Being different is great and it took me a long time to realize it.
I am an introvert. This does not mean that I don’t like being around people. It just means that I don’t need to be a part of a group to function, have a good time, or feel good about myself. I like sitting alone and thinking and even though I enjoy being around people I look forward to alone time. I have been misunderstood by so many people. I have been called a snob, weird, shy, and host of other things that I’m not just because I am an introvert. For many years I tried to conform to make everyone else comfortable. I forced myself to mix and mingle when all I wanted to do is sit and observe, because sitting and observing makes a lot of people nervous or they feel that you are not having a good time. Countless times I have been asked if I was bored or lonely just because I was being myself. I didn’t want my hosts to feel like I wasn’t having a good time so I would choose to change rather than just explaining that I was having a good time even though it didn’t appear that way to most people. Also, by not admitting that I am the type of person who can have a good time just sitting alone, I led my host to believe that I was not enjoying the function. I was truly doing myself and my host a disservice.
Now I have learned that people appreciate learning about my introversion. I no longer make excuses for it. Usually I can spot other introverts in a room and I sit near them. I have found that other introverts like myself enjoy one-on-one conversations. Two people talking together are usually not asked if they aren’t having a good time. This is one way I have tailor fitted a situation to fit me. If I can’t find another chatty introvert, I simply enjoy myself and it asked if I am having a good time I tell the truth. I will reply by saying that I am having a great time sitting and enjoying the wonderful event around me. Telling the truth is much easier than faking something.
What I would like to challenge all of my fellow introverts to do is to own it and stop making excuses for it. Introverts are wonderful people who enjoy life, but are capable of appreciating it alone. We need to step away from time to time and just enjoy our thoughts. Explain it to anyone who can’t understand it. If that is not good enough for them, we know we can do without them. Don’t we?