This is my Blog, on it I simply write stuff that I feel like writing about. You'll find it heavily slanted towards tech, games, entertainment and the like. I write about other stuff too, and somethings I write about things. I also do photography, the link is on your right.
Saturday, 16 June 2012
When I was just a little tiny child, a wandering gypsy witchdoctor voodoo priest took a dislike to me and place me under a terrible, horrifying curse. A curse that I still have to this day, and most likely will have until the day I die. It's a curse that makes people that interact with me confounded and confused, almost like they are completely unable to understand me. Sometimes when I go out, it feels like large crowds of people tighten around me suffocatingly. Interacting with large numbers of people simply exhaust me, wear me out, grind me down. People call me names, label me and catagorize me in false ways. They call me shy, rude, aloof, boring, or just a plain old run of the mill asshole. Well, they may not be wrong about that one. This terrible curse has a name, it makes me an invalid, defective person. This curse is commonly known as introversion.
The life of an introvert can be a very difficult thing. We get stigmatised. Is that too strong word for someone who simply has a personality quirk? Not really, introverts get told their entire lives that they way they react to social situations is wrong, or incorrect in some way. They get told that they should simply stop acting that way, as if we had a choice in the matter.
"Don't be so shy."
"Why don't you out and meet people?"
"You need to be more upbeat."
What's happening here is that our society has decided that extroversion is the only correct way to behave, and everyone needs to conform to that standard. What most people don't seem to understand is that forcing people to behave in a way incongruent their personality is damaging to them. No one would argue today that it is the right thing to do to force everyone to write with right hand. Even though this wasn't the case even as early as 30-40 years ago. You'll have to excuse the hyperbole, but I've heard many stories that it was quite common not that long ago to tie a students left hand down and force them into right handed behaviour. There's no way this doesn't negatively impact the person in some fashion, so why would it be any different than forcing an introvert into extroverted behaviour? I feel like my introversion has been tied down.
There needs to be some sort of awareness movement to help people understand what a day in the life of an introvert is like. We could hand out pamphlets, "How to care for your introvert."
So what is it like? Well, repeated of prolonged interaction with people is physically exhausting. Large crowds of people are stressful. The more interaction we have with more people, the more drained we become, almost like our batteries are running low. The only way to recharge these batteries is to get away from people, spend some time alone, wandering around in your own mind. Doing solitary activities is invigorating. Reading, drawing, writing, hiking, gaming (single player please) etc.
Small talk is tedious and difficult, we're not being shy, we just can't seem to find words, inconsequential things are hard to talk about. On the other hand, deep one on one conversations can be very enjoyable indeed, and if you find yourself in one of these conversations, be prepared to have an introvert talk your ear off.
I think its sad that introverts can really bring a lot to the table in a professional setting, but those skills always seem to overlooked in favour of the gregarious people, trying hard to stand squarely in the spot light. We usually are more thoughtful, and can focus easily on solitary tasks. We tend to be more apathetic to the people around us, even if we would rather not interact to frequently. Our quiet nature allows us the reflect on problems and come up with creative solutions. We are passionate and witty, but you'll never see that unless you are not around a lot of people.
We live in a society that rewards extroverted behaviour, and shuns introverted behaviour. I am in the minority, seen as different or odd. Deviating just far enough from the norm to make people uncomfortable and confused. The world was not made for me.
Also, I'm left handed.