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I’m an introvert. People can pretty much clock me for one when they sit with me for two minutes. I know it makes people uncomfortable but I am well beyond trying to make people feel comfortable with me. I’m literally doing nothing but exist. Sorry not sorry for breathing the same air that you do.
Being an introvert is a bit of a sensitive topic for me because I feel like I’m constantly defending who I am to people who don’t care to want to know me. They just want what they can get out of me for their own ends. Social interactions are so transactional, and frankly, we should question that.
The problem with being an introvert is that people think you don’t have anything to say. All you’re doing is working hard to find the right way to say something that doesn’t sound silly. Therefore, when you try to contribute to the conversation, the topic has moved on from the thing that you had something to say about in the first place.
The world is go go go especially with the existence of the internet. That’s why I was never completely on board with social media. I used to put myself through social media “blackouts” because I felt like they were so detrimental to my health. I would do it for a month at a time.
I would put pressure on myself to contribute to hustle culture when I did that. I was reclaiming my time so shouldn’t I put that energy into something else? And oftentimes when I did that and didn’t follow through, that somehow I had failed. I did a lot of meditation on that over the years, and it’s okay NOT to do anything for a month. You owe no one on social media a damn thing. Period.
The Nap Ministry is great for advocating for rest. I love that this movement exists because it’s right up my alley. I made a comment on their Twitter agreeing with a post they made about social media blackouts. Got a bit of traction, ha!
I’m planning for another one soon. I hate that Facebook and Instagram are the defacto places to connect with folks considering what they do with your data. You’re really screaming into the void with it. Then again, I did give them up for an extended time last year and I honestly missed nothing. What’s sadder about leaving is that no one reached out to see how I was doing at all. People even think you’re suspect if you don’t have any presence online. To that I say, this website is where you’ll always find me.
One of my favorite books is “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” (affiliate link, click the book image on the left too) by Susan Cain. I had put off reading it for ages because people had hyped it up to me. I was afraid of what was waiting for me there. I saw a lot of myself in those pages.
I only wish the book existed when I was younger. So many times where I lashed out because I wanted time to wrap myself around the situation that I was in but I wasn’t given that grace. You were treated like the oddball, like something that should be fixed. That’s unfair that we should heap praise on extroverts like that. Everyone learns, behaves differently. We should all be given the grace to work out things in our own way rather than strive for conformity. Should I ever end up having children and they have my introvert tendencies, I will use the companion book, Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids.
On top of being an introvert, I grew up in a big family. If you aren’t loud no one hears you and no one cares to put in the work to give you a voice. That’s a funny observation to make because when we’re not together, we’re actually fairly quiet folks that keep to ourselves. But get us in a room and it’s twenty different conversations going at once! Now that we’re all much older, and have our own things going on, the twenty different conversations hit differently. That’s where the memories you hang onto are made.