Here’s a little checklist for you.
- Do you constantly feel tired in dealing with humans on a daily basis?
- Do you need to ‘recharge’ your energy at least once a week by doing nothing and just being silent?
- Do you hate making small talks?
- Do you often sneak out at parties just because you’re tired while you’ve been there for only less than an hour?
- Do you value silence and calmness over loud and obnoxious?
- Do you prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities?
- Do you find meeting new people or networking as an exhausting activity?
If you answer “YES” to at least 4 questions asked above, then congratulations… you are an introvert.
The whole introversion vs extroversion phenomena has taken over the internet lately. People become aware of these psychological terms and (unfortunately) the world seems to care more about the extroverts. Don’t believe it? Let’s look at exhibit A: myself.
Exhibit A: Kurisetaru, 23 years old, loves having a small group of friends, long walks, listening to music, and reading. Favorite weather: rainy.
My family is an extrovert family. My father loves to talk to people and he makes new friends very easy. My grandmother is a social butterfly whose agenda is never empty. My grandfather, although he is already old and not as active as my grandmother, he is also well-known among his friends as a great jive dancer. Me? I love being quiet and read books in the weekends, if not going out to see movies with my best friends.
Needless to say, I feel judged by my family, which is the smallest social unit in a society. They think I don’t like to socialize, that I can’t make new connections with strangers I just met, they think I can’t keep up with having new friends. I feel… uhm, betrayed and misunderstood. Probably, these characteristics are what the world see to us, introverts: unable to make new connections. They see us as shy people, and extroverts think that one must not be shy, one must be able to strike up a conversation whenever meeting strangers, one must be jolly, active, talkative, yidi yada yidi yada…
Oh, shut up, extroverts. We know how to make friends. We love socializing. The only difference between us is that you gather energy from being around people, and we recharge our energy by being silent. After our energy has been recharged, we can be jolly, active and talkative just like what you’d like us to be.
We have our own ways in making friends and connecting with them, ways that are different than yours. Bear with us.
When I was a kid, I thought I was an extrovert. Of course, back then I didn’t know about the whole introvert and extrovert thing, but I considered myself as a talkative and active person. Probably because I used to believe more in zodiac traits rather than psychological traits. Born in June under Gemini, I’d always thought I was this fun, gregarious, adventurer kind of girl which was the ultimate traits of Gemini people. They were said to be the life of the party, right?
But then things changed when I got to middle school (or high school? I kinda forgot). I considered myself to be more reserved to people and I only opened myself to people that were really close to me (read: my best friends). I found loud and happy-go-lucky people annoying because it bothered me and my silence. I became fond of taking long walks alone, or reading books for hours in a solitude place like my school library. In those places, I found my inner peace and I felt like I went back to my cocoon. I also starting to have my ‘me-time’ for once or twice every week, a time where I pampered myself and did things I really want to do such as going to movies alone or dwelling myself in books for hours.
That’s when I realized I was actually an introvert.
I find meeting new people exhausting because I have to strike up a conversation and trust me, striking up a conversation with someone you don’t know is very challenging to introverts. Why? Because I don’t like small talks. It’s a different situation if I have met them online, because I have known their likes and dislikes. But… meeting someone in real life, out of the blue? Nah, that’s not really my cup of tea.
However, if people have known me up close and personal, they can see that I’m fun to be around with. Introverts are fun in their own way. We love to specialize in things we really love doing – not just doing them to impress others, so you can expect to have a really good time with us because we are sincere people who value friendships and close-bound relationships more than anyone else.
Introverts are not shy. “Shy” is the most common term extroverts will address introverts. We are simply offended and misunderstood by this term. Unlike extroverts, we find it very hard to open up to people on first meetings, thus we become totally silent and therefore, the term ‘introverts are shy’ comes up. We are not shy, I guarantee you.
Introverts are not lazy. If one says “I just wanna do nothing” it doesn’t simply mean that he/she is a couch potato. An introvert will be at his/her boiling point when they spend the whole week socializing or interacting with people to the point where they don’t have time to pamper themselves (read: recharge themselves). “Do nothing” in introvert dictionary means “do whatever the hell I want for the day; not meeting anyone else is preferred”.
So, I hope this post will contribute to hundreds of thousands posts online out there about introvert people and I hope you can understand how it feels like to be one. If you’re an introvert and if you happen to stumble upon this blog, I wave from my house at you!
Let introverts unite……….. in our own houses.