Tuesday, September 26, 2017

It's Not That I Don't Want to See You (On Being an Introvert)

I'm an introvert. An INFJ, to be specific. One percent of the population, or something like that. We often get mistaken for extroverts, but we absolutely aren't. We're considered the "counselors" of the world because we're good at helping others - which I suppose appears to the outside world as liking to be around others frequently. But the two can be, and often are, mutually exclusive.  We're generally good with one on one interactions, as long as we have the chance to replenish our introvert stores. But the world tends to work on the motto of "If 1 is good, 2 is better, and 10 is great." This is the bane of the introvert's existence, unless you're referring to books. If you're not of the introvert personality type and ever feel put off or ignored or simply totally confused by those of us that are, here are some important points.
  • It's not that I don't want to spend time with you. It's that I don't want to spend time with the other three people you chose to invite who I barely know, when I needed a one on one get together. 
  • It's not that I don't want to talk to you. It's that I don't want to talk about the weather, or other pleasantries. I abhor small talk. It seems so....meaningless. Conversation, yes. Joking and banter, yes. Small talk, no. 
  • It's not that I don't want to see you. It's that I don't want to see anyone. I need to replenish my stores so that I can interact with people again. Social interaction is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. I need to hibernate after a while. 
  • It's not that I don't like people. It's that I truly value my alone time, my solitary time, my inward time. I crave it. I like people in a one on one setting when we can talk about real topics.  I have some incredibly close friends. I just don't have a wide circle, and I'm 100 percent fine with that.
  • To you it's an awkward silence. To me it's time to reflect, or to comfortably hang out without having to talk. It's simply enjoying our mutual presence. Also, I may well be writing a short story in my head. That happens to. My apologies on that one - my brain works in odd ways at times. I don't think that's really an introvert thing. That's more of a Maya thing. 
  • It's not that I can't be around people. You may see me in crowds at a concert or festival and wonder why I can do that, but not hang out with you and your three friends. The answer is simple - one is a crowd, the other is a group. A crowd doesn't require interaction. A group does. In a crowd I can be off in my own little world. In a group I'm expected to participate. And trust me, crowds drain me too. But since I'm able to put a social bubble around myself there and just do me, I can last a little longer. 
  • It's not that I'd rather spend time with dogs than most people. Well, actually, it is.