introvert confessions.

I don’t even know why I’m online right now because I feel like if I encounter any more social interaction today I am going to cry.  I’ve had to talk to so many people today that literally for like nearly 7 hours straight I was either on the phone or texting and it wasn’t much by choice.  Too much social interaction just shuts my brain down, it is somewhat bizarre.  I even walked out of a store today without paying for my drink (although I had paid for everything else at the self scan) and a cashier chased me down and asked if I had remembered to pay for it… it was only then I realized I didn’t and felt like the biggest dumbass in the world.  At least she realized it was unintentional and I wasn’t trying to steal a 99 cent icee.  I don’t even remember driving most of the places I went or anything because my brain has been elsewhere all day.

I just feel so weird when I have had too much social interaction.  Like my brain is scattered in millions of different places and the only way to gel it back together is with quiet and time to recharge.

I don’t always like my introversion but it is not something to “fix”.  It is me.  It has always been me.  It is not something that randomly developed at some point in my life.  I was this way when I was like… 2.  It’s just so weird how there are so many introverts in this world and yet we all feel so alone in how we feel with social interaction.  Maybe some of us are better than others at pretending and faking it until they make it, I’m not sure.  I don’t want to have to pretend, I just want people to understand me for who I am.  If I can learn to accept it, why can’t everyone else?

It really shouldn’t feel introvert vs extrovert.  Why can’t we all just appreciate that there are different styles of communicating and communicate accordingly. I understand that extroverts communicate much differently to me… this is never a shock.. I don’t think they are “weird” or “loud” or “obnoxious” but people think my methods of communication are “weird” and “shy” and “quiet” or I come off as “stuck up”… I mean all these negative things.  At least with the internet, I have learned that there are so many people like me… it is lovely to feel less alone.  When I hear other people say “You get one word answers if you try to initiate boring small talk with me” it is like OMG YES SOMEONE ELSE FUCKING GETS IT!

I’ve been attempting to understand myself better…. understanding introversion better.  And it is like a gift from the Gods to start to understand the way your brain works when you are an introvert, especially when you’ve been made to feel like an outsider most of your life for it.

As a result, introverts are not driven to seek big hits of positive emotional arousal—they’d rather find meaning than bliss—making them relatively immune to the search for happiness that permeates contemporary American culture. In fact, the cultural emphasis on happiness may actually threaten their mental health. As American life becomes increasingly competitive and aggressive, to say nothing of blindingly fast, the pressures to produce on demand, be a team player, and make snap decisions cut introverts off from their inner power source, leaving them stressed and depleted. Introverts today face one overarching challenge—not to feel like misfits in their own culture.

I just read this from this article and it was like an aha moment.  I experience so much darkness when I start comparing myself to cultural norms.  I do not feel the drive for stuff, something that in this culture is nearly abnormal.  And then this American ideal of… house, cars, spouse, dog, kids, job, success by the time you’re 25 or whatever is just, I can barely handle it.  I feel happy when I read stories of say celebs for example… who find cultural norm successes at a later age because then it feels less abnormal than what everyone else makes it out to be, if that makes sense.  But it’s always reported as so and so FINALLY…. like geez motherfucker….what was wrong with you that you took so fucking long to find this normal happiness that everyone else has.

Researchers have found that introverts who act extraverted show slower reaction times on subsequent cognitive tests than those allowed to act introverted. Their cognitive fatigue testifies to the fact that “acting counter-dispositionally is depleting.”

Wow… that’s kind of awesome to read just from a reassuring standpoint because like I said above…I feel like I lose a lot of cognitive functioning when I am forced to interact for long periods of time.

An introvert who is silent in a group may actually be quite engaged—taking in what is said, thinking about it, waiting for a turn to speak—but will be seen in the U.S. as a poor communicator.

So so so so true.  One thing that served me better in grade school and high school was the fact that my teachers knew my abilities.  They saw my work, talked about my writing with each other (in a positive light, I actually learned this from an old high school teacher I saw at my sister’s baby shower when she was pregnant with Tristin), they knew that I was highly intelligent and could communicate just fine.    But in scenerios as 1 semester classes in college where I don’t really get to know the professor or at jobs and such… I don’t come off that way.  I’m viewed as shy or stuck up or shitty at communication because I communicate differently.  I listen very intently, I say what needs to be said, and I feel like I speak in turn..I just don’t blurt out whatever is in my head or whatever comes to mind.  And sadly a lot of people do overlook you if you aren’t the type to just butt right in and speak your mind.  And I think in some ways because I have experienced this now for so long I actually started to believe some of it…. I started seeing myself in a negative light because I felt like that is how every one else saw me anyways.  And well… that’s just bullshit.  Fuck that.

Now that I’m finally starting to understand myself and understand how that plays out in my life… I feel like I can embrace it more and try to show people that it is okay… just like the extroverts get to show everybody how it is okay to be who they are.  Why should I be ashamed of who I am?  It is not a bad thing.  It is generally the rest of the world who are not introverted telling me it’s a bad thing and well that my friends… is for the fucking birds.

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lunardreaming
    Jun 22, 2012 @ 03:12:45

    Yes! I am a lot more relaxed abiut social situations than i used to be, but I definitely feel depleted after doing it for a while. And I still prefer oone on one. I still hate phones. I still limit my interactions, put off checking my voicemail (they utterly stress me out for some reason), do more writing than talking. And I definitely don’t have that drive for “success” as society deems it. I would be happy being a mother and student. I don’t need to have a fancy job title and I certainly don’t want to be famous. It is frustrating that introverts are still seen as “other”. It’s really not a mystery anymore… people should understand – or at least be aware.

    Reply

    • Raychela
      Jun 25, 2012 @ 09:15:13

      I hate the phone when it comes to people I don’t know, I’ve actually drove places to just speak to people in person when I could have just made a phone call. I think it has to do with feeling better about the social interaction if I can read faces and body language.

      I’m totally laughing about your voicemail comment only because I am the same way. I hate it and sometimes just delete it without listening to it if it is coming from someone that I know I’m going to talk to sooner rather than later.

      I am currently reading and half way through Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and so far it has been absolutely fascinating and the author has found ways to confirm stuff that I think as an introvert I always knew was true about how society, particularly American society, views us “quiet” folk but just wondered if perhaps I was being overly sensitive.

      Reply

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