I’ve always struggled with my shyness and awkward behavior. I was told by most people that I was so outgoing and social, but when I didn’t answer the phone or go up to talk to people I was being rude. Or disrespectful. Or snobby. But in reality, I was totally ok not talking to those people. Not because I meant to be rude or disrespectful or snobby, but because I couldn’t handle that much communication. Phone conversations usually leave me feeling empty or disappointed and the idea of making plans with someone is usually pretty terrifying.
I’ve spent a large portion of my life watching movies or TV and reading books or magazines. Accordingly, these activities don’t require someone else to be there with you. Even when I was little, and even as a baby, I would come home from babysitting or from school and watch an entire movie or an hour long TV show. I needed that time to unwind and not talk to people for a while. I’m still that way.
I recently made a series of big changes in my life. I knew it was going to be a monumental environment change and I felt prepared to tackle it… but the biggest changes weren’t ones that I had anticipated. They were deeper down than I had imagined. Living in a city where I literally know a handful of people is hard, but being thrust into an environment where literally everyone is unlike you is extremely difficult. To be an introvert in the sea of extroverts is not only overwhelming, but pretty disheartening too. I’m back to that adolescent argument “I’m not mean, I’m just shy!” Suddenly I felt very unattractive, very boring and like a “goody two shoes”. All the accusations that stem from my lowered self esteem. I know it’ll get better, I know I need to make a few changes and I should know better than to let it get me down. Doing “research” on introverts makes me feel a bit better as well. Reading this article and watching the Ted Talk below makes me feel a little less alone. Just because I’m surrounded by beautiful and charismatic social butterflies doesn’t mean that everyone is like that!