Of late I was of the mind that I actually am not an introvert. I had written about my personality in past articles. But now everyone was saying how I made friends easily, how talkative I am and how easy to talk to most people found me. For a moment there I started to believe that I was an extrovert of some sort. (Baby extrovert maybe)😃. The symptoms convinced me so. I got excited around hype crowds, I exhausted my quota of words for the day… I mean I drew energy from being with friends. I grow happy even and become low when I was alone. Does this mean I got high on being with people??
But with the lecturers strike and the events I had to attend or plan, I ended up staying in my room doing a lot of nothing not being able to go home. Just watching movies and reading a few articles here and there. As I had stated previously, I have a habit of overthinking and overanalyzing situations especially when I have a lot of free time. This time was no different. I even got to thinking about my purpose in life, what activity do I do that gives me joy and if I could do it as a career. I haven’t yet gotten the answers, but that’s a story for another day.
Whenever a friend knocked on my door, I kept thinking “I hope they haven’t come to stay for long”. Not that I do not love my friends or anything, but I came to realise something… It takes a lot of energy. It takes a lot to hold a conversation. A lot to think of what to say, how they will react to it, how to make sure I don’t kill the conversation. I remember attending a few talks and conferences and almost all the speakers insisted on being able to stand out, to speak your mind. That your network is your net worth. To create a network, one should be able to speak to people confidently and frequently. One should be able to spark a conversation with almost whoever they sit next to. But I think all through my life this has been the most difficult thing to do. How do you just walk up to a stranger and say “Hi, I’m Alfie…”? What does one say next? Do you ask them their name.. what they do.. or do I tell them what I do.. or why I even have an interest in talking to them? I did not want my introversion to be the reason I miss out on opportunities. So I pushed myself to say what I think, to show what I can do. To put myself out there.
I found out that I sleep best when I get home from a social event. Why?? Because I used up all my energy interacting with people. I don’t draw energy from crowds, I use it on crowds. Probably why I hate unfamiliar crowds. But even the ones I know still take a lot from me. I do enjoy the company, Lord knows I need it… But sometimes it just drains me. Some people mistake introverts for antisocial beings. We don’t hate people, we just prefer being in our own company. We’re made to feel as if it is disadvantageous to be quiet, yet we are told to listen more and speak less. When I am quiet, I am either thinking or listening. Do we have to change ourselves in order to fit in or to stand out?
The irony is, I don’t like being alone. At times I like the peace and quiet and to be left to my thoughts, but most times when the thoughts become too much or too dark, I crave companionship. At this point, I go to a friend or back home. To familiar people with whom I am comfortable to be myself. Because they understand me. I am a lively person with lots of love to dish out. I guess that’s why my classmates and friends tend not to believe it when I say that I am an introvert. I have a lot to share and say, it just takes time to feel free around other people. I am capable and talented, I just don’t show it in a hype manner. Maybe all others have to do is observe me and not judge…