I saw this pic on reddit a few weeks back. (reddit post link)
Reading the captions made me giggle. Thinking of how silly introverts are. Uniting separately in their own homes. Hehe.
The humor slowly faded when I realized that I am also an introvert.
Introverts + Strangers
As an introvert, I see social gatherings as a challenge. It takes tremendous willpower, courage, and motivation to get me to go somewhere with a bunch of strangers. Especially if the expectation at the event is that you should mingle with everyone there.
The way I feel about meeting strangers is similar to people’s mindset when dealing with someone who has the plague. There is a distaste in your mouth. Your stomach feels queasy. You try to keep a distance from them.
With the plague, people have a good reason to act like this. But with an introvert like myself, what am I so afraid of catching?
If anything, I might catch their infectious enthusiasm, humor, or wisdom. There’s plenty of awesome people out there who I have yet to meet.
Yet when I’m at an event I always revert to my introverted self.
Perhaps I’m afraid of what people may think of me once we start talking. At least if I keep to myself, I’ll always be a mystery to them.
Perhaps I have a limit on how many relationships I can juggle at once. With more people, even if they are just acquaintances, it overburdens my emotional capacity. Since I’m an introvert and only have a few quality relationships, I go out of my way to protect those few that I do have. I know how hard it would be to find another one. So I push others away, to ensure the health of my current relationships.
Perhaps I am a control freak when it comes to my personal space. At home, I can re-arrange things how I like it. Everything is predictable when I’m by myself. Out there, not so much. I have less control in the real world. People tend to do things that I least expect. And I find that extremely intimidating.
Introverts + Family & Friends
I don’t really mind going to places where I know most of the people there like family get-togethers or parties with friends.