Sunday, October 7, 2012

10-7-12 Introverts, disunite.

(You have to use a period and not an exclamation point to really invert the Unite! battle cry.)

I've found myself embracing my introversion more and more these days and I still cringe when "introvert" is used as a synonym for shy people.

I am not shy, people. 

Not wanting to interact with you is very different from being afraid to interact with you.

And since introverts make up a minority of the population (supposedly... I have my doubts and I think a whole lot more people fake social desire than will admit to it), here's a quick and easy primer for all you extroverts out there who don't quite get it and feel a bit sorry for me.

1. I am often alone and almost never lonely. My own company makes me happy and I have trouble understanding people who can bore themselves.

2. My job working from home, apart from all of the perks that come from not having to commute or bring lunch or invest in a work wardrobe, mainly means I get to be productive in my own element. No, I do no miss being around people all day. I work better alone.

3. I don't answer any phone but the work one. If you call my house, expect to talk to a machine. If I have to, I will call you back. If I have your email or cell number to text, expect to hear from me that way. I generally do not answer the doorbell, either, so please don't drop by unannounced. I am not anti-social. I am selectively social. 

4. I draw energy from being alone. It does not depress me. You do not need to feel as though I need to be taken out for socializing. Extroverts may need people to feel energized, but I need the absence of others to do so. Understand that. Respect it. Don't make me feel like I'm defective because I don't want to be around a lot of people.

5. I have a few close friends with whom I enjoy conversations or an evening together. However, the idea of putting all of them into a room together sounds exhausting to me. I prefer one on one interaction, even with people that I love. Do not take it personally.

6. I do not do "brainstorming" sessions on the spot effectively. I recoil when someone says, "so, what are we going to talk about?" It's not that I can't think on my feet. It's that I am thinking instead of talking. Give me space to consider ideas for you. Let me have some time to formulate my thoughts and, if possible, write them down. You'll be much happier with the outcome, I promise.

7. As a largely internal person, I also have the propensity to stew on things that bother me. I mean, stew profoundly. This doesn't mean I will never share these things with you, although I will never share everything. But it does mean that if you push me, you had better be prepared for a lot more than you bargained for. Whatever the showdown may be about, odds are it is about a whole lot more than you think. Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus. Dragons are introverts, but they aren't sissies.


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