I wish I could be insincere, it would make life a lot easier. Society & I label me an introvert. I didn’t realize that’s who I was until the last couple of years. I used to think it was a side effect of my depression or anxiety. And I guess maybe sometimes it is. *shrugs*
Being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re shy. I’m not. I believe most people that know me would say I’m far from shy. I generally speak my mind and have an obnoxious laugh. I’ve been told that people think I’m stuck up, a bitch or plain scary. I’m not any of those things. I’m just really uncomfortable talking to people, especially people I don’t know. I don’t make new friends easily, although I think of myself as a pretty good and loyal friend. My social relationship status: It’s complicated.
What I’ve noticed, when I look past the “reasons” I like to be at home is- I really like being at home. I enjoy spending time alone. For most of my life I would make excuses (true or not) why I couldn’t, shouldn’t or wished I could go to a party, game, dinner and a thousand other reasons people invite you out of the house.
Being an introvert comes off somewhat narcissistic when you try to explain to someone why you “are the way you are”. Or do I just think that because I’m an over thinker?I’ve taken my fair share of questions, jokes and guilt because I don’t go or show up to someplace where I’ve been invited. It’s never about the person inviting you and you inevitably apologize over and over for not going. Ugh….I used to feel so bad when I was invited but said I couldn’t go.
And then, I started feeling good about my choice of being at home alone. I felt I could just be myself and have my own space. When I embraced that, it became easier and easier to tell people no. Just no. One of my friends texted me and asked if I wanted to go to the basketball game. It was the high school we had graduated from and they had gone pretty far in the season. “You want to go to the boys game with me this week?” I replied, “No, I don’t want to.” She laughed. When I noticed she wasn’t upset by my response, I gave myself permission to just say how I felt.
I read an article about people who are introverts have a hard time with small talk. And that’s exactly how I had been my whole life! I struuuuuuuuuuugle with small talk. It makes me so uncomfortable and it shows. I either say something weird or talk to someone for an hour about something I don’t even care about. All because I don’t know how to walk away after an appropriate amount of time. It’s the worst. Imagine the awkward hug at the end of Step Brothers…that’s what it’s like. I shared with a friend, about a scenario I had gotten myself into and how I couldn’t escape. She said she had a trick that would get me out of situations like that and would tell me later. I need to get with her.
I find small talk tedious. Even talking on the phone. I’ll be on the phone with my husband, who isn’t a talker to begin with, and I will say “ok I’m gonna go.” about 4-5 times before we get off of the phone. I don’t know if raising boys, and how you have to relate to them as a mom, is part of my character now? They don’t talk a lot. So if you are one or date one- you know boys and men have very little to say. And if you mention feelings, everyone scatters. You get used to not talking a lot at home, so that coupled with being an introvert- makes for very uncomfortable “hellos”. I can talk about deep things, controversial things, or laugh with a small group of friends but I somehow can’t get a handle on the small talk with strangers or even people I know.
Per social graces, I try to sound sincere about whatever you’re talking about. But it’s hard for me to be insincere, I have a hard time faking much. I would just rather be honest and say how I feel or give my opinion, without having to lace it with niceties. Not because I want to hurt anyone’s feelings, I don’t. But because it’s easier for me to talk to someone matter of factly. Of course different people experience different interactions with introverts but generally- we just want you to stop talking to us. Again- it’s not you, it’s me.
Introverts aren’t lonely, we just like being alone. It’s not that we don’t want to come to your get together, we just really want to be at home more. It’s our safe place, it’s comfortable and we feel like we can breathe. Don’t get me wrong, I like (and do) get out and go do things. But I just prefer most of my time to be spent at home. When I was younger, I felt a sense of responsibility to show up or stay at places I had been invited. But the older I get, I’m much more comfortable saying “No thanks.” I don’t feel compelled to give you 1-2 reasons on why I can’t make it.
The small circle of friends I have today, have come to know and accept this about me. Which also says a lot about the women I hang with. My squad. They aren’t offended when I don’t come to their get togethers or social functions. They still invite me. although generally they know I won’t come. Those are my people. And I love them.
So if you find yourself engaged in small talk with someone who looks super uncomfortable, let them off the hook and tell them you’ll see them later. Because if not, you and I may end up talking for an hour about insurance and billing. And not in a “The Office” kinda way.
*stares at camera*
Thanks for reading,