Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Message From An Introvert

A couple of summers ago I wrote a piece that I name something like "how to survive summer concerts in the park...the introverts way". It was a very silly piece I wrote on how I survive going to concerts alone. It was also the first time I had identified as an introvert. But though I had, I still didn't know what that meant besides being around large groups of people drained me.

Today I still don't feel like an expert in the matter, but I have more concrete thoughts on the matter. I admit I'm still developing the positive side of this whole thing at those times I view my introverts as thinkers, as dreamers, as quiet doers.

At negative times I feel like I'm destined to always have to pretend to be "happy". (I put happiness in quotes b/c I think it is subjective, and people show there happiness in different ways.) As an introvert though I always feel like I have to defend myself against extroverts. Extroverts wear there happiness right up front and always tend to be...put off by my "quiet joy". I've been told that I'm "bringing moral down"or that I'm boring when I'm not whooping it up in the middle of a party. When the actual truth is that I'm quiet b/c I don't have anything of importance to say at that moment. The truth is sometimes I DO like to whoop it up, but sometimes I like to be on the out skirts of the party observing it.

Times like these hurt, bad. They send confusing messages to my brain and heart. In my head I know there's nothing wrong with me, but in my heart at those negative times, I feel like I've done something wrong simply for being myself. My heart tends to win out over my head a lot so I wind up putting in extra effort so that people can see and hopefully believe that I am happy for once. This pretending is something I spent a lot of time doing in HS. It leaves me feeling more and more empty and drained every time I do it. I feel like I'm lying to people I care about. And what's worst I feel like they could careless. What they see is that I'm "happy", I'm the social butterfly that they love. They don't try to see beyond that.

So here's my message to Extroverts: Always remember, there are different ways of being social and showing happiness.

I'll leave you, for now, with a quote from Susan Cain: "In my family reading was the primary group activity. This might sound anti-social to you, but to us it was just a different way of being social. You have the animal warmth of your family sitting right next to you, but your also free to go roaming around the adventure land inside your own mind."

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