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I do not deny that I am an introvert. I like having time to myself, time alone to read or play video games or eat or anything. I really savour it. I like being with people, and I like having close connections, but after busy evenings or a series of social events I need lots of downtime.

I don’t need to drink or be loud and rowdy or laughing and shouting and all that to be having fun. That’s what tends to confuse extroverts. At a party I may be a wallflower, sitting to the side chatting with a friend or two, and it may not look like much but I am enjoying myself. In fact, I sometimes fall prey to the opposite assumption: I see extroverts as social butterflies, flitting from one person to the next, without ever actually getting to know anybody or experiencing any sort of conversation. But I digress.

It is to my detriment sometimes. I avoid house parties and other large gatherings in general, unless I know I have some friends to stick to. But when there’s nobody I know (or the people I do know are more extroverted types who run off and chat up the whole room), it tends to be awkward and boring. Even things I really want to do, I tend to shy away from. I don’t mean lectures or a spin class or something, but purely social events, where if I don’t know anybody it’s the extroverts and introverts who already know other people who run the show, and I’m hide on the sidelines.

It’s a classic, cliche picture, of standing outside in the cold, looking through the window and seeing people sitting around a table laughing and having a good time. Why don’t I go inside? Why do I just walk by, home to my comfort zone? It’s a terrible way to meet people, this. I’m worse than Marigold.

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