Thursday, February 26, 2015

To My Extroverted Friend

You do not have to ask me if I'm okay WHILE I'M READING.
Dear My Extroverted Friend, 

We've been talking a lot about introvert and extroverts in class, and a few people have turned to me when I've been talking in the last few days, and said 'you're more extroverted than me!'


Here's something you might not know when you joke around about me being an introvert: everyday when I go home, I fold in on myself, exhausted by a day of interaction with people. 

Here's something else you might not know: I've never done any of these introvert tests you talk about, but my last MBTI (which I do at least twice a year) told me that I was 99% introvert.

I might laugh and talk with people, but they are my friends.

I might take drama, but it's not a subject for extroverts because you are on stage.

I might not be so scared of public speaking anymore, but how does that make me extroverted?

I might sit in a group of people, but that doesn't mean I'm full of energy from it. In fact, as much as I think my friends are great, I would rather be quietly in the Library.

You don't know how much pressure I constantly feel under to make small talk.

You don't know that somedays the prospect of seeing people makes me want to be sick.

You judge me on how I act around my friends (who I reserve energy to spend time with), and what you see for 6 hours a day. You don't see me by myself. 

Not that I've done heroin... But still. 
That I am much more happy like that.

I like to read and play the guitar and not talk for hours.

I write, spending nights with just myself.

I am always bouncy on Monday, but you never notice it because I don't really show it. Most people drag themselves around Monday, but for me, after a weekend with minimal human contact, I have energy that Thursday just doesn't have.

Just because I can be outgoing doesn't mean I'm extroverted. 

Sure, sometimes I stand up and do things that I don't want to do (read: don't want to do), but I do them anyway.

Like say hi to someone new.

Put my hand up in class.

Go on trips.

Do an extracurricular.

Please stop telling me to come out of my comfort zone. 

BUT REALLY. 
Stop saying you want me to do all this group work, talking and go on camps with huge groups of people 'to get me out of my comfort zone'. I issue you a challenge.

Get out of your comfort zone: spend a Saturday without messaging or emailing your friends. Say only what really has to be said (basically, manners) and curl up with a pile of books. Spend the day with yourself, spend time as an introvert. Then do it on Sunday. And Monday. Do it for a week, because that was how long that camp was.

Do you have anything to add? Are lots of your friends extroverted? Do people think you are introverted because you shy? Are you extroverted? Any extrovert interested in doing a response letter? Or an introvert with a letter to write as well? 
______________________________________________________________________________
Opal stayed up into the early morning (reading, okay!?), and her brain is just like 'I'd rather not'. But calculus was very relaxed today, and she was allowed to read through part of it. She finished the book, and returned it at lunch. She's going to a BOOK SALE tomorrow! #SoExcitedButEveryoneKnewSheWasANerdAnyway

26 comments:

  1. Oh wow. This was a really powerful post. I definitely agree -- I switched schools recently and everyone thinks I'm outgoing. When I told my chem teacher I'm an INTJ, he was like, "well, if you're an introvert, so would a lot of other people." (I didn't manage to come up with such a coherent and amazing response as yours mainly because he was being sexist as well and my inner feminist was rambling in my head.)

    Anyhow, absolutely phenomenal post. The rest of the introvert world is behind you, okay?

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    1. Thank you! I wasn't sure if I was coming on to strong on not- I'm getting a bit frustrated because I feel like I'm constantly brushed off by extroverts.

      Thank you :))

      Delete
  2. Loud obnoxious extrovert here! :) I do love this post - I think it was respectfully done, and it is very powerful. However, my extrovert side is buzzing to do a response letter, so I think I will - hopefully one as eloquent and respectful as yours!

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    1. *lets breath out* I was worried that is wasn't as respectful as it could be.

      I can't wait to read it!! :)

      Delete
  3. I agree with every part of this post, I am an introvert and it kills me. I want to get out there and do things, but I find it hard. And like we started going to this new church about two months ago and I've just now started to get comfortable around my sunday school class and small group on Wednesday. people wonder why i'm quiet, my family wonders why i'm so loud around them and then silent around new people. it's because of who I am. my personality.
    I just might have to write a letter...
    thank you wild horse for writing this. it's a very well written and respectful letter :)

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    1. YES YES YES. We've been going to a new church for about 2 years now, and I still haven't really made friends.

      I'm the same. I never know what to say around people. And the harder I try, the worse it gets.

      Please do :)) Thanks :))

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  4. I am extroverted, but I totally get the whole just because you are introvert doesn't mean you are shy and just because you are extroverted doesn't mean you are like dancing on the roof tops yelling to the whole world who you are what you are doing. (Though sometimes it does feel like that *cough cough*) But I am a shy person, but I am also extrovert. How that happened I don't know, but it happened.
    All of my friends, online and not online are introvert, so I think I have had plenty of experience around introvert people. *not amused laugh*

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    1. Being shy and an extrovert must be really hard.

      And not having any extrovert friends- wow! I can't imagine what its like to need that human company with no friends who really want to give it to you.

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    2. Yeah...Because you want to go out and about and see and be around people, but then your shy...and yeah. :)

      Well, I have on older sister (who is hopelessly introverted) and seven younger siblings who I am with everyday, so I have the human company. But like sometimes I will want to talk with my older sister and she will just want to sit in her room all by herself, and then I start wanting to beat my head on the wall.

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    3. :/

      I guess siblings are good. My extroverted sister only has me haha. Don't beat your head on a wall! :)

      Delete
  5. I just love this. What I think a lot of people don't understand is that being an introvert isn't about being good with people—literally the saddest scenario I can come up with for a character is a shy extrovert. Why? Because all their energy comes from being with other people, but dealing with severe shyness means that in getting that energy, that character will also have to deal with the self-doubt and shame and paralyzing fear of the social situation. They can either live a life alone and completely drained, or be with other people and feel completely miserable while doing so.

