Walking into the familiar room, you know there isn’t anything to be concerened about, but you aren’t sure who is there. You see blurred people as you pass them, you (try to) smile and nod. Your tongue is stuck like glue to the roof of your mouth and no matter how hard you try to say “Hi”-it sticks and you’re silent.
Welcome to my world as an INTROVERT:
Introverts unite! Separetely! In their own homes!
I’ve been an introvert my whole life, coming out as an ambivert once I’m in a very comfortable situation and comfortable people. Its a good chance that those comfortable people I’m around took me 3+years to be comfortable with-and its nothing that THEY did-its because introverts have a hard time with people.
Social awkwardness comes with the territory of an introvert…
Person: “Hey Laura, how are you today?!”
Me: “oh, uh, hey, ya, I’m grine.. I mean, I’m great, fine, *nervous laughter*” (internal dialogue-this is why I don’t talk to people! why am I like this?)
How Others Feel About Me:
Oh the slippery slope of others opinions, but unfortunately they exist and maybe finally after 36 years I’ve gotten better at handling them, but they still hurt. I’ve been called a snob, rude, standoffish, bump on a log, boring, and other PG-13 things. Many times I’ve been told to change and “just be outgoing”. Okay, sure, and then for my next trick I’m going to change into a kangaroo * gives side eye*
How I Feel About Me:
Many times I wish I could change, that I could be bubbly and the life of the party. Never having to feel like I’m finally going to bite a hole through my cheek just because I’m trying to stand in a room with 20 people and make small talk would be really nice. I wish I wasn’t always pulled into myself and that I could break through the awkward anxiousness that is many days of my life just being in public. I wish I didn’t have to wear a cheesy grin so people won’t think terrible things about me.
What Introverts Need You to Know:
We are friendly: even if our face says differently, just give us a chance and understand we want to talk to you but we don’t know how to start and small talk is difficult.
We aren’t purposefully ignoring you: we just can’t physically speak until we’ve acclimated-and that possibly could take years.
We don’t hate people( or probably even you): we have a hard time finding our comfort level. I could have spoken to you yesterday but today I’m withdrawn again.
We want to be invited: even if we don’t come, we will make an attempt, we just get nervous about the people/place/crowds.
We are observant: we pretty much notice everything and we are waiting for the right time to say something, but are often interrupted because we’ve waited too long.
As an introvert my hope is that more people can understand each other and not make assumptions based on simple quirks. So often in my life I have felt misunderstood and mislabeled. The next time you see someone and feel like they are giving you the cold shoulder, maybe take a step back and see if they are showing you that they are simply an introvert and their actions have nothing to do with you personally.
Introverts: from the comfort of your phone or computer-tell me-how do you cope?