Wow, loved this article, been realizing for a while now how much of an introvert I am. I've always felt terrible though when people ask me to go out for some party and I say something like maybe and just never go. I can't really just decline to their face though unless I have some real reason that I can't go. I find I can bear large events when I have some of my close friends with me but otherwise I find myself so uncomfortable to the point of just wanting to get out as soon as possible and back to my video games. Is there like some easy way of declining these kind of invitations? :D I know the answer is no, lol.
Nerd Rant: Introvert
Introverts: Often misunderstood.
This has been a gripe of mine for a very long time. The fact that the word “introvert” is used as if it means something bad. Used to describe introverted people as being loners, and losers who are unusually shy and “anti-social”. Believed to live in their parents basement, and having no lives. This is so utterly wrong, and it’s infuriating when I hear people say these things.
Before I knew, or understood, what an introvert was I had just assumed I was “weird” and shy. When I was a kid people made me feel like there was something wrong with me, it made me sad, and I wished I could be “normal”. This angers me, because I was, and am, normal. I just socialize differently than an extrovert. People need to learn to be OK with that.
Here are a few things to understand about introverts…
Introverts are not anti-social/asocial:
We may not always start the conversation (but sometimes we do), and we might not want to be the center of attention. Sometimes socializing with large groups of people can be too much, most of us prefer close friends, and people with similar interests. Basically, we’re about quality over quantity. But we DO socialize, and we do have social skills. Another thing to note; We may not stay at a party as long as an extrovert. Extroverts GAIN their energy as they socialize, whereas introverts LOSE energy as they socialize. Hence why we will probably leave early. It’s not an insult, it’s not because we didn’t have a good time, and certainly not because we’re anti-social/asocial. We’re simply drained and need some downtime. Technically, I think everyone (yes, even extroverts) need downtime, introverts just need it sooner, and more often.
Introverts are not usually shy:
People automatically assume that being an introvert means you are shy. That is a wrong assumption. You have probably met introverts and didn’t even realize it. We can be bright, bubbly, and chatty. Some introverts are even excellent public speakers. Be warned; If you get me talking about something I love, or have an interest in, I may never shut up. The times that we’re quiet have nothing to do with being shy. If we’re around a lot of people we might simply be feeling overwhelmed, and trying to conserve our energy. Sometimes we simply have nothing to say, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are shy introverts, because everyone is different, but guess what…extroverts can also be shy.
This is something a lot of people simply don’t understand: Socializing, especially in large crowds, or where we have to do a lot of talking, eventually makes an introvert feel drained. We simply need to recharge, and we do that by getting away from the demands of social situations. That might mean snuggling up at home with a good book, doing stuff on the computer, playing video games, going for a walk or bike ride, or even hanging out at a cafe and reading some magazines. We enjoy, and need, our downtime. Get over it.
Introverts are normal people, who live healthy, normal lives. We socialize, we have jobs, homes, and families. We pay bills, take the kids to school, hang out with friends, and all those other regular people things. Don’t expect us to change, and be more social to fit your definition of “normal”. We do not need to change, we do not need to be more like extroverts. Who we are is fine, it’s normal, and it doesn’t hurt anyone. Try being understanding and accepting, instead of ignorant and judgmental.