Friday, January 10, 2014

Musings of an Introvert in an Extrovert World

While in the minority, introverts exist. Yes, it is perfectly normal to prefer the company of your own thoughts over being the center of attention at the popular kid table. We all know them. Those people you have deemed too "good" to talk to the rest of the office, the ones that rush out after a mandatory meeting to elude small talk, the person that would rather eat lunch in their car or cubical versus hanging out in the break room.

No, we are not stuck-up, actually the opposite usually. We just don't know how to talk to you. To an extrovert, striking up a conversation with the cashier comes quiet naturally. Working as a salesman seems fascinating because chatting up the customers to earn a sale is easy. Invited to a party? Your biggest concern is what to wear. Introverts on the other hand, are thinkers. They like to think about the topic before giving input. Its so difficult to spout out what they are thinking as they think it. They prefer the solitude of a good book or movie over a loud party. If the conversation requires more than a "Hi, how are you?" "Fine thanks, and you?" "Very well, have a great day!" It is panic time!

For me, I was always told I was shy, socially awkward, a poor conversationalist, lazy or even stuck-up. After doing some research, I have realized that none of it is true!!! I'm simply an introvert in an extrovert world. I prefer the solidarity of me, myself and I. I prefer to hang out with my close family and pets over hosting a huge get together or attending a family reunion. While I would love to strike up a conversation with you and maybe even hang out sometime, I just don't know how. At a party I couldn't get out of, I will find something to do-any type of chore- just to keep my mind off of socializing. Do I like cleaning, no. Will I scrub your place clean to avoid talking to others, yes.

I think this is why the close friends I have are more extroverted than I am. They aren't afraid to be the leader in the group and I'm okay with that.

I really think this is why I tend to job hop. If a job requires a lot of conversation with a lot of people, I may not stick around. If I can get away with "Hi, Bye, have a nice day" I'm more likely to stick around. If I can clock in, do my job and clock out without many or any distractions-I'm your gal! You'll never buy a car from me, or have me call your house wanting to sell you something, I'll never be a bill collector or a hotline worker, but I give me a job where I can work carefully, dutifully and put in great effort to make sure all the details are in place and I'm home.

I love having deep, meaningful conversations about various topics; I just can't wrap my head around small talk. To me it is a huge waste of time.  I would much rather send a letter, email, text or write so I have time to think about what I'm saying. I will typically not answer my phone, I most likely will never call someone unless it cannot be avoided. I even dread picking up the phone to make a doctor's appointment.

So if you see me at the store and I act like I cut the small talk short just remember it isn't you, its me.
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