People Lovin’ Introverts Unite!

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So, I just read this article from Thought Catalog and I seriously had no idea that this was a thing! My entire life I’ve been shy and had social anxiety, but then in college discovered the awesomeness of social gatherings. My mom can attest to my having boa constricted her leg when meeting new people as a child, my dad can attest to his forcing me to go talk to other little girls at pools or playgrounds growing up. Interacting with people, especially strangers, has always been terrifying for me. But then I get comfortable and warm up to people and they all forget the shy girl who cowered at the edge of a classroom, the scared little thing hovering near  new groups of people, desperately wanting to interact with them.

Whereas most people feel mildly uncomfortable breaking the ice, I feel like two ton polar bear attempting to cross a freshly frozen over lake at the very end of autumn – just waiting to plunge into the frigid cold water on the other side. But nobody who knows me well seem to remember that, possibly because by the time I’m actually comfortable around people I’m suddenly the first and last person on the dance floor. I’m running around gathering everyone up for shots, being a total woo-girl (see definition #2 in Urban dictionary). By this time I’m even extending a warm welcome out to the new comers in the group, but it’s not because I’m an extrovert. It’s because I know what it’s like to be an introvert who longs to be accepted by others.

People forget, or maybe they never knew, that introverts don’t hate other people. We just get our energy in a different manner than our extroverted brethren. As an extrovert, one might feel a rush of excitement from being around other people, their energy levels are literally replenished from just engaging in social interactions (must be nice). But for us introverts, we use up energy being around other people – especially new ones. The same rush that replenishes extroverts drains us. So it’s not always that we don’t like people, or enjoy being around them. It’s just that we know that doing so means that at some point we’re going to have to run to our houses (read caves) curl up with a good book or a Netflix marathon and replenish our energies after a solid night of karaoke duets or company Christmas parties.

So before I read this article I had no idea that there were other out-going introverts out there masquerading as extroverts! Well, aside from my dad… but I’m like a weird girl version clone of him soo yeah. Aww, see, this is why I love you internet; you’re always bringin’ people together. Ya know, except for the times your bullying and trolling them.

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