Saturday, 17 August 2013

Some Introvert Problems

I spoke about introversion before and how I am too, to many people’s surprise since I’m so outgoing, somewhat of an introvert myself. Recently I saw this list of  “problems that only introverts will understand.” I thought I’ll highlight some that I strongly associate with.

#1. The need to take breaks after socializing too long. I like hanging out with friends and often initiate get togethers. I regularly walk up to people and introduce myself. My weekends and free nights are often booked a week or two in advanced. I’m a pretty busy, social guy. On the face of it, I love being around people. And this is true—in part. But after having spend time with people there are few joys I like as much as just getting away from people and being by myself, alone, in my apartment. When I’m in such a state I would sometimes even avoid answering the phone and delay replying to emails or text messages.

#3. When your friend wants to invite more people over, and you don’t really want to. While I like hanging with people, I really dislike large groups and parties. It feels like a waste to me. The reason I like people is because I like to take the time to get to know them—individually. The possibility of this happening decreases exponentially as the number of people increases. For me a small group, say four or five is quite enough. Just you and me alone, is probably ideal.

#6. The fear that you will die alone. This thought has crossed my mind a couple of times. I’ve even started to slowly make peace with the possibility.

#9. Too many social obligations + no time alone = total grump. Oh yes. Under normal circumstances I can endure my active social life, since I live alone and so can escape into my “time for myself” space. However, every time I visit South Africa and try to see as many friends and family as possible in a very short amount of time, also staying with people often in their living rooms, makes me feel utterly exhausted and drained emotionally. I sometimes go take an extra bath just to have some private time in the bathroom.

#10 When you’re asked to do a group project, and know you are going to hate every minute of it. I can work in groups and also make a good group leader. But to be honest, I think I can get the work done much quicker if I do it by myself rather than working in a group. Groups usually have too much politics that interfere in the productivity, that’s my opinion. So let’s just orchestrate who does what, go our separate ways and bring it all together again at an appointed time. And then I’ll probably end up redoing much of your half-assed work in any case, or at least make it all presentable because you couldn’t have been bothered to be even consistent in your font use and the colour scheme you chose sucks.

#13 When you hear “Why are you so quiet?” for the umpteenth time. Because we are in a group where there is no opportunity for any real, heart-to-heart discussion that is of value, and I’d rather not waste my breath talking about this shallow list of superficial topics that contributes very little to the greater scheme of things.

#21 When someone calls you out for day dreaming too much. My thoughts are much more interesting than reality.

#22 When you take a book to a public place so no one will bug you, but other people take that as a conversation starter. Seriously, when I’m reading an interesting book on the subway, I really do not want to chat with you about your religion. Yes I know Jesus. Yes I plan to go to Heaven, but I doubt we will live in the same neighborhood when we get there.

#23 When people make you feel weird for doing things by yourself. Seriously, it is not so terrible to go to the movies or to a restaurant or on a trip by yourself. You don’t have to feel pity for me. I’m not a lost puppy. If I want company I can find someone on Craigslist.

There were some other numbers in the list that only partially applied, but there were also some that I could not resonate with. I don’t get irrationally angry when someone interrupts my thoughts (#24), I don’t get an anxiety attack when someone asks me to hang out (#12), nor am I scared that I might be turning into a hermit (#5), well not yet, in any case.

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