Monday, July 8, 2013

The Introvert's Dilemma

People like putting other people in boxes. We all like our neat little labels and stereotypes because it makes it easier for us to categorize people. "Us" versus "them". "They" are always like "that". It gets frustrating. Particularly when you don't fall in to the stereotypes or you're struggling to break out of them.

Here's the truth of the matter: I'm an introvert. When I say this, people automatically assume certain things so I just want to put the record straight.

I like being alone sometimes, but not all the time! Actually, most of the time I would love to hang out with just a couple of people. Large groups do overwhelm me sometimes (which always makes family gatherings interesting), but I still love going out occasionally with a group of friends. 

Being an introvert means that I don't like to answer quickly and prefer to have time to think over my answer. Being able to write and edit is even better. I am constantly second-guessing myself and often come up with the best replies to conversations days later. This also makes meeting new people a daunting and terrifying prospect. This includes making new friends, dating, and work and social events. I'm constantly worried about doing or saying the right thing. Playful and witty banter comes easily to me --if I have some time to think about it and am not put on the spot. 

Sometimes it just feels like my more extroverted friends do not get how incredibly hard social interaction is for me with people I don't know. It's a little easier in work because everything is set up formally. There are clearly laid out protocols and processes and we rarely deviate from those. But once I get out into social life I feel like I've completely lost my way.
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