I, introvert.

For pretty much my entire life, I have been weird. I was the bookworm, the nerd, the awkward. I looked frail, was thin as a rail, and to make matters more interesting, I wore glasses (still do).

I spent my childhood reading books, comics, even contracts or user manuals. For a period of my life, every day I would go to a library that was just around the corner from the house (I know, right? I was a lucky bastard!) and lose myself in the books there for hours and hours. I read encyclopedias, I read classics, anything and everything that remotely interested me.

When I grew up a little bit, turned out I was the one to avoid the parties, the one who never had girlfriends, the reclusive, the brainiac. I ate my lunch in a quiet, distant corner of the school grounds from middle school onwards. When I was dragged to a party, I would literally yawn more often than not, and I became even more adamant at it ever since a friend of mine got so drunk she (yes, it was a she) was pretty much picking fights, and a remote acquaintance was so wasted he had to be hauled over and thrown into a cab home. When spoken to about going to clubs, I would be nearly horrified at the sole thought, and even among friends, I would seem to fall off their radar and slip into a stony silence, feeling forgotten as as statue.

Coming into adulthood hardly helped matters. There were no parties, no interaction outside of the internet. Ah, the internet. Forums and communities that became my window into groups that shared many of my interests of the time. I spent many afternoons chatting away with people from all over the continent, though interestingly enough, I did not have any American friends; that came later, and nowadays the trend has pretty much reversed. The immense majority of my interactions and meaningful relationships are American, while Latinos make up a small fraction of my social activity.

Years later, as jobs came and went, sometimes people would (much to my surprise) express interest in hanging out with me, even away from the workplace. Get-togethers and such. And I found myself politely parrying such attempts. I liked those guys, they were fun, but I honestly had trouble to find the motivation to go to some house two towns over and watch people around me plunge into inane chatting and drink themselves stupid. To me, true relaxation came from time at home at the computer.

My own blood family has been thoroughly alienated by this as well. I have been called surly, antisocial, rude, arrogant, and other niceties pretty much all my life, with growing emphasis when I entered adulthood. I truly, honestly, can’t help diving into my own little world for hours on end, not only is it an inherent trend in me but it is also where I find true bliss and become ready to interact efficiently. This, however, apparently makes me a cold, distant individual.

Thus went my life and these isolationist inclinations became so pronounced that I essentially came to refer to myself to as “socially impaired”. There was no other explanation. Everyone was normal, capable and happy in their social togetherness, able to engage in small chat while I was completely incapable of finding motivation to join in, and more often than not my attention drifted away from the chatter with subsequent displeasure from those involved (especially my family).

This conclusion reached, I made ready to live a life of abnormality and seclusion like the rare mutation I was, until, sometime later, a helpful someone said the magic words: “I think you are an introvert”.

What is an introvert?

That was the first question in my mind, and what I gleaned from that someone as well as some reading on the internet was that, in general, an introvert is a person who prefers quiet and solitude as a norm, contrary to an extrovert who thrives in social interaction. Introverts are driven to spend time alone with their thoughts, they are more prone to reflection and contemplation. Sadly there was little else I could understand, and admittedly I did not dig in too far. At the time, it was enough for me to know a fundamental truth: I was not alone! I am not a misanthropic bastard (well… some times I am, but it is not quite the norm), I am not a rare mutation, I’m just different. Hell, I can live with that.

That’s as far as I went at the time, and then, recently, I stumbled upon fresh, easy to understand material that further drove the point home. Essentially what I came to understand from this is that, while extroverts take energy from the people surrounding them, introverts make their own energy and give it during social interaction. Which is why introverts tend to engage in interaction sparingly, as this is draining to them (us).

Driven by this new discovery, I did some more digging around, my curiosity piqued. Thus I found out that introverts are also known for the difference in their conversations. They are capable of chatting alright, but their conversations go around ideas, concept, deeper stuff than your run-of-the-mill small talk. That is also me all around. Oh I like to throw jokes around and be silly, as almost anyone who has spent any amount of time around me might tell you. But when I really, really talk, it tends to be deep stuff.

Research also says that introverts love to explore thoughts, feelings, and you know what? That’s also me. That is what makes me a Mental Vagabond. And I’m relieved to know I am not the only one with these tendencies. There are more like me out there. In fact, a friend and I have discovered fairly recently that we share some core mental traits. Cheers.

So the results are in, folks. I am not a weirdo (at least not to the extent that I thought), I do not hate people (with a few exceptions), I do not loathe being around you; I like talking to you, even if I sometimes disappear, and contrary to what you might think, I do miss you. I’m just different. I am an introvert.

So if you want a fun, easy-on-the-eyes way to begin to understand introverted, check this out. The guy says he has a full book in the works, and I hope to get to buy it. (Once again, thank you Redd for the indirect tip, as well as for your comments!)

Wanna know something interesting? It seems that I am also an owl.

See you next week.

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One Response to “I, introvert.”

  1. […] cathartic in that I expressed through it my ramblings about my creative process, my condition of introverted, and also an effort to remind myself that I am, in fact, never […]

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