I always struggled with being around a lot of people at once; the chatter, the having to smile and be polite, repeating myself over again to each new person I meet, and worst of all, the small talk. Put me in a room with a group of people I don’t really know well and you will see me shrink away into a silent statue with nothing to contribute but a quiet smile.
I am an introvert.
For years I struggled with this idea that perhaps I was antisocial or a mesanthrope. I even called myself these things but in the past couple of years I’ve come to realize that these labels don’t suit me at all. I mean, yes, I’ll admit there are periods where I need little to no human interaction. When the prospects of moving to the middle of nowhere, locking the door and throwing away the key sound idyllic. But I’ve done a bit of an experiment and started to really observe what it was I was feeling and thinking when I am in social settings and the findings were astonishing.. haha.
It’s not that I don’t like people. I just need more from them. I have no desire to be surrounded by people just for the sake of not being alone. I love being alone. What it really is, is that I actually care to get to know people. I want to know you! I want to hear about who you are, where you grew up, what your passions and hobbies are. I want the truth.
I want a real heartfelt conversation where I can connect to you in our humanity. And it is impossible to do so when you’re at a noisy restaurant with 15 people staring at each other from across a table. I can’t ask you questions when we’re at a party and I’m expected to mingle. I am best suited for one on one conversations. Anything aside from that is just small talk, chatter, unnecessary expense of energy. Talking about superficial things like the weather or work. Blah!
I am introverted (and I also have anxiety disorder which makes things a little more complicated but not impossible). I enjoy nothing more than to have people over to my home. I love to cook. Hosting a small group of like minded friends is a pleasure to me. Even the not like minded because when I’m deep in real conversation, I’m open to a debate too. I am not antisocial, I’m an introvert. I love people! I love their stories, their successes, their struggles and how they’ve come out triumphant from them. Just don’t expect me to show up to a large gathering or at least don’t expect me to stay too long (noise and small talk are a huge energy drain for me).
So to conclude: I am an introvert. I’m not shy (well sometimes a little). I’m not aloof, I want to get to know you , I’m a good listener and great if you need advise.