Inspiration for this blog post came from this article in Scientific American about introverts. It has much to say about things I had never thought of before. I would think that most of the time people know whether they are introverts or extroverts early in life. I would have never believed that society shows favoritism toward extroversion.
According to this article introverted people are regarded as second-class people. Huh. Does this help explain some of my social woes as a child and as a teen? An adult? Workplace invisibility…etc? Maybe it does. Maybe that explains why I HATE certain types of work: retail, cashiering, and the like where I have to talk to hundreds of people all the time. I like to go to the occasional social gathering once in a while, but not all the time. I prefer to write, draw, or work in a lab. I like solitude. I work better alone than with a group. That doesn’t mean I CAN’T or DON’T work with others. There is a time and a place for that.
Social gatherings wear me out. I have fun while I’m there, but afterward I want to be alone and go to sleep. I feel emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and physically drained.
I require more “me time” or alone time. Society and people in general think there is something wrong with that. Really? People automatically think I want to be a hermit or I’m just stuck up. Not the same thing.
Group work. Sometimes it’s okay, and sometimes I hate it. I have a difficult time with the formation part. Everyone wants to be with the popular person; I don’t. I want to work with people I can work together with, not someone who is confrontational or egotistical. If I work with other introverts then somehow it is easier. If I work with an extrovert then I tend to clam up while they do all the talking. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s unsaid things that happen. Extroverts love to talk, but I don’t. I like to think.
Don’t get me wrong I can talk to some extroverts, but I must take them in small doses. They tend to wear me out. After a while the ‘bubbliness’ seems to grate on my nerves like 40 grain sandpaper. Maybe the same is true for my silence or reluctance to talk for them.
Now the whole thing about ‘coming out of my shell’ is painful and uncomfortable. It doesn’t seem natural to me in some circumstances. I’m terrified about approaching people. I have a full blown freak-out party if it’s someone I don’t know. That’s just the way it is. I can’t change it no matter how hard I try. I have to plan out everything before I can engage if I can.
Public speaking. Oh, that’s hell on earth for me. The bigger the crowd the worse it gets. No class or practice makes it any easier for me.
I don’t do impromptu very well. As a matter of fact I hate it. Maybe not in writing so much, but everything else in life. I don’t know why that is. I can muddle through but I don’t like it. It seems to go against my nature. But, sometimes it is required because life happens, but I don’t like for someone to impose it on me when it is unnecessary.
Shyness is a consequence of being an introvert. They aren’t one in the same though.