I joined Google+ to meet other introverts, share thoughts and experience and promote my blog. Before discovering that I am an introvert, I’ve often felt different, isolated and/or strange when I’d react differently from extroverts in a given situation. Joining this community made me understand that I’m not the only one feeling that way.
Recently, I’ve noticed an increase in negativity in my feed. I get that the internet is a great place to vent and let go of your frustrations. I get that in real life, those people with negative posts may be a lot more positive about interacting with others. That said, being surrounded by so much negativity is tiring and makes me feel different, isolated and strange all over again.
I’ve seen all sorts of quotes about extroverts, interacting with people, wanting to be alone. Truth is I rarely agree with them. I don’t think extroverts are inherently bad people. I don’t think I’d be happier on my own. I want to interact with people, go to parties, make new friends. That doesn’t make me an extrovert.
Just like many posts about feminism on Tumblr (and probably on other social media too), many posts about introversion/extroversion on Google+ are complete crap to me. Treating men as evil creatures doesn’t make you a stronger woman or a feminist. Treating extrovert as if their purpose in life was to inflict pain on introverts is just as ridiculous and vain.
I believe in understanding others and their motives, sharing and communicating to make everyone’s life easier. Obviously, it is not always possible or realistic or effective. But saying “I’m an introvert and this is how I perceive this given situation” is making a step in the right direction. It is gaining more respect from others (extroverts included) than shutting down everyone around while silently complaining in your head.
No one should hide behind the fact that they are introverts (or extroverts!) to act like they do. If you don’t listen to people when they talk, it is not because you are an extrovert; it is because you choose not to. If you don’t have many friends like I do, it is not because you are an introvert; it is because like me you don’t make efforts to make new ones.
Human being are complex creatures, and I’m getting tired of people using only side of one’s personality to define them and using this as an excuse or a cause to everything they do. In literature, it is called a synecdoche.
I’ve attended 5S training in England last week. I met six new people from all Europe. I obviously had an introvert moment at the beginning of the week. From the first day though, I’ve spent my evenings with the team and did not escape to the loneliness of my hotel room. I’ve learned a lot about them and I’m looking forward working with them again. They were pretty surprised to learn that I’m an introvert (as most people). I can be an introvert and be a social being. The counterpart of that week is that I spent most of my week end hidden in my bed, alone with a book (and social media).
So please, stop justifying your negativity by the fact that you are an introvert…