I’ve always had the daunting task of explaining myself to someone. All my life I’ve been asked annoying questions like “Why do you do that? Why are you sitting alone? Why don’t you sit with everybody else? Why not do things the way everyone else does them?” – you get the picture.
Y U NO BE NORMAL?!
I’ve always just assumed I was an introvert because I was told I was shy, and times growing up I knew I was, but after being a wallflower for so long and observing things in a way that not many people see, I started to realize things – like who I wanted to surround myself with and what would be the best choice for me in the long run. Maybe it stems from being an only child but I never really cared for being a part of the crowd – unless I felt comfortable with said crowd. I can be pretty outgoing if I know you pretty well, although I never used to be so brave.
All through school, I’d have people come up to me and say “why are you always sitting alone?” or “why don’t you talk?.” Usually those people would be those annoying kids most people laughed along with only to kiss their ass and stay on their good side. At the end of the day, it’s exhausting to fake-socialize with people you don’t care for. Why not be real about it and avoid said people? It doesn’t have to come off as rude (although after being asked the same damn questions over and over, it gets to the point where your responses get a bit salty) but to each his own. I don’t think I am better than anyone, but I also think that I am better off for not getting involved with certain people. Like it or leave it, this is who I am. Choose your company; don’t let it choose you.
While reading The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti last week, I came across an excellent excerpt that proves my point entirely. If this doesn’t describe the true feelings of an introvert, then I don’t know what does:
“The only anxiety I had was dealing with everyone else’s anxiety about my being an introvert. There were always all these suggestions for how to make me less of who I was.
I never understood why it was somehow superior to be a joiner. Being an introvert is judged in some extreme way, as if you’re lacking some ability to cope because you don’t drink or smoke pot.
Introversion is distrusted – it makes people nervous. Maybe it seems like we’ve got secrets. They think the secret is that you’re depressed or something, that’s why you don’t seek their company, when the secret is really that you’re happy and relieved and almost flying at the near-miss escape of not having to be in their company. You’re looked at like you’re seriously lacking, when the only thing you feel lacking in is the ability to be an introvert in peace.”
Daria is my spirit animal.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I’m somewhat in between an introvert and an extrovert, as much as I hate labeling myself. I’ve been finding myself in awkward situations when I meet someone and try to lighten the mood a bit by trying to make them laugh and they’re just sitting there stone faced. Whatever, dude…it’s called a personality. I think both titles get a bad rep. What’s wrong with just being a human being? Why must we label ourselves into something not all of us fit into? We can be shy and outgoing. We can be strong and sensitive. We have the power to choose who to be. We can define ourselves by who everyone else tells us we are (because if everyone says it, it must be true, right?) or we can decide for ourselves and surprise everyone. I like the second option, don’t you?
The chart below does not describe me as a whole. It’s not either/or for me.
Recently I ran into someone I went to middle school with. He used to ask me all of those eye-rolling questions. He said “Wow! You used to be so quiet back in the day!” He also said that assuming everyone is exactly the same as their were in school is absurd. You really don’t know a person by assuming; people change.
As for explaining yourself: don’t. People only hear what they want to hear. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but yourself.