From the diary of a closet introvert
I am an introvert who have mastered the art of faking being a social butterfly. The problem with faking is that you cannot do it for long. You get worn out sooner and you want to throw a nice little tantrum and sulk. Day 27 of “One Day, One Blog” — a challenge I set for myself for the month of January 2019.
Two incidents happened recently which precipitated this article:
(1) A article/post I saw which put forth suggestions on “what to do” if you are an introvert; and
(2) when I told a friend that I am an introvert, he said, “ That’s ok… you are at least aware of your shortcomings”.
I was bamboozled. Why do people think being an introvert is shortcoming or a condition that need to be altered?
I do not have any issues related to chronic shyness or social anxiety — I just happen to prefer my company most of the time or perhaps, the company of a few selected people over large gatherings. Meaningful conversations with interesting people intrigue me more than dinners and drinks with anyone and everyone.
In fact, I think I am a little proud of the fact that I am bit of an introvert. Here’s why:
A. I never get bored
I do not remember the last time I complained of being bored. I almost always have a book with me. And if I am stuck somewhere with nothing to do and no book to read, I have a wonderful world full of imagination in my head. As I tell people, at 40 I still find my thoughts interesting enough to be left alone with.
Did I say I never get bored? That’s not true — I do get bored when people try to entertain me thinking I am bored.
B. Improves the ability to judge
In a scenario where two or more people are interacting, an introvert is more than happy to let other people do the talking. We introverts are good at listening and observing life around us. Since we do not have a compulsive need to hear our own voice, we listen more, learn more and are therefore better judges of situations and characters.
C. Deal better with the abstract
There are really no absolutes in this world. This may be something that an extrovert has difficulty dealing with as their behavior is driven by external stimuli. Abstract and theoretical aspects excite the introvert. This perhaps also allows up to be more creative, to deal with ambiguities.
D. Improved quality of friendship
Introverts go for quality over quantity. We are selective when it comes to our circle ( it’s not being snobbish — there is only so much energy to expend) and the ones who get our attention get quality attention.
E. Business relations that last
We cannot do “business card swapping” kind of meetings. As in personal relations we listen and spend our energy on our working relations too — be it clients or colleagues. Net result — you have incredible good will in your bank balance.
This was not an attempt to tarnish the extroverts out there. The world would be such a boring place without the cheerful extroverts running about! But I just wanted to point out that being an extrovert is not necessarily a better option.
Being an introvert is not a condition that needs cure.