I definitely identify as an introvert and while that term is becoming more well known it’s often confused with ‘shy.’ Sometimes I think I feel shy as well. But that could be the social anxiety. It’s hard to say.
So what do I mean when I say I’m an introvert? I mean that generally, I find being around people exhausting. I feel like I have to be ‘on’ and I’m always watching and interpreting what’s happening and analyzing the conversation and trying to figure out what comes next and who will talk next and what will I say in return. Sales clerks, collegues, peers, passer-bys on the train – it’s all an interaction with me and I have to ‘prep’ for it.
I LOVE being at home, especially at the end of the day. It’s quiet. I talk to my sister or my mum. I text. I read. I write. I really need that recharging time. On the weekends, I’m VERY happy to stay in and do my own thing. as I always say, I love to hang out with me. We do all the things I like to do.
But sometimes when I tell people I’m an introvert, they’re surprised and I often hear, “But you don’t seem shy.” – well, again, it’s not the same thing. I’m not afraid to talk to people most of the time [although some days, HELLO ANXIETY]. At work, I just like to work with my spreadsheets and docs and do my thing. When I see a day of meetings…. sigh.
Honestly, I just don’t GET social interaction. I can do it, and I would say I’m pretty good at it; I can carry on conversations and make small talk but… I don’t GET it. Why are we having small talk? Do either of us care about the weather? Why do we have to do this complicated and frankly tiresome ‘dance’ of hi, how are you? fine and you? fine. how’s the job? got plans for the weekend? boy it’s hot out there, eh? Can’t we just cut to the point?
Some people LOVE it. And I’m happy for them. But I really don’t get it. At work, when people call me I avoid the small talk as much as possible.
Me: Margarita speaking
Person: Hi Margarita, it’s so-and-soMe: Hi, so and so. What can I do for you today?
See? RIGHT TO THE POINT.
I like having detailed discussions with people. Today at work we were discussing some pain points we have and that was interesting. that was getting us somewhere. I want to know how people are working through their stuff and find out if we have the same issues. Or with my friends, I like to have conversations about our jobs, our goals, has anyone found a dark red lipstick that doesn’t feather or bleed yet. But the mingling…
I’m exhausted after a day of work talking to people. I often dread social functions where I know I will have to *shudder* ‘mingle’. Again, I can do it, and I think I’m good at it. But I don’t prefer it. Sometimes I feel like people think if I go out and do the small talk thing enough times, that eventually I’ll like it or ‘get over’ being introverted, but it’s not like it’s a skill I haven’t developed. I just… like to be alone.