A shout out to all extroverts, ambiverts, and introverts addressing a change… Do you have that one or two friends who you love but rarely see? They have lists of excuses why they skipped a party or any other social gathering that included more than a few people. This is a personal perspective backed up by an experience of a long and hard introvert career.
– “Why didn’t you show up last night? And please, please don’t give me another story on how something happened and you weren’t able to be here…”
This was one of the most recent conversations I had with a friend who waited for me to appear on her birthday, that wonderful day that celebrates another year of existence of a specific individual, among millions of others. In her middle twenties still thinking on how to make a change or a statement in this bizarre and complexly wonderful world that we live in.
I didn’t give an excuse, a lie or any other explanation why I bailed, again…
To complicate things more a bit, in a sincere hope that this will appeal to some other individuals struggling with same issues, I would like to explain my point of view on the burden and majestic wonders of an introverts traits.
An introvert is, according to Oxford dictionary, a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.
Now, from an objective point of view, introverts seem like selfish and narrow-minded individuals that are self-centred and have a focus on no one else but their selves? Even though that this may be a case for some individuals, sometimes this self-reflection are caused by surroundings and things that happen in the world.
How can I be an introvert when things that appeal to me come from the socially complex surroundings?
Living in the 21st century, with technology advancing, nature collapsing and people multiplying in very high numbers with each passing decade seems like a lot to take in for everyone. Yet some people don’t think that much, don’t want to be aware and simply exist and flow with the time and space they are given.
It is said that often introverts can be recognized as people who don’t go out much. Celebrating parties for one, with a good book, movie or series blockbusters in the safe and private zone of their privacy being wary every time someone calls to meet up get outside or engage in any type of social activity that involves more people.
On some occasions, it feels good to go out and be among people, but those rare situations are often followed by higher anxiety levels and an array of other thoughts that can drain energy. Which can be good because the moments of the solitary asylum that come afterward are more enjoyable compared to the routine dedicated to oneself.
When being friends or partners with introverted individuals there is a number of compromises and things that you should consider. Here are some that come to mind when I attempt to think outside my own perspective.
- Understand that your introvert friend/partner is not trying to punish you, but is most often conflicted with his own mind in an attempt to show you his love and respect.
In such cases choosing to fly solo often seems like a sacrifice because of the fear that his or her gloomy presence will catch the eye of the people in the room, raise the level of that ever present feeling of discomfort and expose the rapidly developing mind monolog that the person has during the entire festivities.
I don’t want you to feel embarrassed or focus on me when there are all of those other people waiting to talk to you, want to engage in communication, or even attempt to make contact with me. In addition, there is that frustrating presumption that, like on most social gatherings, people would engage in small talk that is not interesting and takes precious time that could be well spent researching a new fascinating topic, analyzing poetry or scrolling through those funny comics and relating quotes of other introverts, showing that the struggles you are feeling are not so out of this world, even though they feel like it majority of time.
2. Forcing an introvert out of his comfort zone.
As with many things in life such an attempt can really go both ways. It can be successful on one hand, or you can push that friend away from you for a significant amount of time until they cope with the horrendous exposure. Now, yes, it is all exaggerating but is there any other way that I can illustrate the feelings that can be felt?
Sometimes a simple thing as going to a concert can feel like a preparation and presence on the battlefield. A mass of people, minding their own business and simply sharing the energy and air with you, can seem as a crowd waiting for you to reveal the flaws and discomfort which they can use against you later on.
Yes, the main reason (for my introversion at least) may well be the fear of exposure and vulnerability, but this requires more research and analysis and opens a more complex topic (if you would like to read more about it leave a comment down below).
3. The key to success is building mutual respect and knowing how to compromise.
Introverts are great listeners (know that for a fact). If you catch us in the right mood, we can listen and even empathize with a surprising amount of information with less prejudice, as it is very valuable to be up to date with the outer world, and introverts need to find a way to live in their time, avoiding the unpleasant outdoors.
I am attempting a generalized point of view so that all sides can understand, introversion is as fluid as extroversion but it simply goes through different filters and spectrums of thought. I believe that it is vital to emphasize that there is no recipe in any type of relationship.
In summary of this scribbling thought that went out of the planned segments of discussion, I would advise you to:
- love your introvert the way they are
- freely disagree with their life choice and character but don’t hold it against them
- make a calendar project to show to them the frequency of your meetings in a fun way, who knows, maybe it would help?
- By far, love them the way they love you and everything will work out.
Dedicated to my dear Blondy.