I identify as an introvert. Period.
Okay, that sounded better in my head than here. But anyway, you get the point.
Being an introvert comes with it own set of struggles which nobody talks about, even the people spreading mental health awareness.
Only few of my friends, say my closest circle, understand that I’m an introvert, though sometimes even they fail to get the whys and the how’s. Few days back during a conversation with my best friend, she declared that I can no longer be called as introvert. As aghast as I felt at that moment, I asked her what made decide that for me. She reasoned that now I was more talkative and open to other people. Though I didn’t argue with her on this, but something in my heart crashed. Another extrovert feeling proud at the attempt of turning an introvert into one of them!
This conversation sent me on a long walk with myself, wondering if I wasn’t an introvert anymore? The way I am now, seemed like I was cured of a disease I didn’t know I had in the first place.
Few days ago, my sister shared the above Instagram post about the standard definition of fun and it couldn’t have resonated more with me. I pondered how the introverts often quietly lived under the burden of great expectations of the society, of the parents, of the friends, of the colleagues, of the managers and the list goes on.
These never-ending list of expectations from us made me think about writing this post. A guide to understanding an introvert. The Silent expectations of an introverts.
C’mon you must have met at least one person who seems different than rest of the world? Read on to know more about them because who else will spill the secrets but an introvert herself.
We are not rude.
Let’s get this out of the way first. We are not rude or mean. Half the time we are having a conversation with ourselves or with some fictional character from a book we loved. And the other half of the time we are rehearsing the conversation to have in the real world with a real person.
We don’t hate people.
Unlike the joke that goes on in the world about us that we hate people and want to be alone all the time, is just not true. We love meeting people, our people. We take time to build friendships and relationships and once we do they usually last a lifetime. We aren’t anti-social. We are not unfriendly. We just need more quality time.
Fun looks different to us.
While you might love going out meeting out new people for fun, our idea of fun is a bit different. To us, reading our favourite book by the window/balcony can be the most therapeutic and coveted experience at the end of the day. While you go out for a karaoke evening, we might prefer a quite movie night snuggled in or indulging in creative arts for hours. Fun could even be a long walk with a close friend. Why restrict fun with one definition when it can be many other things.
Let’s go Party tonight? Umm No!
The feet tapping to the loud music, the crowd shouting songs at the top of their voices, with glasses clinking to the cheer for celebration. This seems to be the first thought when someone as much as think about the word ‘party’. But tell you the truth, this very experience is the most draining experience for any introvert! So don’t be offended when we want to go back home sooner than the rest. We love celebrations too, but let’s turn them a little experiential instead of loud.
Enough of the ‘No’s we say. Let’s talk about what we want. While we might struggle to initiate a conversation with small talk, we love those deep meaning talks, the thoughtful debates and the people who listen to us. We are mostly the listeners of any group, so it feels endearing when someone lends an ear with an intent.
We are not shy.
Since childhood I was made to believe that I was just shy and needed to talk to people to come out of it. Trust me, being shy and being introvert are two different character traits and are not to be confused. First, it was the parents who did not understand why I was quiet around new people. The suit followed through teenage years then spilled over the twenties. It was quite late when I recognized myself and could take pride in who I am. Because it’s not something we can snap out of. It’s in the very being of us.
Don’t call us. Just Text.
The things that can be communicated through a text or an e-mail then why do you need to pick up the phone and call. As accepted earlier, we love to talk, but only to few people and that too not all the time. We do not like making calls, especially when it can be a text. Also, we just detest making calls to strangers. Please don’t make us do it!
Say No To Impromptu Plans
Since we tend to live in our own bubble and have a separate life within the walls of our minds, impromptu plans are hardly our favourites ever. It usually throws us off the track and it takes time and energy for us to be back. We love plans, just the ones that let us breathe too.
Though, world’s significant population comprises of introverts but it’s still an extroverts’ place out there. Not many people know that many of the world’s prominent leaders are also introverts. Bill Gates, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, Issac Newton are just a few to name here.
I get it, the way we don’t understand the world of extroverts, they don’t understand ours. We don’t expect them too. We just expect to be accepted and not expected to change and be someone else all the time. We don’t need any fixing and certainly not the labels that calls us weird.
Well, enough of reality now, it’s time for me to jump back to the fictional world.
I am writing at the BAR