Just because I’m an introvert doesn’t mean…

 

-David Mein

introvertbadgeOne thing I love about the internet is that, no matter how obscure or weird my interests are, it’s possible to find others with similar interests. Considering that introverts account for about 1/3 of the population, though, you wouldn’t think that introversion would be one of these “obscure interests.” We live, however, in a world biased towards extroversion and, because of this, I love that the internet has made it possible for a huge community of introverts to find each other and understand that there’s nothing wrong with them; they’re just different.

I got this badge from this blog, which my blogging buddy Alexia showed to me. Bloggers Cassie, from [Witty Title Here] and Hanna, from Excelsior Lady teamed up to create the badge you see up top. With this badge, they also included a prompt: Just because I’m an introvert doesn’t mean Below are my responses to this prompt.

Just because I’m an introvert doesn’t mean I don’t like going out. This might seem a bit oxymoronic, but let me point out (yet again) the real difference between introverts and extroverts. The difference is that extroverts are energized by socializing, but for introverts, socializing costs energy. So, I love going out, seeing friends, etc., but it does tire me out. I do, however, socialize differently from extroverts. First of all, I might have to force myself to go out. An analogy I like to use is exercise. People who go to the gym, or go jogging or play sports will understand. Whatever your activity of choice is, you love it, but sometimes you have to push yourself to actually get out there. You know you’ll have fun once you’re out there; you just need that initial thrust.

Another difference is that I typically don’t “play the room.” If I’m going to a party and I already know some people, I’ll just stick with them. Of course, the point of a party is to meet new people, but the best way to do that, for me, is to have a little group of people I know plus one or two new people. If no one I know is there, I’ll typically get to know some people and stick with them the whole night.

Finally, at the end, there comes the time when I just shut down. Basically, this is my body telling me “enough people for tonight.” What usually happens is that I get tired and, while before I may have been perfectly talkative, after I shut down, I become quiet, unable to think of anything to say, and just wish I were at home. I’ve learned that, at this point, the best option is to just go home.

Just because I’m an introvert doesn’t mean I’m mad at you. All I said to you when I came in to work this morning was “hello”? I didn’t stop to chat about what your wife made for dinner last night? My only response to your story about the crazy antics you and your brother got up to last weekend was “oh wow” or “awesome” or something equally general and vague? Instead of reciting the plot to the TV show I watched last night, I was focused on actually doing my work? Is something wrong? Did you do something to make me mad? You have no idea, but at least you understand the most important thing; it’s something to do with you. It’s all about you.

Ok. That last paragraph might have sounded a bit harsh. I know how to function among people and I can understand that if I don’t say anything, people can’t know what I’m thinking. And, in the absence of information, people will think the worst. It’s understandable. I do it myself. It’s just a frustrating situation, something I wanted to get off my chest.

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2 thoughts on “Just because I’m an introvert doesn’t mean…

  1. Pingback: Introverts unite | [Witty Title Here]

  2. Cassie

    I totally have to force myself to go out, too. And on the rare occasion when I’m genuinely enthusiastic to go to some social event, I usually get there and think, “Um, why did I want to do this again? I’m just standing here.” Usually, though, if I just force myself out of my comfort zone even slightly, I can end up having a great time. But I can only hang out so long before I run out of anything interesting to say, and I find myself wishing I were home. It took a loooong time to realize that was perfectly normal.

    Reply

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