Saturday, July 3, 2010

Why You So Quiet? Being An Introvert In An Extrovert's World


For all my fellow introverts, you know what I'm talking about (and to all my extroverts, sit back, read and learn). I'm sure you've heard this sentence spoken at (or yelled at) you by some loud girl at school who's decided to get in your face and ask you a million questions, then look at you like you're in a padded cell with a straight jacket when you don't instantly babble back. Or you've heard its boy equivalent-"Man you quiet bruh."

I know I have. From the time we're little kids, we're all taught that to be gregarious and talkative is good, and to be quiet and reserved is bad. Think about it. Extroverts are described as outgoing, friendly and happy, while introverts are described as secretive, taciturn, cold and a host of other negative attributes( potential serial killer comes to mind lol). Personally I hate trying to make small talk, especially when I was working at Wally World (a.k.a Wal-Mart). I mean outside of "How are you?" and "Did you find everything you were looking for?" what exactly am I supposed to chat with this person about for the next two to five minutes? Most people that come through the line don't feel like talking, probably because they're too busy trying to get the hell out of the store. Besides, too much talking can slow you down, making you the object of hate from other customers in line. And the only reason conversation was encouraged was to soften the customer up to sell them a credit card, offering them the chance to plunge deeper in debt. But I digress.

The world sees extroverts as happy, healthy people who are the life of the party, while introverts get labeled loners and asked "What's wrong? or " "Do you need to talk about it?" Damn, all that just because I simply said "Hi" or "Good morning" and didn't feel like launching into a dissertation on Basketball Wives? Don't get me wrong, I like to go out, socialize with friends and talk about silly, pop-culture stuff. But I need my quiet time as well. Especially after big events like family reunions or meetings where I'm around a bunch of strangers all day. It literally feels like work to "work the room," and I usually feel a little drained afterwards. Seriously, unless it's hanging out with close friends, I'm going to need a few hours to myself if I'm around a huge group of people all day. This is probably why most successful politicians are extroverts, since it requires constant socializing and being around groups of new people everyday.

In conclusion just because I'm not smiling like a cheshire cat every second doesn't mean I'm planning to blow up a building or have a couple of bodies stored in a basement somewhere. It's good to be social, polite and friendly, but we introverts need our space every now and then. So back off a little (before you up end in the basement:).

2 comments:

ToddyEnglish said...

This is so true.
When I was growing up I was PAINFULLY shy. However, since then I've become more extroverted. Yet, I still value my quiet time intensely. I am not one of those people who speak to hear themselves talk. Those types of people I won't abide for too long. Honestly, it is refreshing to not talk for the sake of talking. I think we've been made to feel that the mere idea of being quiet, or sitting in silence, is this heinous thing. The mentality speaks volumes about our culture. We are CONSTANTLY plugged into information and jibber jabber...
I think you find clarity in silence. As they say...Silence is golden!

ÐƎΓΓΛ ƁƎΓΓƎ© The Kewpie Doll said...

im an extrovert of the highest caliber! but i never think just because they are quiet, something is wrong. usually its the loudest ones that i worry about. they seem to reveal much more.

I admire a lot of introverts ive come across because they have an ability to not care about what others do...it isnt affecting them directly so they just go on about their lives. Unlike we extroverts, even when we dont feel like being bothered, people know we are balls of energy so they just have to IGNITE OUR FLAMES...once they get going, tis hard to put them out!


I for one am NEVER or RARELY at a loss for words....id talk to myself if it wasnt considered retarded or crazy to do. Shoot most days now, feels like a good thing to be an introvert...shoot, people crazy...aint no need to talk to them!

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