, and even if I don't look foolish, if the situation I was in could have been interpreted as me being foolish, I will continue to be embarrassed by it.
As a result, I tend to stop talking to people I'm angry with. I tend to let people who I somewhat like dominate the conversations. People I really like are the only ones I can open up with... unless one happens to be a female that I have a crush on. In that case, I can still open up, but just not on that topic. Why?
I keep seeing this worst-case scenario in my head, and on the rare occasions where I manage to get the words out just the same, I seem to create a self-fulfilling prophecy by interpreting the following rejection as a foolish mistake, and then I feel incredibly embarrassed by it. Because of this, I go to great lengths not to let anyone "special" find out these deeper feelings I have, and that frequently includes not telling a lot of other people. (And because of this, anyone who gives away a secret I withhold will not like me for much longer.)
Why am I so ashamed of my own feelings that I'm scared of looking foolish over them??