Thursday, August 1, 2013

In Defense of the Quiet One

A while back, a coworker observed me reaching for a tootsie roll and said, "You eat candy? That's weird. You usually don't seem to like fun things."

Lately I've seen a lot of articles about introverts floating around the internet. The titles are usually something along the lines of "Understanding The Introvert." It's strange to be part of a group that is apparently so misunderstood. I get a little defensive and think "Come on. We're not that weird." But then I think about my coworker's comment and realize that quite a few people really just don't get me/my kind.

And that's fine. I don't have to be got. But I'll be darned before I consider myself un-fun.  I just have a different idea of what fun means.

If we don't actually know each other, you may be confused. You may wonder how someone who puts so much time and energy into sharing the details of their life with the internet via this blog could possibly be an introvert. It's not that I, the introvert, don't want to speak or be noticed. It's that I'm much more comfortable having my writing read than my voice heard. Writing is fun. Talking is stressful. As are large groups, loud noises, pleasantries, team sports participation,  and anything that requires speaking above  normal conversational volume.  I was really, really bad at dating.

It's also not that I don't like talking to people. I really like people. And I actually really like talking to people, so long as we're talking about something we both find fascinating.  I am incapable of talking small. It's also not that I don't like spending time with people. It's just that I need alone time to process the time I've spent with other people. And, believe it or not, it's also not that I'm shy. I just need a reason to talk.  As a college student, I remember going eight to twelve waking hours at a time without talking to another soul. But I was stimulated and content to listen to professors and fellow students. The classes that required participation were the worst, because all my participation was in my own head. I like to think long and hard before speaking. I always regret it when I don't.

My point is, I'm not weird. OK fine. I'm kind of weird. But not any weirder than the other twenty five percent of the population who find solitude soothing. And tootsie rolls delicious.

1 comment:

Don't be shy.