By Souls of Silver
Ahh, introverts! How many times have you heard that we, introverts, are actually misanthropes? You have memes and comics circling around the net about that silent, and sometimes nerdy, introvert. Supposedly, we are intellectual wannabes too. Well, there are so many memes out there, that even if you were an introvert, you couldn’t help but crack a smile. You might have even shared them too. They are just too relatable.
But then – that’s not the whole story. Behind memes, there is something darker too. The thing is – we don’t hate people as the popular stereotype holds. Rather, we are terrified by the concept of socializing. Let me explain – there are people who can socialize easily. Some call them extroverts, but without labeling them as anything – they do have a talent for small talk. And that’s where we can’t swoop in. Small talk for us is an act of bravery. It’s like going out there slaying a dragon. But for socializing, it is somewhat important to ease into by using small talks. The result: an oversimplification of our philosophy: we are ‘supposedly’ hater of people.
That’s not the case at all. Yes, we do get drained of energy when we go to a party but there is a reason for it. We enter a party, expecting some deep conversations. Perhaps, a soul-to-soul connection. But what we end up seeing are small groups conversing about the new hair salon down the street or the weather. Maybe sports too. With all the buzz, we would rather hide behind a plant or find a pet to play with. We have to pass the time somehow, right? Absolutely anything would seem much better for most introverts than socializing with small talk.
And it’s not that we don’t know that it is our problem. We know it is a problem and we deal with it every day. It keeps us awake many nights. Like all other people, we too would love to share our inner world with another person. We would also like to engage socially with someone else. But every deep conversation begins with small talk – and that’s where we would falter, fail, and run away from.
For me socializing is more of a job – a long-term plan. Would I love to be in my home with a book rather than be at the party? Of course, count me in. Would I rather be on Netflix than in a gym? You know the answer already. But I also know that it is about balance. Just like most stern diet-concerned models have a cheat day, we need to have that cheat day too. While books might have a special place in our heart, we know that after staying home and reading books for the tenth day does begin to wear out. Also, socializing has huge benefits. I wouldn’t really have any friends if I did not brave the storm and go out to talk to others. I value those relationships.
The thing is, they are not always there. Deep relationships do not form easily. Most of the times, the parties turn out to be exhausting for us. We would rather stay at home than regret another tiresome party experience.
Strangely enough, my philosophy of interaction is to develop a deeper connection with someone. It’s beyond the small talk. We would like people to talk about their ambition and goals. I’d be glad if you talk about the meaning of life or existentialism! But again, I’m aware that it would be really weird for anyone to suddenly start talking about these things from the outset. We just met, after all.
And that’s why socializing, for introverts like us, is more of a plan. We spend a lot of time deciding on it. What are we going to say and how are we going to react? It’s all in the plan. I know it might sound weird to extroverts but that’s how we function. We need that plan.
Plus, there is the opportunity cost concept. When we go out and socialize, we are losing out on the time that we could spend on so many things. We have so many precious hobbies – so many books to finish, so many shows to binge on – would socializing be better than them? It’s something to think about. Plus, there is that agony of small talk and socializing that we need to overcome too.
But then, my fellow introverts, sometimes it’s worth it. The real world is beautiful too, even if it turns out to be a hard one. So, keep that book aside, and go out into the sun. Let’s approach that cute person out there. We don’t know what gem they might be hiding.
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