Hi! Remember me? I’m the Introvert you met at that party last week. Oh. You don’t remember? That’s okay. I’m used to it. I know I’m not a memorable person.
Maybe you thought I was antisocial? But really, I’m not. At least, not in the Christian-Bale-American-Psycho sort of way. Admittedly, I’m terrified of big crowds, but plop me in my natural environment of 1-3 other close friends and hear me (ROAR) be completely sociable.
Maybe you thought I was dumb? I know, I looked a bit awkward as I stood at the edge of that circle of people, not quite in the conversation, but just… there. But really, I’m listening to everything being said and thoughts are running through my mind. I just never feel compelled to interrupt the loud, boisterous flow of words to interject my own calm observations. So I keep them to myself.
Maybe you thought I was boring? When you asked me how I was doing, I was fine, thanks. When you tried to strike up a conversation about the latest episode of Glee or this one Indy band that you’re sooooo into, I could only nod and smile. I’m sorry we don’t watch the same shows, listen to your type of music, or like to gossip about this and that and him or her. But talk about the books I worship or start a debate on property rights or economic theory and I will rouse up and start brimming with opinions and energy. I love exchanging ideas and intimate personal connections, but shrivel up at the prospect of shallow chitchat and meaningless drivel.
Maybe you thought that I just didn’t care about you? I know I can seem aloof sometimes. My smile is more wan and tentative than warm and inviting. But I do care — indeed, I care way too much — about people, especially those that I perceive to care about me. Embrace me as a friend, welcome me into your world and you’ll find that I am passionately loyal, caring, and would rather die than let you down. Yet, I am too private and painfully shy to be the first to extend the olive branch of trust.
And so, dear Extrovert, next time you see me in a crowd, stop and remember that behind that timid insecure exterior is a wonderful and loving person. Next time, as you flutter around the party like the gregarious butterfly that you are, don’t forget to sit down next to me and braid a genuine connection. I hope you’ll discover that I’m worth it too.