"So here’s what I have to say to the quiet, stay-at-home, Meg from "Little Women" introvert: Get over yourself. What we have here is a failure to communicate. At all. Because you don’t like talking. Why do I have to learn how to handle you? Why do I have to hear about your inner workings? And most importantly, why do I have to excuse your antisocial behavior? I really don't have it in me to give you the benefit of the doubt, so, here's an idea: Be Friendly!"
Oho! And Whoa! See this? This is something I just read on a pretty big site. Sure sounds like we, of the introvert variety, are not her favorite type of people. In fact, she's ranted a full-on war nerf-gunned straight at us.
There's lots I could say, I mean, I'm hurt enough to start defending myself, but I'm taking a deep breath, and asking this, instead: Why do some extroverts let us bother them?
Do we rain on your good times?
Do we bring you down?
Do we grate on your nerves and just over all annoy you?
Instead of not liking us, why not try something new -- don't let us get under your skin.
If you view us from a different perspective, maybe you won't pull your hair out the next time you're seated next to us at the school fundraiser. I mean, you tell us, Just talk already! like that's the easiest thing in the world. Which it is, for YOU. But you forget, therein lies the chasm. Because *Just talk already* works for extroverts; that's why you self identify as an extrovert, which is something introverts don't answer yes to on personality profiles. It's not that we're not friendly, it's that we're just not the extrovert's definition of friendly.
Imagine this, as unnatural as it would be for you to picture yourself being quiet, that's just how uncomfortable it is for introverts to be gregarious. It goes against our nature. Is this helping you understand us a little bit now? It's like this, say you tell introverts "get over yourself" -- ooh, wait! you just did! -- well, that would be equivalent to us saying to an extrovert "can't you just dial it down at this party? You don't have to meet everybody!" Hard, right? Because it's not your personality type. You like the mingling, the electricity, the buzzzzz of connecting. We do, too, just not at Action Level 86.
We're okay with you when you do things differently than we would. When you stand two inches from our face asking us 59 questions about our childhood, our first Christmas toy, how many generations deep do we know our family tree, we go with the flow as long as we can. We may back up a few inches, but we allow you in. If we begin to feel lightheaded from losing out on oxygen, we'll excuse ourselves, refill our lungs, and we'll come back. And then we can answer the rest of your questions.
It sounds like you're taking our subdued vocalness personally, Extrovert. It's not aimed at you. If you talk to us, and I know, I know, you're tired of being the one to have to make the first move, but if you do, you'd find out surprising things. I identify as an introvert, so does 30 percent of the population. That's a lot of people to turn your back to, right? But if you did slide over and spend some time with me, you'd find out that I love to speak publicly. I'm an oral storyteller, and I donate my time to hospitals and community clinics, teaching about finding humor through tough times. We're worth the extra effort you feel you don't have the energy for.
So, Extrovert, truce, please? Let's not have separate camps, because some days I feel extroverted like you. And maybe some days you feel introverted like me. (no? never? okay. see? easy going) We don't hate you, we love you. And we love talking, too, it just takes us longer to assess and ponder, which is why we love you. You make a lot of things fun, and you do it fast, you really do.
I'm going to ask you to consider loving us back, with our contemplative quietness and all. We don't shun people, we have friends, and we even like to do things with others. Admittedly, we prefer and are more comfortable one on one, which is when we really shine. (Try us, you'll like us!) While you'll never find us working a room or standing in the middle of a circle at a party, our arms in the air and voice booming while we retell a story of being attacked by howler monkeys in Costa Rica (ooh, it's a good story, remind me to tell you next time we're together, just me and you), we're not snobs, we're not conceited.
We're not recluses.
We're not hermits.
We're not boring.
We don't think we're socially superior.
We don't need to be fixed.
We are just chill.
That's pretty much it. But we're nice people. Introverts aren't panic filled at the sight of people, we enjoy conversation, we just approach it differently, for sure, but we're interesting, and good listeners. Some of us are funny.
You know what? Let me read your paragraph again.
Now that I re-read it, extrovert, I think you meant to write about rude people. Oh, it's all good now. Then, yeah, absolutely, I agree, RUDE PEOPLE! Get over yourselves!
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