I’ve mentioned before that I’m an introvert – that I like my alone time, don’t mind Friday nights in, and probably watch too much Netflix. It’s a part of my personality that I’ve always struggled with – battling between wanting to want to go out, but instead wanting to do nothing but stay in and read, watch Netflix, and blog.
My being an introvert is something that I know there’s nothing wrong with. If you told me you were an introvert, I’d tell you all the great things about it. But when it comes to myself, I sometimes feel as though I could be – want to be – “fixed.” As though I take it to a new, defective level and that one day, that joke my friends make about me being a crazy cat lady will come true and my only friends will be furry and unable to speak. As though it’s something that, with the right words or a certain level of practice, I can shed and become the social butterfly type that seems to thrive in our society. As though my being an introvert is merely a stage before I get to who I am.
It’s one thing to want to accept your personality – to know all the amazing positives that come with who you are – and trust me, I do. I know that there are things I’m great at, and that it’s most likely because of my being an introvert that I thrive in those areas. And I know I wouldn’t want to give those things up – my love of reading, and my ability to write as well as I do.
But it’s difficult to accept the downfalls, the desire to stay in on a Friday night up until 10PM when you hear everyone outside your window on their way to the bars or a party. The inability to small-talk, to the point where you’d rather tell a near-stranger a barely-in-context story about yourself and your life just because it’s something to say. The complete fear that when you meet someone new, they’re going to hate you; and constantly needing reassurance that your friends don’t wish you’d just go away. Those are the parts of being an introvert that I don’t want to know about myself, that I wish would go away.
It’s something I struggle with, and something I want to accept. But at the same time, I want to be better – a more sociable, easy-to-talk-to person. And I don’t know how to reconcile those two desires, because they are so opposing to one another.
It’s something I don’t know if I’ll ever stop struggling with, but I’d like to start somewhere, to try to acknowledge the great things about myself, like my ability to get a job done quickly, and well; my writing-skills; my love of a new book or a blank page; or a challenge in my work. My abillity to take a to-do list a mile long, and have it finished by the end of the work day. These are all great pieces of my being an introvert, pieces that I know I may not have if it weren’t for my personality. Pieces that I’d like to try to focus on the next time someone asks about the weather, and I respond with an anecdote about the power going out at my apartment last year because of the snow.
So what about you? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? And either way, is it something you struggle with?