Saturday, August 9, 2014

How to Piss Off An Introvert 101

I would definitely consider myself an introvert, even though I enjoy acting - there's just something magical about stepping into someone else's shoes and escaping your own reality for a little while. Anyway, I'm losing my track here.

There are so many things people (especially extroverted people) do and say to me that really bug me. Let the ranting begin:

1) Being stuck with a very social person who DOESN'T STOP TALKING. My mother is one of these people, so is my cousin. I'll go to a bar with my cousin and I'll still be there three hours later after everyone else left because my cousin is talking to so and so and won't stop. I don't mind going out to have drinks with a group of people - just not for three hours straight, because I can't handle so many side conversations at once and not knowing how to jump in. For example, today I went to have a drink with my cousin and some friends. My cousin is my ride home, so I'm stuck with her. Many times my friends said they were going home to dinner. She asked them to wait a little until she finished her soda. They stayed. Ten minutes later. She asks again for them to stay. Eventually, they leave when she still hasn't finished her drink because words have been spilling out of her mouth nonstop. An hour passes: half of her glass is still full, and she takes a sip every ten minutes. She's so engrossed in her conversation about something superficial and uninteresting that she neglects her drink, and her poor younger cousin who is freezing her butt off in a chair outside - yes, it's cold where I am now - while she talks about her job with some coworkers (who are my friends, too). I can't stand it. I can talk for hours about a topic I like - science, current events, anything with a speck of intellectuality - but not gossip and other stupid stuff.

2) People thinking I'm stuck up just because I don't talk much in a conversation. I'm listening, and processing what I'm hearing. It doesn't mean I'm judging them.

3) Being judged by people as "not knowing how to have fun." My perception of fun is often different from the typical "fun" for teenagers. I like to watch a movie, read a book, play puzzles and brain-stimulating games. Most of my teenage friends don't read for fun, and don't understand how I could enjoy it. On the other hand, I don't particularly enjoy their idea of fun: parties where I have to either dance with other people, socialize or watch friends get drunk and embarrass themselves. It's not my thing, but it doesn't mean I don't know what fun is.

4) Being labeled as "shy and quiet" or worse, "antisocial." Yes, shy and quiet is a characteristic of introverts, but in a group setting, shy and quiet often has a negative connotation. I am very social when I'm with a small group of 3-4 friends, but I often get overwhelmed when in groups of 10+ people, especially around people I don't know. And "antisocial" pisses me off even more. Just because I don't talk much doesn't mean I'm antisocial.

5) Asking me to make phone calls. I will reject phone calls from friends even, and having to call someone I don't know paralyzes me. Nobody understands it, but I would rather talk to someone face-to-face than over the phone.

6) "You need to get out more!" "Be talkative!" "Go to the party - it'll be good for you!" Enough said.

7) "Why don't you smile more? You look angry all the time." I smile a lot, I wave and say hi to people I know when I see them. My mother tells me that my neutral face makes me look as if I'm pissed off. I'm not. It's just the way my face is. Get over it.

8) Finding the opportune moment to speak, but then get interrupted by an extrovert. Most of the time, I'm just looking for the best moment, when there's a quiet pause in conversation, to talk. My voice often gets drowned out by the chatty, loud people. While the extroverts blurt out whatever "ingenious" thought that comes to mind, introverts think before they speak, and only share what's important or appropriate.

This Buzzfeed will help you step into the shoes of an introvert: Problems Only Introverts Will Understand

There are a multitude of other things people say to me that piss me off. A lot of people don't get that introversion is a personality trait. It's the way we are. And although sometimes I wish I could be more outgoing and just enjoy the things most people seem to enjoy, there are so many bonus points for being an introvert.

Introverts vs. Extroverts Benefits:
- We are more creative and have a richer imagination than extroverts do. We spend a lot of time with ourselves and of course, in our own minds, in our own personal worlds.
- We are more observant of our surroundings.
- We process more information than extroverts do - that's why we get so overwhelmed in large group settings.
- We have a greater amount of focus.
- Extroverts talk, introverts listen. We make better leaders because listening is the first step toward empathy - a quality leadership trait.

We live in a social world. Humans gravitate towards other humans. While introverts need to work on some social skills, extroverts need to learn the value of quiet and self-awareness. Introverts and extroverts need to meet each other halfway; being understanding and accepting of one another for who we are as individuals.

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