Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'm shy

Many people see I have the confidence, can talk all way non-stop, engage crowds, joke and add laughters...

But in real fact, I'm shy. Yes, repeat 'I'm shy'. My old time friend will definitely strongly oppose to this. Well, last time I knew the Hoong Ling who would start a conversation out of thin air. A stranger with me in the same LRT will be friends and exchange numbers by the time we reach destination. Someone waiting for a bus at the bus stop can be instant friends and we can come out for a drink anytime.

Let me lay out...

I think it first started after my operation. I have time for myself, love myself even more and notice my own behaviour. I know I developed fear to large crowds since then because fear of people will bump to me and hurt my 14-inch scar which was still healing at that time. Today I am still healing after laser treatment to remove the scar last week.

Therefore yesterday, I did not go to the OctTwtFest October Tweet Fest which I really wanted to.

In a first meet, you will see I'm very quiet if the whole table has all new friends. Say, in a table of 10 if I only have 2-3 acquaintances, I'll be keeping quiet the whole meeting. Evident!

I was quiet the whole meeting during tweetup held by YB KhairyJ (I knew only 2 people there in a group of about 20), quiet during first lunch meet with a think tank team (I knew only 2 in a group of 10), quiet whole time for first days of Youth Lab (I knew no one there on the first day!).

Unless say, in a group of 10, I have 5 or more are friends already, I'd speak, joke, laugh and talk. When I'm asked to sit at a wedding table with all new people, I'd not speak a word the whole night too.

If a whole table of strangers, I won't even turn up!

Dual personalities you may say. For a radio deejay who can open conversations and ask all sort of questions on air, for a professional emcee who can emcee so well in front of huge audience of strangers and for an inspirational speaker who can speak to all unknown people internationally, who would imagine a shy one who will keep quiet at dinners?

Well when passion flows, everything seems to catch the flow pretty easily. I emcee since school days in 1993 and find I can make an event more meaningful, add values to a lively function and that has always been my goal every time I emcee.

I'm shy with the media, yes! I am shy with the media and also rejected many interviews until I was being reminded that each time I talk or being interviewed, I'm not talking on behalf of 'Hoong Ling'. I'm speaking on behalf of the social causes I champion. And the topic I speak, to many, carries inspiration and motivation. So there I went ahead, countering all the shyness, fears, phobia you call it, to spread awareness in organ donation, speak my heart on gender equality and braved my fears in meeting strangers.

Deejaying on DurianFM was a new experience and speaking to the mics only do not need much courage to kill fears and shyness. So far if you noticed, guests invited to my slot were all friends and I'd prefer whoever who wants to come on air to just tell me and I'd always welcome a partner in studio. If you were to ask me to invite a stranger, perhaps that will be new experience too.

But you were TV Presenter on Selamat Pagi Malaysia interviewing strangers all the time! Yes but in studio, we have 2 TV Presenters to one or two guests, balanced. And producers, cameramen are my friends too - covered!

But you are eloquent as panel speaker at talk shows. If the topic is passionate to my heart, I'd put the topic forefront and fears behind.

So some said I'm proud to meet up, some said I was arrogant not to call others to studio for interviews, some even accused I'm snobbish that I won't seek others' opinions other than my friends'.

Say all you want though, I'm only a Chew Hoong Ling, your greatest servant.

Things just happen, the rest is up to us to make it GREAT!

Hoong Ling

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