Monday, December 8, 2014

The Secret Lives of Introverts

If you haven't met me in real life and for some of you, even if you have, you may not realize the extent of my introversion.  Because we introverts feel like impostors in an extroverts world, we try to fit in.  To act "normal" amongst the rest of you, who we figure, probably wouldn't understand our super secretive introverted ways.  See, we think that some of the things we think might make you feel slighted or uncomfortable.  When all we really want to do is protect you from our overly sensitive sheltered world.  If "overly sensitive sheltered world" made you cringe, you my friend, are an extrovert.  And you're probably not going to understand any of this.

But, I'm going to tell you anyway....

A lot of our energy is expended simply trying to figure out how to get our point across and be heard without drawing attention to ourselves.  This creates a moral conundrum every damn day of our introverted lives.  It's a huge internal conflict.  Which leads us to feel like crap.  Because we would prefer the attention be placed firmly on you needy extroverts.  Don't get me wrong, we love you in a very codependent way.  You can have all the attention, we don't want it.  Although, we'd prefer you to do it a little quieter sometimes.  And please don't step on our toes.  Even if we tell you it's totally okay and it doesn't hurt.  It does.  We just have a hard time telling you.  

But, if I do tell you something, know that I mean it.   Really, really mean it.  So take whatever I said to the 10th power.  That's approximately the correct introverted to extroverted conversion of meaning. Also, as an introvert, I'm not only listening to everything you say, I'm also reading everything you're conveying without words.  Like your body language.  We expect that you extroverts will reciprocate this kindness.  That is,  if you're not too busy dancing on a table or swinging from a chandelier at the party to notice the fact that we're trapped in a corner listening to your obnoxious Aunt Petunia, WHO WON'T SHUT UP!

When we disappear from the party altogether without saying goodbye, this does NOT mean we don't love you.  Do NOT take this personally.  It simply means our finite amount of social time for the week was up.  It's kinda like Cinderella, when it's time to go, IT'S TIME TO GO.  Really, you're pretty dang special if we showed up at your social event in the first place.  So, if you think of it that way, the glass (slipper) is really half full as opposed to half empty.  

However, if we didn't show up at your social event at all and provide you with a lame ass excuse, this again, doesn't mean we don't like you.  It simply means we're currently running on a social deficit.  And in order to get back to black again, we need to recharge our batteries.  We do this by being alone, consumed in heavy thought.  I know that sounds contradictory, but it's what we must do!  We don't expect you to "get it".  We just want to walk away from every social situation wondering if we came across as either a snob or a serial killer and then feel the need to over explain our often confusing and bizarre actions.  Or inactions, as the case may be.

It's not that we're unfeeling, to the contrary, it's often that we feel so much we get completely overwhelmed sometimes.  Or more than sometimes, as the case may be.  It's just that being alone allows us time to over think everything and come up with the absolute perfect way we should have answered your question.  Which we will be able to write a concise e-mail about week after the fact. 

We don't want your pity, we just want you to understand our often mysterious ways.
You know, when you extroverts have a minute, we know it's holiday party time and all...


BLissed-Out Grandma said... have no comments on this? Either you have only extroverted friends or your introverted friends are still turned inward since whatever they did last weekend. Anyway, I'm here to say this is brilliant, and truthful, and a really good message. It hurts, but we don't want to tell you. Please be considerate. And quiet. Amen!

Muriel Jacques said...

Hmmm...tough one. I think that I am an introvert, but I can keep it under control (Am I making sense here?). In short, I can fake it. It is my dirty little secret.


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