In our world we live in it is not an easy path to be an introvert. I have first hand knowledge of this struggle because I too am an introverted human being. And I know there are others out their that feel a similar way. We live in an very extroverted society. To fit in with our peers we it is easy to feel as though we have to change ourselves into something we are not. We have to be sociable, loud, visible and entertaining at all times. Be present on all social media platforms, and be ready to spew out a resume of who we are, what we do, why we are the best at what we do, and name drop who are friends are. For someone like me this is a freaking nightmare, a disaster, and I can not tell you how many times I have desperately tried to avoid these types of conversations. Not because I hate talking about being an artist or my life in general but I have a hard time with this bragging about myself concept. As well as I feel that there is more to me than just what I do, I do not feel as if I am the best at what I do and feel no need to name drop who my friends are, why do I need to entertain someone, try to convince others that I am the best, I have the best life or the best friends just to gain their approval or friendship? In truth I struggle just like every other human being and I believe that an actual honest conversation about our lives could be a better way to get to know someone. The whole thing seems very fake and shallow.
I have some people in my life that absolutely love to talk to complete strangers or even be large crowds, especially if they are the center of attention. It actually charges their internal battery. I used to want to be more like them. I would think to myself what was wrong with me? In social situations I would try to force myself to follow their lead to be more like them. I found myself asking too deep of questions and as hard as I tried I just could not seem to blend in. It was as if I was was an alien trying to blend into the human world. It felt as if I was drowning in a sea of people who did not understand me, with waves of emotions that where not my own. Feeling everyone´s energy and vibes and wondering why their words they where saying did not seem to match their vibes they where giving off.
It was bizarre to witness the dance they did with each other. People flittering around talking out of both sides of their mouths. On one side of their mouths in front of each other they would say things such as ..you are so beautiful, fantastic or talented and I love you or I love spending time with you. While on the other side of their mouths as soon as that individual left they were saying things like ..they looked like trash, they were not really all that talented and they never really liked that person.
I was baffled, like what the hell was that conversation even about? Why do you say such bullshit to each other when in fact you clearly do not even like that person? It seemed like such a waste of time and such a lie that they so easily told without a hint of remorse. I soon realised that it was indeed all bullshit. Most people just say things that are too much too soon just to have something to say. It seemed all to common to go around feeding each other straight up lies masked as compliments. No wonder why in a city as big as New York with millions of people so many are still so damn lonely.
When I was living in New York City and commuting to work on the subway I would literally have to pump myself up everyday before I left home. Looking at myself in the mirror I would say things such as ¨You can do this just get on the subway and it will be over before you know it!! ¨ I would always wear my headphones and bring a book to simply avoid the possibility of having small talk with a group of strangers. In general everyone is so busy looking down at their phones that most days went well and I could escape back home without having to actually communicate with people I did not know. However on the occasional days that I would encounter someone who was dead set on getting my attention and having small talk I always felt as though I was somehow unable to communicate in a way that they expected me to. My face turns red, my mind gets blank and I just want to disappear.
I have gotten the comments and questions from well meaning friends, family, and strangers such as …Wow you are so shy…Are you always this quiet?… Is something wrong?…Why are you not saying anything?… Don´t you like to go to parties or clubs? Yes of course I like parties , however I like them for a limited amount of time. And no it is not that the party sucks or that I do not like the people at the party. It has everything to do with the fact that at some point I have had enough and I simply want to retreat back to my own house and recharge. My brain turns into mush. Some people automatically assume that I do not like them because I do not strive to entertain them. This is generally not the case at all , it takes time to get to know someone and it takes more than a superficial conversation full of small talk about the weather.
Usually I tend to lean into deeper conversations, I am that friend that will ask you probing questions like…But are you genuinely happy with whoever or whatever the situation is? I am the friend that likes to know the intimate parts of your life not just what your favorite color is but why is that your favorite color? I have no problem listening to someone else´s point of views on whatever the topic is we are discussing even if we have two opposing points of view. I have a small group of friends that I have known for years. Some of my friends and loved ones are in fact extroverted and these friends help push me out of my comfort zone sometimes. The people I spend time with them actually recharge my soul not drain it.We can have meaningful deep conversations without the awkward small talk and if I get quiet with them they do not freak out or get offended after many years of knowing each other they know that it is just how I am. We appreciate each other in all our imperfections and in all our glory.
I believe that it is ok to be different and it is high time that we ourselves begin to except ourselves as we are. I am not saying that we should forever stay in our comfort zones, but perhaps we can grow to see ourselves as just as valuable as everyone else. As a society we should not expect everyone to be loud , partaking in never ending small talk, and be the life of the party. It is ok to need time away from others to recharge ourselves, it is ok if we do not like the bullshit and prefer to get into the deepest parts of the soul. It is ok to be freaking shy and not to brag about ourselves. It is totally fine to give quality to our relationships and value quality over quantity in everything we do. After all wouldn´t the world be extremely boring if we where all exactly the same?