Conversations is a weekly post that’s goal is to go beyond book reviews, and discuss what’s on the other side of a blogger’s screen.
This week I wanted to discuss something that I feel like most of the bookish community can relate to: being an introvert.
This topic is dear to me for several reasons, one of which being that I am an introvert and I feel highly misunderstood about it. There is this negative stigma around introversion, one that is usually met with demands of us to leave our homes and socialize. But why are introverts the weird ones? And why do extroverts get all the glory?
The Truth About Introverts
Let’s get this out of the way now. Introverts do not hate people. We aren’t socially awkward or hate leaving our homes for fear of seeing another human being. We aren’t all shy and anxiety-ridden.
We don’t hate people, we just prefer a select few. Introverts are more private by nature. We aren’t ones to complain loudly to a group of people in public and around strangers, we don’t strike up random conversations with people we don’t know, and we don’t tend to have a multitude of friends we surround ourselves with every night. When we get comfortable, we don’t mind sharing with a group of people we know and trust, but the real trust will usually only spread to a select few individuals.
I have 2 people that I will actually talk to, my boyfriend and Katie. I just don’t find enjoyment in a large group of people. In fact, imagining it is completely unpleasant and draws out words like “loud,” “obnoxious,” and “overwhelming.” That’s not how I feel about people, it’s how I feel about groups.
We aren’t socially awkward, we are just less social than our extrovert counterparts. I fair pretty well in social situations. I can keep a conversation going, especially if I like the subject. And I’m not some babbling idiot when it comes to talking to new people, I just don’t like to do it.
Introversion doesn’t mean that you can’t socialize or that you suck at it. It just means you tolerate less socializing. For me, a day at work is enough human interaction for a week. I rarely go out with friends or coworkers, especially after a day of catering to people at work. Being around people non-stop makes me so very exhausted. Unlike extroverts who gain this mental energy from being around other people, I gain that energy from being on my own, in my own world, working on my own things. And that’s not a bad thing.
We aren’t rude or quiet, we just care about what we say. Introverts aren’t ones for small talk. Actually, there is little more I find cringe-worthy than the staggered “hello” “how are you” I pass between strangers at work.
It’s not that we hate talking, it’s just that we would rather be talking about something important or something that interests us. We like conversations, not chit-chat. I can’t give you a reason for this, it’s just how we are. If you want to get an introvert really talking, just bring up something that interests them.
Introversion isn’t a bad thing. It isn’t second best to the “Extrovert Ideal” that the world has created. Frankly, I’m tired of being told I need to get out more, that I don’t have a social life, or that I read too much.
It’s not a bad thing!
We are introverts, not extroverts. We are different personality types, we act differently and process differently. Since when did that become a bad thing?