Have you ever known someone who is an introvert, has social anxiety with strong loud opinions and has a bold personality, which gives them the very attention they seek to avoid? Let me introduce you to — well, me.
What most people don’t realise is that being an introvert is very grey. It’s not that I never want to socialise and constantly hide out in my very comfortable room. Keyword: comfortable room. I do sometimes enjoy socialising with the people I love but I also have social anxiety and feel the need to recharge once I run out of my battery. Yes, I’m that low maintenance house plant that needs to be left alone for days after being watered once or it will just die.
The problem is, for some reason, this combination comes across as intimidating to people. If I had a rupee every time someone told me they found me intimidating before they got to truly know me, I wouldn’t be writing this article because I’d never had to work hard for a living again. Trust me, on good days I’m like an excited puppy on cocaine, so it’s funny that people find me intimidating.
If I’m at a party which I rarely go to, it’s always one of the two things. Someone I love must want me there and/or I overestimate my capacity to socialise every damn time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means reserved or shy. I was that kid that would get report card remarks saying “helpful but too talkative”. Teachers have struggled to get me to stop distracting my friends in class. So hell I can talk, I’m open to talking about literally anything under the sun and people have called me painfully opinionated (Thanks for the compliment), it’s just that I only have so much social energy and bandwidth, I would rather expand it on things and people that truly matter to me on terms that feels the least draining to me.
The next time you see me or that designated introverted friend at a party chilling alone or probably with one person, it’s the only way we would prefer it, please don’t put it upon yourself to make them partaaaaay because you will not hear from us for twenty business days after.
I may seem quiet sometimes but I have a lot to say and if you get me talking about things I’m passionate about — you just cannot shut me up. We may not want to party because that is not our definition of fun. An introvert requires that space be alone to function, we crave that time with ourselves, we need to re-energise. So don’t take it personally or think we are intimidating and rude, we’re just finding the energy to leave our houses again.
Whether I’m a fly on the wall or the oddball having dinner at a cafe alone, I’m okay, I’m happy. I’m not gonna apologise for missing events and I honestly don’t care for FOMO. I’ve learnt to not give in to living in the extroverted world and embracing this and if you can relate to this, you should too.
This is Varshini Raaj signing out!