Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Intro to Introverts

"Introvert" is defined as "a person who tends to shrink from social contacts and to become preoccupied with their own thoughts."

That's what I do. Some people mistake it for being shy, but it's not the same. See, when you're shy, you really want to meet new people and talk to strangers who seem interesting, but you're scared to. With introverts, we don't really want to meet those people or talk to those strangers. Hell, even people we know and like aren't always people we want to talk to.

For introverts, hell is having to talk to people at breakfast. For introverts, small talk is a form of torture that should be covered under the Geneva Convention.

We don't hate you, and we are not being anti-social. We're just a special shade of indifferent. We prefer thoughtful silence to constant yammering.

Yes, we get bored of it and we go out. On occasion we can fake it and make it look like we are not the social retards you've known us to be. And then we run home and spend hours by ourselves doing whatever we please, and reveling in it.

We are not the wallflowers who are wishing people would come over and talk to us, we are the wallflowers who are enjoying watching other people talk. It's not that we have nothing to contribute or nothing to talk about - no, quite the opposite. I will sit and talk about some subjects with total strangers til I'm blue in the face. Chicago history is one of those subjects. So is juicy gossip. But sitting around talking about the weather or stocks or other boring things, well, I tend to tune that out. And if you want to make me hate you, then by all means let's start a deep discussion about spirituality or our feelings.

Alone is not the same as lonely. If I wanted company, I would call people and go see those people. And I'm not just staring blankly into space when you do corral me into going out, I am pondering things that I don't feel like explaining.

I'm not being uppity or elitist, I just...well, I just don't feel sociable. That's a pretty basic explanation of introversion. I'm not depressed or upset or in need of special attention, I just am not a big talker around people I hardly know, and I have no interest in entertaining people.

I don't go out on Friday nights. By 5:30 Friday afternoon I basically can't stand anybody. I have talked politely to every moron, cheapskate, and lunatic that has walked past my desk. Of course there are nice people who come to my desk, but these respites are brief and only make the slack-jawed morons seem more unbearable. There is a very short list of people I would even bother to pick up the phone for on a Friday night, and most of those people know better than to call me when they get off work.

That's not to say I just sit home and stare at the walls. Sometimes I go downtown, or go for a walk or a drive. I can be okay in a crowd where nobody knows me, because nobody will strike up a banal conversation with me. I can't be out with people I know and like, who know and like me, because they will expect me to be chatty and sociable, and I just don't have that in me by the end of the week.

It's how introverts are.

So don't be offended if we don't come out very often. Don't get huffy when we leave your party early or turn down invitations to just hang out. Don't get all upset when we do come out and we don't have much to say. It's just who we are.

And face it, you wouldn't have us any other way.


Pigasus said...

I have friends who literally took years to figure out that I was happy alone.

Holly said...

I second that emotion.
But then again, you know this already.

mscherrylane said...

LOL, this post touched my heart ;)

xian said...

amen. a-fucking-men.

Sally J. said...

Great post, I found it thanks to Stumble Upon.

It wasn't until my mid 20s that I learned I was an introvert. Growing up, I was impossible to be around at breakfast time. I'm a little better about it now.

The easiest way to tell whether you're an introvert or extrovert is to think about how you recharge...is is alone or with other people?

FWIW, I've collected some links about introverts here.


Angger Atmawarin said...

For introvert person, you have a really good sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

great post. I would love to follow you on twitter.

Anonymous said...

Well said! Me to a tee!