Being an introvert in a socially integrated world can sometimes be a challenge. There are so many instances where tasks that seem simple to most folks (making phone calls, generating small talk, hanging out with friends) become serious obstacles. It feels as though the rest of the world just doesn’t understand, and there are a few things I wish I could tell the extroverts of the world to help them see why we introverts behave the way we do. These are five of those things.
1. It’s not you. It’s me.
When I say that I’m too tired or too worn down to go out and socialize with you, I’m telling the truth. It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with you; I just need a little time to rejuvenate before interacting with people again. It’s hard enough to be an introvert without people getting offended by it all the time. Just relax. I don’t hate you. You don’t smell. It’s not you. It’s me.
2. I’m not mute. I’m just shy.
If I had a nickel for every time I raised my hand in elementary school and some bratty kid responded by gasping, “You can talk?!”, I’d have a nice chunk of change. You wouldn’t believe how often I endured outcries of, “Hey everybody, quiet girl can talk!” Seriously, what did these people think? I may be a shy person, but I do in fact have vocal cords, even if I don’t choose to use them for your benefit.
3. Social situations scare me.
I’m going to be totally honest here. As an introvert, social situations scare me. I think that extroverts sometimes don’t understand how stressful they can be for us. When I’m faced with unexpected socializing, my heartbeat speeds up, I can’t stop fidgeting, I sometimes even feel like I’m on the verge of tears.
4. I do enjoy going out and having fun, but I need time to prepare.
On a related note, it’s important for me to mention that even though it’s stressful, I still enjoy going out and doing fun stuff. Just give me a little bit of advance warning so I have time to prepare. I don’t mean the sort of preparation that involves getting dressed and fixing hair. I mean mental preparation. I need to spend some time to psyche myself up before doing things or I stress more.
5. I hate being all alone.
Sometimes people assume that since I’m an introvert, I probably don’t want to go out, so they just don’t invite me places. The truth is, even though I’m shy, I hate being left alone. I absolutely despise knowing that I’m missing out. So please, don’t do things without me and assume I’d rather be alone. Unless I tell you that I need alone time, I promise I’d much rather be with you.