I am an introvert. I did not choose to be one. I just am. No amount of persuasion, cajoling, begging, bribery or threat can make me an extrovert.
And if you still have this notion that I am like a butterfly still wrapped in my cocoon and who will soon tranform and spread my wings, you are sadly mistaken. I will not magically transform into an outgoing, life-of-the-party girl with boundless energy I can power a whole city. That would be fantastic but no, I am just me.
I am socially-awkward not because I am shy but because I find socialization tedious. It is not that I don’t like people, it’s just that I am not comfortable mingling with people I hardly know. And I don’t like crowded, noisy places. I get a migraine just thinking about it.
Please don’t think this is weird. This is completely normal. Not all of us have boundless energies like you have. I am not asking you to put people like me in a pedestal because I do not believe that being an introvert makes me special or better than anyone. All I am asking is that you understand.
See, we don’t demand a lot. I don’t know about other introverts but as for me, I am asking for very simple things. Here let me give you an idea.
1. Don’t force me to attend parties and expect me to go all-out. I don’t like crowded, noisy places or booze or a combination of both. We all have our own preference to de-stress and mine happens to be the opposite of a party. If you must drag me, just leave me in a corner and I will happily sit there and dutifully wait for you to pick me up again. No, don’t worry about me getting bored. I can find ways to entertain myself.
2. Sometimes (or most of the time) I don’t want to go out with or talk to anyone.
Please don’t let this offend you. It’s not you, it’s me. I just need time to be with myself, to think and to recharge. If I refuse to go out with you, it doesn’t mean I don’t like you. It means I am not ready for the rest of the world yet. Usually it means I am thinking about something and I’m probably in an intense debate with myself trying to figure something out. Just give me time and when I’m ready, I will walk out of that door and happily go on an adventure with you.
3. That spotlight? Keep it to yourself, I don’t want it. I don’t need to be the center of attention. I dread it and loathe it. There is nothing more dreadful than finding yourself the center of attention when all you want to do is blend with the wall. Don’t ask me to sing or dance or do anything that would direct that spotlight at me. I swear, I will leave you behind and you can never drag me anywhere again.
4. I am not good with small talks and instant connections. There are very few people in this world I can connect to the very moment we meet. It is very seldom for me to initiate talks with anyone unless they’re someone I am comfortable with or I’ve known for sometime. So if we’ve only known each other for a few hours or days, don’t expect me to be overly-excited everytime we pass by each other. Trust me though, I can be very talkative and silly when I am with my friends. So just give me time, once I’ve figured you out, I’ll be as outgoing as my energy would allow me.
5. Sometimes, I just sit in a corner and stare at everyone. I am not a psychopath. I just want that cleared. I like observing people and how they interact with each other. No, it doesn’t also mean that I am bored. I am not sure how to explain it.
Let’s put it this way, sometimes a scientist spends months or years observing the same thing in order for him to better understand how that thing works. I am not a scientist and you are, by no means, a ginuea pig or a culture of bacteria but it is the same principle.
I want to better understand people by observing them without bias. I learn people’s personality by how they interact with other people and how they present themselves. So if you see me observing you, please don’t be offended. I am not envious of you nor am I judging you, I just want to better understand you so I can relate with you better.
It’s called, research.
6. I just need peace and quite (and some adventure if you can arrange for it). I don’t need you to talk to me all the time or exert too much effort entertaining me. Again, I can find ways to entertain myself. If you truly want to make me happy, just bring me somewhere quite where we can sit down and talk quitely or just stare at the world. I know, it is too boring for some but this is really all I need. Or, we can just go and explore places we’ve never been to or do things we’ve never done. We can climb mountains or jump from planes. You know, the fun stuff.
7. I don’t share everything. You might think I’m an oversharer if you see my social media accounts. After all, I post a lot in Facebook and instagram and post a lot of my thoughts online. You are, however, sadly mistaken. Those are just bits and pieces of my life that I chose to share to the rest of the world. You only saw 10% of my life out there. The things and thoughts that truly matter to me, I keep it to myself or share it to the few people I truly trust.
For all the things that I shared online, I am not truly expressive. Most of the time I put my thoughts into writing or keep it in. I blog because this is the easiest way for me to express my thoughts. If I share anything to you that you don’t see me posting online, then trust is already implied.
The problem with being an observer is that, you see things that people sometimes don’t see and often this affects how you deal with the people you observe. If I entrust you with a bit of my life, it means I placed my trust on you. It is not an easy decision to make because it is common for us, introverts, not to trust people so easily. So please respect it. Don’t go blabbing it to the rest of the world.
8. I may appear apathetic but it doesn’t mean that I am. I probably care more than it appears. I think it is apparent by now that when it comes to a social setting, I do not have a lot of energy to spare. So an actual reaction (other than involuntary ones of course) in a situation is something that I like to think of first.
I prefer to think of the best possible way to go that would entail less social interaction with people I don’t want to waste my time with and best possible result.
If the world is in chaos and I’m just sitting there staring at the rest of you, don’t think that I don’t care. I’m thinking and I do it best when I am alone or when I detach myself from the situation. I need to closely examine my options and formulate the best strategy and I can’t do that if am screaming with the rest of you.
9. I am not shy. If I may say so myself, I am confident. I know what I am capable of and I admit my weaknesses. I am just not the type you can drag into a social setting and expect to perform. Seriously! Is there anything about me that tells you that I like to perform in front of people?
10. I’m not good with small talks. So if we hardly know each other you are left alone with me, better bring something to entertain yourself. (Incidentally, it made me think…if you put two introverts together, will they ever make a sound?)
There is nothing more awkward than strangers talking to me in buses. I mean seriously, do I have a sign that says, “talk to me!” that I am probably not aware of?
I would like to take this opportunity to ask of you, reader, to please be considerate. Be sensitive enough to know when someone doesn’t want to talk. We don’t want to be rude,so please!
11. I am very sensitive. Not emotional but sensitive. Sometimes, before you judge me and decide that I am upset or angry or moody, evaluate your own emotions first.
I am sensitive to how others feel. I know when someone doesn’t like me and just pretending to. I know when someone is hiding something. I know when something is happening even before people tells me that there is a problem. I can feel it. I can feel the tension, the mood, and sometimes it is too loud I can almost hear your thoughts.
We introverts are big on privacy and personal space and since we don’t like people bothering us when we are thinking or force us to talk when we clearly don’t want to, we also don’t bother people when they’re not in the mood. It doesn’t mean we don’t care, it just means we respect you enough to wait for you to put your trust in us and share.
I am not asking you to give me the moon and the stars, just give me my “me-time” and I am happy. All I am asking is some peace and quiet, some adventures and a few people I can trust.
So please stop thinking I am weird because I am almost always alone. Please don’t think I am depressed because I stay in my room all the time. Please understand I am not intentionally aloof. There are just some parts of me that doesn’t work exactly like you do.
We are different, unique in our own ways. We all have personalities that may appear unusual to some people. We just need to understand how each one of us works. We don’t need to judge each other. This is not an affliction. This is what makes us who we are.
Posted via Mobile.
*I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors. Proofreading via mobile is a challenge for me.*