I Want To Be An Extrovert
I was always a to-myself person. I had a small group of friends which consisted of two other girls (one of whom I still speak with to this day), I strayed away from large social events, and found conversations that involved deep thinking to be internally stimulating instead of typical school yard gossip about who was dating who now. I couldn't stand small-talk, and enjoyed setting aside time for myself daily to unwind after a long day of dealing with the public. I was rendered an introvert.
Co-workers and so-called 'friends' were always teasing me about my 'boring' ways. I was known as the Grandma. When I was younger, it used to bother me a lot and I could not understand why nothing felt better in this world than spending time by myself. Why did I enjoy lighting a candle and lying across my bed with a
good book, film, or video game instead of doing things 'normal' teenagers do, such as going out and partying? And why was I so damn picky with befriending people when I know other people who can have numerous friends? Was there something wrong with me?
I truly believed there was. I was sick of being teased and feeling like an outcast. I did not want to be seen as an introvert any more, so I challenged myself to change my personality to match one of an extrovert. This shouldn't be difficult, right?
The Challenge To Become More Social
A very popular and obviously extroverted boy became interested in me whilst I was in school. We were both the same age, shared a few classes, and got along pretty well. Normally, I would avoid the popular people. They were always surrounded by a large group of friends and that would cause me to be generally uncomfortable because I viewed that they hardly had time for themselves. However, because I was attempting to rub shoulders with the extroverts, I decided to date this boy. Once we started dating, I immediately thought of the boost this would give my social status. He knew quite a lot of people and was often invited to large parties. I was scared, but I reassured myself with thoughts of how great this would be for my personality and how much I would love it.
I was so incorrect about myself it wasn't even funny.
I didn't hate it, but it wasn't something that I would be keen on doing any time soon. He was a very nice guy, but he couldn't understand why I didn't want to accompany him to the huge beach parties and club events. I went to a few and immediately felt as though I wanted to leave. The typical club or school party atmosphere was suffocating. The conversations were dull and repetitive and the music was too loud for my comforting. I wasted an hour of trying to relax and accept the scene because all I could think about was 'When are we going to leave?' and feeling a desperate need to sit somewhere quiet. I did not want to tag along to the next party, I just wanted to go home and sleep.
I found this whole experience nerve-wrecking, whereas everyone else always commented on how much fun and amazing last night's party was. After a while, he stopped asking me to go and went to events on his own. His friends made me feel inferior, always asking why I never wanted to come out and telling me that I needed to stop being so boring.
I tried my hand in hanging out during the daytime with friends from school. Maybe the night scene full of loud, obnoxious, drunk people just wasn't for me and things would be different when the sun was up. I became friends with a few girls from school and we all decided to hang out one Saturday.
Our destination was an outdoor sporting/ social event. The atmosphere was actually pretty relaxing and I began to enjoy myself. One thing I did not enjoy was that I felt I could not connect with these girls. The general conversations revolved around how this cute guy was staring at one of the girls last night at a party or gossip about people I did not know. I felt so out of place and I just wanted to leave...leave...leave. I joined in a few of the conversations, but most of the time it was small talk.
At that point, nothing felt better than finding a small cafe with a close friend of mines and enjoying tea and cakes. Unfortunately, she was abroad in school. Needless to say, I don't think the girls enjoyed my blasé company, as I was never invited out with them again.
After my trials and errors with stressful parties and other social events, I figured that there was no way I could shake this introverted personality of mines and gave up. Giving up seems like a terrible thing to do, but on the contrary, it was one of the best decisions I had made in a long time. I began to act like myself, and not a faux social butterfly any more and amazingly, I met a few introverts like myself at school. I couldn't understand why they were invisible to me all this time! It was probably due to me seeking out friendship with some of the more popular people.
Finding Other Introverts Like Myself
I was invited to small house parties with an average maximum of four people, excluding myself. We were all pretty close and spent nights watching films, talking, playing games, and sometimes even baking or going on scavenger hunts. During the daytime, we couldn't always meet up together due to other commitments, but when we did, we often went out for lunch, window shopped, or spent days at each other's houses having Barbecues. It was great and I felt relaxed. We gave each other space and respected if someone did not wish to come to a gathering.
These introverted people that I became friends with are still my close friends to this day. The extroverts that I attempted to socially connect with do not even speak to me and I've lost contact with virtually all of them.
My boyfriend is also an introvert which is great. I do not feel pressured to tag along with him to some wild club party because he wants to go. We have quiet meals out, go on shopping adventures, take walks because we love to discover new places and spend nights cuddled up watching films at home or at the cinema. One of our favourite things to do is play video games together and we have an amazing time. Sure, we do attend social events, but we have a mutual understanding of one another and can always agree on a time in which we need to leave and recharge our batteries. I have never felt so happy and relaxed!
A lot of people think my boyfriend and I are boring but we love spending time with each other and doing our own things. It does not matter what others are saying about you. Your internal happiness is the most important thing.
I've learned that being an introvert does not mean that you are doomed to a life of being alone and labelled as an outcast. Introverts have there own definition of fun, and most times it does not include parties, discos, or any event where you are placed with a number of strangers and expected to interact. Presently, if anyone laughs at my introverted ways, I simply shrug it off because I am comfortable enough with myself to know that I do not need to conform to other's ideas of what is considered 'fun' and prove anything to anyone.