From as soon as I figured myself out I realised that I could only be one thing: an introvert. The research confirmed it, the numerous internet infographics and lists helped, my minor in Psychology at University even pegged me. I was just that; an introvert. I completely and utterly enjoyed my own company, in fact, I think I acted as if I were an only child for most of my life (I am the youngest of 6 children). How did I do this? Well, I perfected the art of escaping into my head, the art of making stories in my mind. When life got me down, I would escape to bed, snuggle under the covers and create a story in my head; one where I was the person I wanted to be, meeting the people I wanted to meet. I got so good at this that I could create this ‘world’ while being out of bed; my attempt to block out the loud and crazy world around me. This comforted me. I thought I was all alone in this until I developed a friendship with another girl at 19. We bonded via our ‘world creation’ and spending time together, something introverts love to do- at their own pace at least.
Having friendships with other introverts, and being in my own headspace so much was fun, but I soon realised that this world is made for extroverts to shine. From the numerous class presentations, you had to make in University, to the very social act of flirting. I even recently heard someone say that because introverts are ‘trapped’ in their heads so much, they can never be truly successful in this world that champions the person who is ‘upfront’ and ‘in your face’. But I somehow managed to educate most of the people around me on how I should be treated. How they should deal with my ever-wavering moods or levels of how much ‘people-ing’ I wanted to do at any one point in time.
Yes, I found that bravery inside of me for those public presentations (I just became the best actor I could be); I learnt how to flirt in public, (although I must say getting to know someone via a mode of semi-disconnect (see: texting and email) is what I prefer initially, as it allows some of the shine to rub off); I have even learnt how to champion my own causes.
I think some of the main things that this world (seemingly) filled with extroverts has to note is that introverts are not lame or shy (some are, yes, but not all of us. Shy, not lame by the way). We do enjoy a wonderful complex conversation, but it has to be about something we love or are interested in; we don’t do small talk. We do love people–sometimes. We just enjoy ourselves more. We don’t enjoy being put on the spot (just give us a heads up to prepare ok?) Yes, we are enjoying ourselves. Please stop asking. Also, if you are our friend, please understand that we may often flake on you for social events; mainly those we have no control over. That is just how we are. Take us as we are, or just leave us alone to binge watch Netflix alone on a Saturday night.