If I’m sitting at the table with you, especially if there are other people around, don’t assume that my silence is anger, a sense of superiority, or a sign that I’m not having fun. I’m just taking everything in. I’m listening and observing, because that’s what I do best. Don’t worry about uncomfortable silences (although I don’t always find them that uncomfortable), because I will talk. Just understand that sometimes, it’s torture to have to think of something interesting to talk about. Just give me time to think.
When I want to stay home, it’s not because I’m boring or antisocial. Have you ever just sat at home in relaxing clothes watching your favorite shows eating your favorite food? Like when you were a kid and ate cereals with marshmallows (well, mostly the marshmallows) and Sesame Street? It’s awesome. Does that means it’s ALL I want to do? No. I like going out. Yes, crowds freak me out a little because I think everyone’s watching me (and I don’t mean that in an “I-am-sooooooo-fine” kind of way), but I can socialize with the best of them.
That reminds me. I have good social skills. Remember, talking a lot is not a social skill. Speaking with tact and being a good listener is. I can’t always put my thoughts into words (I have really deep, complex thoughts), but give me time to gather them all together like I do with my groceries – which means it’ll take more than one trip.
I like hanging out with you one on one…just not all the time. It’s not you it’s me, as in, I expend a lot of mental energy trying to find clever things to say. I love parties (as long as I get there before the other guests and find a good corner to insert myself), but the day after, please, leave me in peace. Or just come over and watch TV with me. I need to re-energize because too many parties and too many crowds is overwhelming.
There is nothing wrong with me. Introversion isn’t a disease or a mental disorder. It’s an orientation. Some people like to think out loud; I like to think in my head. Some people like to say whatever comes to mind; I’d rather think things through, find the best way to say it so that I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, and then say it. Or not.
Please don’t put me on the spot. Don’t ask me complex questions like, “What’s your opinion on the thing-a-bob that Thingville is considering?” I don’t know…at least not right now. I am not dumb. Give me time to think about it, and then I’ll tell you exactly how I feel about it in explicit detail, swear words and all (I don’t like to swear though).
You know what worries me sometimes? That people will use my introverted label as an excuse to make ridiculous assumptions about me, almost all of which are unfounded. You know what else worries me? As odd as it sounds, I’m scared that I’ll forget how to socialize with someone.
And then I remember that I’m an introvert – and that I’m a freakin awesome one too.