Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A little about being me.

For some reason, probably to do with the world we live in having been built by extroverts for extroverts, I feel a little ashamed to admit that I am a fairly pronounced introvert. Introversion tends not to be understood by extroverts, but I see a bunch of misconceptions. Let me address some of them.

First: introverts don't dislike socializing. What's different is that we find it drains our energy, rather than increasing it as it does for extroverts. I have friends, I enjoy spending time with them, but it tires me. I put up with that effect because I have good friends whose company I enjoy.

Second: as I implied, introverts can and do make friends. In fact, I would guess that I am closer to my friends than I would be were I an extrovert. Because I find company tiring, I have to be sure of someone before I'll commit to spending time with them.

Third: introverts need time alone. Just as extroverts become depressed and unhappy without time spent with others, introverts deprived of time to be alone will rapidly lose their ability to operate as people. For both sides, though, a balance is necessary; however, dragging me to a place full of people to cheer me up will generally have the opposite effect.

As an introvert, I don't always follow society's unspoken assumptions. I'm polite and friendly, but I generally won't initiate conversation. Please, bear in mind that it's not because I don't like you. It's because I genuinely don't need the extra stimulation and human contact over and above what I already have, with my board game group weekly, my knitting group weekly, my roleplaying group weekly, and my hiking group as often as we can manage it. See what I mean about introversion not being the same thing as not liking people?

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