I’m written about my introversion before and I think it was an eye-opening and quite revealing piece. But just because I wrote about it once doesn’t mean I can’t write about it again, especially since there are so many simple misunderstandings because I’m not like you and that really messed with your head.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not going to ever be a social butterfly, mainly because people physically and mentally wear me out. And it’s not because I think I’m smarter or better than you. It just takes a lot of energy to try to be around several people at once. But at least I’m trying. The problem with trying is that there are people who blindly assume I’m just a dick (I mean, I am, but that’s a different point).
5. People Think I Hate Them
Because I don’t tend to be super social, I don’t spend a lot of time bouncing around talking to people and engaging in small talk. Instead I usually just keep quietly to myself. I also tend to give short responses to small talk because there are just some questions that I have no earthly idea how to respond to other than a short, one-word answer. But I promise I’m not bashing your face into the wall in my mind. I don’t hate you.
And really, hate is a strong word. There are only a couple of people that used to be in my life that fit that category. Honestly, the fact that trying to juggle dozens of connections is mentally exhausting, which is why I don’t have that many. It’s really not that I don’t care about or dislike people, it’s just that I spend all of my energy focusing in on the few people I take a genuine interest in (on top of all the other things in life that are going on) that it’s only natural for others to get left out.
4. People Think I’m Miserable
Going out to restaurants with friends or any other environment where I’m not entirely comfortable usually results in me being super quiet for the entire evening and often not even cracking a smile or having really any sort of facial expression other than this…
But I promise I’m not miserable. I even do this when I’m out with my own family, and I used to see them every day for like 20 years. In all honesty I’m probably fine. I’m really just observing everything and trying to mentally process everything that’s going on. Which leads me to my next point.
3. People Think I Have No Social Skills
I have social skills, they just only tend to show up long after we’ve gotten to know each other. If you’re judging me on first impressions, then yes, I have zero conversational skills and I’m a total weirdo. Going up and talking to people I don’t know is a nightmare, mainly because I have no reason to talk to you unless you’re giving out food.
Instead, I like to simply listen and observe. One of the nice things about being a good listener is that I learn about people and pick up on the tiny details about their lives. In turn, it makes me look like a good person because I remembered that their favorite wine is cabernet sauvignon (whatever that means) or that they have a big event coming up in a couple of weeks.
Observing helps me remember where I was and how to get back if for some reason I ever need to. It’s how I know how to get to practically anywhere I’ve been at least once without needing a GPS. Instead of incessantly babbling on about nothing, I observe landmarks and directions and store it away for later use.
2. People Think I Lack Confidence
It’s not that I don’t have confidence. I actually have a high amount of confidence in myself, and with that confidence is also the knowledge that I know what I am (not) capable of. And sure you can throw all the Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, and Wayne Dyer quotes you want at me. It does about as much for me as a Playboy spread does for a gay man.
Someone emptily spewing words at me doesn’t mean much (which is probably weird coming from someone who spends a lot of free time emptily spewing words onto the internet). You can tell me I should go out and talk to people all you want. Maybe because that’s what you do. But that doesn’t work for me.
1. People Think I Want to Be Alone
Don’t get me wrong, I like alone time. But going on 2 solid years of uninterrupted self-time can get a little repetitive. Sure, I’ve got routines. Right now, my weekends consist of grocery shopping, going to the gym, and then watching Nascar until I start believing that Trump would be an okay President.
The scary part (in your opinion) is that I’m totally okay with that. Of course I know that’s not a healthy way to live. I can’t be a hermit forever. I don’t want to be 40, still living in my apartment and be dead for 3 months without anyone knowing until the landlord breaks in to collect the past due rent. I’m not close to that yet and I probably won’t be, because it’s not like I ever turn down hanging out with people because I want to be alone.