My Mum, however, loved nothing more than staying home with the TV on, a magazine, a book, a crossword, and a quiz in front of her, stirring only to potter about the garden.
You’d think that the offspring of these weirdos would be a delightful mélange of the two; able to swim effortlessly from crowded gig to sketching and reading, then back again. But nay.
I spend much of my life veering wildly from one state to the other, sometimes experiencing both introversion and extroversion simultaneously. It’s a world in which I can genuinely look forward to a party and catching up on all the goss, yet spend a good day talking myself out of it and dreading it at the same time. Of finally going to said event and having a grand time, yet drinking too much to loosen up and spending the next day self-flagellating because I’m exhausted with myself and other people.
Yes, it does my head in. But I am not asking for your pity or understanding or high-fives. It is how I’m built. We all have to wrestle with our essential nature, whatever that may be.
I’m on both sides of the introvert/extrovert fence, and I’ve now officially heard enough from the internet introvert camp.
This ‘us against the extroverted world’ nonsense. Like we’re in warring camps and the entire world (strangely composed of insensitive jerks who love parties) is set up subjugate the hapless introvert.
The THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO UNDERSTAND MOI syndrome.
The “I’m not being rude, I’m just introverted” excuse.
The bundling up of traits like introversion with mental illness or disorders such as social anxiety, depression, and autism.
The “adulting is hard” mob.
Most of us have extroversion and introversion in differing measures.
All of the self-confessed introverts I know are amazing at events. Amazing is not the right word – they are outstanding. All week they go to some Meet Up or other and will regularly walk into rooms full of strangers to find out all they need to know. While they leave the house with more regularity than most, they know what time to go back to it again. None of these people are rude. Forthright, perhaps. Unwilling to talk unless they’ve got something good to say, yes. These are fine, admirable traits of people I want to hang out with, not society’s shunned misfits.
The older I get, the more I’m convinced that most people don’t give a poo. Not in an uncaring, selfish way, I think that most people are simply wrapped up in their own lives.
So come to the party, or stay at home with no pants. No-one cares either way; no excuses necessary.
But please, introverts! Stop asking the world to be ‘understanding’ that you’re happy to go to a movie or eat a meal on your own. These are some of life’s greatest pleasures; these are normal; no-one is judging you.
And if you’re rude, misanthropic, lazy, or have Bitchy Resting Face that is absolutely fine. Why not call it that?