    (Of course, I wouldn't be able to write about it from experience; it's just that people have a lot of misconceptions about what being an intro/extrovert are.)

    So, you're right, in all the ways—you can be an outgoing introvert, and you can be really good at it, too. I think I like Blimey Cow's way of describing the xversion scale: one video game controller has to be plugged into the system to get energy, and another has to rest on its own little cubby for a while to charge up.

    It's really hurtful when people don't take the time to understand what your needs are as an introvert before, either. My dad has told me before that when he was a kid, he didn't know what introverts were, and he always thought that something was wrong with him because his parents and sister are all extroverts and he couldn't deal with the same kind of stimulation they could.

    (Don't worry: there's a happy ending; he married another introvert and now he has two introverted daughters and two extroverted daughters and he loves them very much.)

    It bothers me when people don't stop to understand... And I'm glad you wrote this letter, because I think I lot of people need to know about it. Of course, I have some stuff to say about being an introvert too... So, perhaps I should get to writing, too. *schemes*

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    1. YAY YOU WROTE A LONG REPLY!

      I agree- being an introvert and being outgoing is hard, being a shy and an extrovert would be even worse.

      When I watched that video, I was like YES, but I had completely forgotten about until now. YOU WATCH BLIMEY COW?! I love Blimey Cow!!! xD

      It is hard when you are surrounded by people who do not understand how you recharge. Me, my mum and dad are all introverts, but my sister is an extrovert. During the holidays and on the weekends, she finds it really hard because we want to stay at home, while she wants to go into town and see other people. I'm glad your dad found a happy ending :)

      Thank you! And please write a letter- I would love to read it!

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    2. IT WAS PURELY AN ACCIDENT BUT YES I DID.

      *nods* And that's all there is to it.

      I DO WATCH BLIMEY COW. AND STUDIO C. Are you the other person I know who watches Studio C? Anyway, yes, I enjoy that show! :D

      *nods* I feel like it's that way for my extroverted sisters, sometimes. On holidays and weekends we want to stay home and laze about and act like lizards, and she's rearing to go, and has to make other arrangements. Either way, I'm glad my dad did too, otherwise I would not exist!

      :D I shall do something like it! :)

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    3. I LIKE LONG COMMENTS.

      I don't know Studio C, but should I check them out?? YAY!

      That describes it perfectly! I'm glad as well- the world without Heather would be terrible! :))

      Yay!

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  6. YES. THANK YOU.
    I'm a major introvert too but I'm also shy. I've only been mistaken for an extrovert once, to my knowledge, because what do you know? I'm in drama! *rolls eyes* That woman had never seen me in a room full of strangers.
    Also, is it possible for you to add a button to follow the blog via email?

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    1. You're welcome!

      I know !*rolls eyes as well* Drama isn't really that people-centred. You spend a lot of time creating a character, or memorising- and while you do interact with other people, it's defiantly not just for extroverts.

      Done! :)

      Delete
    2. Exactly! She said she thought I was a extrovert because I was good at drama (not sure how to take that under the knowledge that I'm a definite introvert). Apparently being outgoing on stage means you're an extrovert. *sigh*
      great, thanks! I prefer getting all the blog posts in my inbox; that way I don't forget to read. :D

      Delete
    3. PEOPLE, am I right?

      All cool :)

      Delete
  7. I totally agree with everything in this post. I am an introvert, and sometimes I feel that there is a lot of pressure on us to get out of our comfort zones. I really do prefer to stay in my house most of the time, but most of my friends seem to be extroverts and they don't understand it when I'd rather stay home with my writing and my books rather than go and spend a day in the city. It's so weird how no one ever asks extroverts to get out of their comfort zone. It's almost like there's something wrong with being a quiet person who doesn't always enjoy going out and seeing people. Thanks for writing such an awesome, thought provoking post!

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    1. YES YES YES. No more of this 'getting out for our comfort zone' when all it does is try and turn us into extroverts.

      There is nothing wrong with us, but extroverts are constantly trying to 'fix' us, so that we want to go out and be with other people all the time, and never have some down time, as if it should be a norm.

      Welcome! :)

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  8. Hey! Visiting from the GTW's link-up.
    YES! Yes, yes, I really, really liked this blog post! It made me kinda happy to read it and be like, There is someone who can put it into words. So, thank you. And, I'm following your blog now.

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    1. Hey! Nice of you to drop by, and thanks for the follow :)

      I'm happy it made you happy :)

      Delete
  9. I'm late on the uptake, but this letter is truly amazing. And it's complete and 100% true. People at work (not my close coworkers, who have figured out that I'm not a particularly social person) seem to think that I'm an extrovert because I can talk to leadership, I can speak eloquently, and I'm not afraid to speak my mind when people are saying stupid stuff. But your comment on collapsing into yourself as soon as you get home? Yeah, I do that. And I'm ALSO all full of energy on Mondays, because I've finally had a chance to recharge and ignore people all weekend.

    I currently have socially things planned on 4 days over the next 2 weekends. And it's stressing me out more than exams and big presentations at work ever have. Ugh.

    Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Thank you :)
      Yes, talking does not ever, ever make you an extrovert! It's just part of your personality. YES. I spend the weekend curled up ignoring the world and I feel so much better for it.

      I hope you make it through okay! :)

      Delete
  10. Hmmm.... Wow, I am definitely guilty of being the extroverted pusher who is always trying to get my friend out of her comfort zone, and I can see how that might not always translate very well for her. I also have to say I hate the introvert/extrovert stereotypes and have been wanting to do a post on this for some time. Thank you for your honesty, girl ;)

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