Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Secret Life of the Social Introvert

The Internet can tell you what it's like to be an introvert - or maybe how to deal with them.  Sometimes I think the Internet was made for introverts.  It's a great place for them(us) to feel involved without ever having to leave the comfort of whatever quiet space they're in.

Introverts have a hard time with people. People are draining. It's easier to keep your little bubble off limits to most, allowing a select few in.

But what happens when you're a social introvert?  Introvertism doesn't guarantee anti-social behavior. Yes it's prominent in most, but not always.

I'm a social introvert.
People drain me. They suck the life right out of me.
But I love people.
I want to be invited to lunch by my coworkers.
I want to go to movies with my friends.
I want to have adventures alongside others.

Yes, this means after the fact I'll have to go sit in a quiet place alone to recharge, but I'll have the memories of time well spent.

Here's the problem.
This is somewhat of an oxymoron. Not completely, but enough to make life difficult.  The social side of me wants to spend time with others, be invited places, and go do things.  The introvert side keeps me from being the initiator.  I wait to be invited. I wait to be asked.
And it rarely comes.

To over compensate means to become a pest.  You know, that person that tries far too hard. The one who always texts, uses way too many emoticons and exclamation points, and is more annoying than anything.
I can easily become that person.

But if I never text, hold back, and stay cool...well, why on earth would you want to invite me anywhere? That girl isn't nice. She's not friendly. I don't think she even likes me, so I'm not going to invite her.

Got to find a happy medium.

I hate coffee.

There are so many reasons why I hate coffee.  A big part of it is the bitter taste. You can add all the sugar and cream you want, I still sense that bitterness.  The floofy coffees don't work for me either.  There's something about coffee that makes me feel off.  I feel the same way about alcoholic drinks.
Maybe I'm allergic.

What the heck does hating coffee have to do with being a social introvert?
I'll tell you.
I haven't a clue.
But I think they're connected.

Nah, I'm just kidding. Being an introvert means being introspective. It means I spend more time thinking things through inside my head than I do out with you in the real world.  Have you seen the Secret Life of Walter Mitty?  I know what that guy feels like.

There are things I don't understand.
I don't understand when people disappear. It's a bitter feeling, like the taste of coffee. As an introspective individual, I internalize all of it.  Abandonment is a big issue.
When someone disappears without a word, I haven't a clue how to deal.
How do you deal with it?

Part of me, the social (and writer half) wants to write a letter, long text, private message - you know, that thing that says "What's up? Are we not friends anymore?"
I want to know.
What did I do?
How needy does THAT sound?
So that option is out.

The introvert says I've done something wrong and need to deal with it.  What went wrong? Was it something I said? Did I bug them too much? Was I a bad listener? Did I cross a line of social faux pas?
It's now all on me. I have no way to turn it back to them. I don't know why the friendship ended. It just did.
This is a bad option, as it eats at MY soul while he/she is off living life happily without a care.

The social writer wants me to post this.
The introvert wants no one to see it.

I:What if THEY see it and know I'm talking about them?!
S:Why does it matter?
I:Well, because...they might...they might...
S:What? Still not be your friend? What changes?
I:I don't know..I just.
S:Oh hush. How about we post, but don't share?
S:Come on. Don't be a wimp.

This post brought to you by Kelsey's neuroses!

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