If there is one thing in life I'm absolutely sure of it's that I'm an introvert. Not only that, I'm also desperately shy. And yes, they are separate and distinct classifications. I read recently that there are four types of introverts: social, thinking, anxious & restrained. I prefer small groups, prone to getting lost in my own thoughts, awkward & self conscious and I think before I speak. Actually, I over think before I speak. So, at different times, I'm all of these. Therefore, I've diagnosed myself with Multiple Introvert Disorder.
How I react to any given situation will be entirely dependent on the people there and how they're feeling. Because if there is one thing in life I can do well, it's picking up the vibe of the other people in the room. And this feeling will dictate the dominant introvert personality I don for the evening. It's entirely situational and reactionary. I have tried to turn it off, but I can't.
Conversely, I think I'm really an extrovert trapped in an introvert's body. Ok, maybe not an extrovert because I'm not strident by any means, but maybe a less intense introvert at least. Because I'm both adventurous and brave. As long as it has nothing to do with social interaction or having a live audience. Dammit! Ok, I'm not an extrovert at all. But, I constantly struggle internally with things I think I should say or do and then the myriad of reasons I shouldn't follow through with them because it would be accompanied by too much attention.
So I always feel guilty.
And a bit trapped.
On top of that, I always look guilty of something. Like when I go into a store and avoid sales people. Avoiding eye contact and heading straight for the emptiest part of the store. Fitting the profile of a shoplifter perfectly. And if I'm at a party and I'm having a good conversation with an individual, I will drag it out, asking far too many questions, so I don't have to re-enter the party and start all over again with a new party goer. Fitting the profile of a serial killer perfectly.
No matter which personality is my dominant introvert at any particular moment in time, I am still 100% introvert. (I know this because I took a test in the back of a book once to confirm this fact.) And I think I can speak for all introverts when I say, if we are at your event and spend time with you in any way, please take this as the highest form of flattery. Because you don't know the voices in our heads we had to slay to get there, no matter how awkward and weird we act while we're there.