Introversion is not what most people seem to think it is. For instance, there are shy introverts, but introversion is no way, shape or form the equivalent to being shy. Another idea that many people have is that introverted people have social phobias, mental illnesses, or that they are completely misanthropic; again, not always the case--not even usually the case. There are many other instances of introverts being misread, misunderstood, or falsely judged. Being an introvert myself, I'd like to clear up some of these misunderstandings.
Actually, I Enjoy Socializing
What do you mean I don't like to be around people? On the contrary, I like to be around folks. I just don't enjoy banal social obligations or work dinners or putting on a mask and pretending to be someone I am not. It's a struggle for me to do so. But I do find people interesting, and love to delve into the uniqueness that makes each person exactly who they are.
By all means, come with me to the bar or pub, café or diner (preferably the bar or pub, so inhibitions are loosened), and we will talk about the endlessness and possibility that is physical reality. Let's keep it interesting and engaging. It took 4.5 billion years for the human brain to get here. Use it! Big ideas, not gossip. Do I mean we have to talk about actual physics? No, of course not--I'm not Michio Kaku for crying out loud, and neither are you. But why sit there chattering about work, inquiring about weekly wages, whining about our family, and talking about all the trivial nonsense that virtual every adult encounters in the proverbial rat maze?
What Are You Talking About? I Like You!
You called 4 times and sent 11 Whatsapp messages? Sorry I did not answer your call or text. I was just shoveling pizza down my throat and watching a couple of programs on the tube. Other people called as well, and I didn't pick up for them either. Why? My phone was off. It isn't personal, I just need some down time. This is my time to recharge. Think of it as a sort of meditation. Once I am recharged, I will answer your call or return your text.
Really, I enjoy you. I like you a lot. Why do you think it's me contacting you some of the time? I actually make sure to initiate contact with people I like. If you have the time, would you like to do something tomorrow? The following day?
What? I'm Not Shy!
What do you mean I'm shy? I didn't talk very much last night? Well, I'm sorry about that, but I just met these people and wanted to listen to them. I admit that I didn't spend the entire evening talking about myself and chest-beating like ol' Jim Corn Bob at the head of the table did--but I did talk to everyone, answered questions that were asked, and told a few of them that it was really cool to meet them and that I'm looking forward to seeing them again. I even inquired about them. I know, shocker.
What should I do next time? Start a game of charades, break out the Monopoly board, or start playing twenty questions with everyone at the table? Brag about my accomplishments and come across as a blowhard? Pretend to be an overly bubbly person, and then be called fake once they realize that being bubbly isn't who I really am? I don't understand. I was friendly and cordial and interested in these people. I was trying to get them to open up, too. Maybe I have to read the manual for socializing.
A Quiet Night in Is Not Boring to Me
I get it, trust me I do. You like to spend virtually all of your free time socializing, brushing shoulders, kissing cheeks, bumping fists, kissing babies, rubbing noses, licking faces, and giving hugs to people you know. Hell, you seem to want to do that with everyone you meet. And that's fine, I applaud you for it. That's your idea of excitement and my choice to stay in on a Friday night is dull to you.
Know what? I'm sorry to burst your babbling bubble, but I actually enjoy being a homebody some nights. Why? Because an escape from reality is needed for introverts like myself. I do not just sit there staring at the wall and scratching my bellowing, trolling cat's back.
Maybe I want to stay up all night and watch half a season of Game of Thrones. Maybe I want to stay up until 4AM and finish the Stephen King book I forced myself to put down during the week. Maybe I want to sit on Infobarrel writing article after article. Perhaps I want to do a Lord of The Rings marathon. I draw too; maybe I want to do that. The point is that creativity--whether it's my own or from the mind of someone else-- is my escape, and sometimes the only time I have to do it is on weekends. To me, this is just as important as socializing is to you.
If I don't get these nights to myself, perhaps I will develop into the deranged person that you make me out to be.
Introversion is not a mental illness. It does not mean that we are shy, that we hate people, or that we cannot stand to socialize. It does not mean we have anxiety, depression, or social phobias. It is simply a personality type, the same way extroversion is. We have different things that make us happy, sure, but there is plenty of overlap for things that make introverts and extroverts smile. The approach is sometimes different, but there is a lot of common ground. Maybe you see us as quirky. After all, society is built around extroversion and us introverts just live in it. All we ask for is a little bit of understanding.