Hi, I am Leela, and I am an introvert.
I don’t hate you; I probably don’t like you either.
Don’t take it personal. I just like to keep to myself a lot.
If you are careful, you might actually end up in my “inner circle”. Just don’t push it.
Here are a few facts, that might help you identify an introvert and understand them better:
- Introverts find social interaction very exhausting. That does not mean, they don’t want to be with people. They just want to have the freedom to leave a party early or sit in a corner by themselves for a while. Never take this personal. Social interaction is just as exhausting for an introvert as being alone is uncomfortable for an extrovert. So let them regain some energy before approaching them again.
- Introverts don’t hate people. They simply walk around in their own little bubble. They might be deep inside their own thoughts and just not see and/or hear you. If you would like to be heard and/or signal that you would like to interact, just say “hi” and see what happens.
- Introverts aren’t always shy. While there are shy introverts, not all of them are. Introverts can be very social (for a introvert scale). They may love meeting with friends, have good conversations, drink a beer with you, or go to the movies. But they might enjoy that once a month as opposed to an extrovert who might like to go out ever weekend.
- Introverts like to talk about things that occupy the mind. Small talk is not just boring but is is also very annoying for an introvert. They need food for the brain or they will eventually stop talking or responding in the middle of something you might think is a conversation. If an introvert gets very quiet, just switch to another topic. They can get very passionate and talkative, if the right topic is up. Believe me! 😉
Now I will let you look into my introvert brain a little. You might understand even better then.
I remember having a pretty difficult time when I was a kid. I got bullied a lot. I have always been an introvert. Even with two brothers, who where pretty demanding and annoying. I was a very thoughtful child, that would enjoy time alone in her room. I loved making up stories and playing them out with lego. Even up to when I was probably too old for lego, I still enjoyed making stories up and building models of houses or cities, so I could describe things better in my stories.
I have always been very quiet unless someone would hit a topic I was passionate about. And I am still like that. I learnt small talk for work basically. I do not enjoy small talk but I will do it, I will smile, and then I will return to my desk since nothing interesting will come out of a conversation that starts out with small talk. I mean where do you go from
Person: “How are you. Stupid, it’s raining again.”
Me: “Yeah well, it’s Ireland after all, isn’t it?”
Person: “Hey did you hear about <insert celeb and rumour>?”
Me: “No, sorry. I don’t have a TV.”
Person: “Wow really!? Well… ”
Me: “Yeah. I think I should get going. See you later.”
I really suck at small talk, I must say. I always try to make sense of why a person says something specific and I want to answer. But usually when I answer in a small talk conversation, I kinda kill the conversation because I am thinking too… unsmalltalkish (if that is even a word)
Anyway away from small talk.
There are certain things I love to talk about. And I can be in a conversation about those things for hours on end. I really really enjoy to have an interesting conversation with people. As long as they don’t run in circles with what they say or get oddly stubborn when opinions differ.
I am also very very talkative on the internet. I take the internet as that place where I can just ramble on about something that interests me and I know that if someone wants to read it they will and if they don’t they don’t. All good, no hard feelings.
In the beginning, I was in a social job. I worked with children. The good thing with most children is, they are like pets in some ways. They accept you the way they are. They are very honest and that is good. So me not smiling a lot was not taking badly by the kids around me. They liked me a lot and I liked them back. The problem was only the parents with there stupid small talk and being told by my coworkers to just smile a little more. Well sorry, I am not a smiley. I smile when something is fun and you can be happy to get an honest smile out of me because … I am not a freaking smiley.
I am happy I left the profession, because it was really an exhausting time for me.
Now believe it or not, but even being so introverted, I do have friends. Not a lot. I think I can count my really good friends on one hand. But that is fine. At least I know that I can count on them. And by the way, they can count on me. I am very very strongly bonded with the people I call friends. Sometimes, for practical reasons, I need to drop one. But those are usually the ones I misjudged to begin with and I will be better off without those people. I just can’t spend all my energy on one person, who sucks me empty and never returns the favor.
I usually don’t approach people. I don’t want to seem creepy so I wait for others to approach me. Usually the people I would like to interact with do approach me. And if not, I … well… sucks to be me, I guess.
Aside from being already introverted in my private live, at work this takes a whole other dimension.
I am going to be nice and friendly and say hi. I will talk to people in a friendly and proactive way. But then for lunch or small breaks I will usually sit alone. It doesn’t bother me, it just might seem a little odd. A person that seems so open and friendly, not caring to proactively join her coworkers for lunch, even if it’s at the same time.
So yeah… Introverts are a little weird. They seem oddly quiet and unfriendly but really they aren’t. Read the signs. Do they actually actively avoid you or do they just not hear you saying “hi” because they are deep in thoughts? Do they ask you for your name when they forgot it? Because if they do ask for your name when they forgot it, you can be sure that they want to interact with you. Just saying 🙂
If you have any questions about the topic of introverts, I am happy to answer them. let me know in the comments.
a very talkative but nevertheless introverted Leela