Hi, I’m an introvert
Through the years I have been cataloged as a “shy person” and “serious minded” I have heard people saying stuff like “maybe she has a social anxiety” or “maybe she doesn’t like people”. But guess what? I DO like people.
I have friends, I love my friends. I have family, of course, I love my family.
I wanted to explain some circumstances you can experience if you find yourself being friends with an introvert. Of course there is more, but I think I got plenty covered.
I’m not a party pooper
I do like to party, I swear!
Sometimes when you have an introvert friend, you would want him to make some things or go to some places because you think your friend is “just shy” and you want to help him/her “be more social”, “more positive”, you want him/her to “take risks, because YOLO”. When in fact we don’t need that. Basically, sometimes people believe that introverts dislike social interaction. Which is really wrong assumption.
For example, I like some stuff that might be considered “freaky”. So if I end up in a room full of people who doesn’t like any of my stuff, I’d just stand in a corner trying to practice basic conversation in order to “be nice”. I can try and ask politely about ones interests, but at the end, everything would feel so forced. I wouldn’t feel comfortable and I’d end up making the wrong impression (being shy).
If you put me in a room full of people who like the same stuff as me, I can become the most social person you’ve ever seen. As simple as that.
So it’s not about a Party but THE party you are inviting me to.
Something that characterize introverts is the love for being alone. We like to talk to people, yes we do. But we LOVE to spend time alone and just be. To do anything we want without consulting anyone and do it as much as we want. (I personally hate when I have plans and someone tags along, and 20 minutes later they start saying “I’m bored”, “Now what” “Are you really gonna spend all day here?”)
We are not afraid of being alone. It is not that wanting or needing to be around people is wrong, but we just don’t seem to need it as much as others.
Inviting you to my home
My house, my room. Those places can be the most important ones in my life. Those places are where I can spend time alone and be just me, without the pressure from the social world outside my house, “my little cave”.
I remember a couple of friends wanting to sleepover at my place. They would nag me about it until I say yes. While doing it (you, asking over and over again and me, making up excuses), It seemed like I didn’t want them at my house because I didn’t like them, because I hated the thought of sharing the same space, when in fact they are really good friends.
What was the problem here?
You might think; what’s the big deal? You should not feel pressure because YOUR FRIENDS want to spend time with you. And you are right. But, they invited themselves to my house. I wasn’t the one who took initiative, I wasn’t the one offering my house. Therefore I felt trapped and violated. I felt pressured.
I have had this same feeling with things. My friends making up plans and needing a car, a camera, a whatever and taking for granted that we will use my car or my camera or my whatever. AGAIN, this is something normal when you have a close relationship with your friends, there is nothing wrong about it. But for an introvert, someone who takes his/her privacy and his/her personal space and property (lending and borrowing) really serious, it can be kind of a big deal.
Honestly, this feeling is something I can’t quite explain. But I can give you an advice. If you are planning on doing something like this to an introvert friend, instead of saying: “Let’s do a sleepover/party/etc. at YOUR house” try: “We should make a sleepover, what do you think?” and them letting your friend offer her/his house. Same with things.
This might be because of my personality plus my introversion. Let’s say it’s a new school year, new classroom, new classmates. And there I am, entering the room. The first thing I’d do would be “analyzing” people. Not because I’m a little bitch who is too good for you, but because my first thought is to make conversation with someone who looks like we might have common interests (therefore, the conversation would be fluent and I’d gain confidence).
Also, I can learn how to treat you, I learn what topics I can discuss with you, your sense of humor, or which delicate stuff I should avoid. Basically, to know if we are compatible to start a new friendship. Why? Because some introverts take their time to trust someone.
Because, believe me; you, gaining an introvert’s trust is something really valuable; not because we’re better, but because trust is something we appreciate so much. Something we don’t give to anybody and out of all the people we chose to give it to you.
You think you’re helping but you aren’t.
I’ll use an example of my life, again.
I don’t like clubbing. My friends believe I don’t like clubbing because, I’m a “nice girl” and “nice girls” don’t go out, don’t make out, don’t have one night stands, don’t dance like crazy at the club, don’t drink or smoke. When the real reason is because, as explained before, I just don’t want to do it when you want to do it. I can dance, I can flirt, I can go to parties. It’s just that the music you want me to dance is not my style, therefore, there is a chance that the guys I can meet there won’t be my style (plus, remember we talked about “analyzing”). You might think you’re helping me to be more social but in reality you might be making me more uncomfortable and anxious and mad, mostly mad.
A letter to my extrovert friend
Hi! I’m your introvert friend.
I really appreciate your help. Because, sometimes I DO need a little push in order to experience life, but we need it the same amount of times any other person would. I love you, you are a great friend (I know because I chose you and I choose well *wink*). But I want you to understand that even if I don’t look “hyped” about an idea (going out, camping, clubbing, shopping, sleepovers), it doesn’t mean I don’t like to spend time with you, or that I don’t love you. It just means we are different and different is good. We complement each other and we learn from each other. Sometimes (ok, almost always) I need my “alone time”, I like being with my thoughts, knowing myself and YES! Sometimes I do need you to come and get me out of bed and enjoy a little sun ray. Lastly, think about “The turtle and the hare” (but, without the sad ending for the hare). I’m the turtle, you are the hare; we go the same way and we both will end up at the same place, the only difference is the time we take.