‘Oh yes, I have to do that thing again… great’
I’ve seen many estimates all over the internet for the percentage of humanity that introverts constitute. Although the numbers vary, the common conclusion is that introverts are in the minority (but I suppose this could just mean that the introverts weren’t the ones that were approached because they were busy hiding in their safe space instead of being out and about being approached by scary pollsters).
Now, if you’ve read one of my previous posts, ‘The World is Run by Extroverts‘, you’ll know that we introverts have a hard time getting our voices heard. And, the depressing idea that there aren’t as many of us as our extroverted cousins just adds to that predicament. So, here I am, throwing my misguided opinions out into the aether.
How many times have you looked in your diary to see a looming social event and thought to yourself: ‘urgh, why do I have to do that’? Or experienced the instinctual existential dread when someone proposes a ‘catch up’? I may be an extreme example. But, for me, it’s every single time. Social events, or even social interactions, feel forced and pointless. So much so that I don’t refer to them as social events, but social obligations that leave me feeling tired and like I’ve wasted time.
The Joys of Being Alone
The extroverts among you may think that that is a rather pathetic or silly statement, but I’d like to highlight it with an example. As some of you may know, I’ve recently bought a house. Technically speaking, I live alone, although my girlfriend spends a lot of time here. In my primitive mind, she seems to be exempt from this constant fear of people, and she is probably the only person I could spend all of my time with without ever needing some alone time.
But I digress. The point is, I absolutely, unequivocally, adore being alone (or with my girlfriend. As I said, she doesn’t count). I knew I liked being left to my own devices, but living alone for the first time has really put it under a spotlight, to the point in which I despise social interaction even more. I tolerated it before because I couldn’t avoid it. But now, there is absolutely no reason for me to talk to anyone (outside of work) unless I explicitly go out of my way to do it. And it feels liberating, in the most satisfying way possible. In fact, part of me wishes the pandemic would go on forever so I can keep using it as an excuse to avoid things.
However, as we know, the world is run by extroverts, and so this poses some problems. Namely, when you have your own place, people want to see it. They want housewarming parties, invites round for dinner, all the stereotypical stuff. As an introvert, I genuinely question whether people want to do these things, or feel obliged to. The cynic in me says that people only invite themselves over to be nosey. But then, it could just be that they want social interaction. A statement that, for me, feels like an oxymoron.
But, despite my love of being alone, it is impossible to say no to these types of requests without people finding it offensive. ‘Why doesn’t he want to see us? Is he annoyed at us?’ No, I am not annoyed at you. In fact, it is nothing personal at all and I don’t have any ill will towards you whatsoever (unless you ask my opinion in a room full of people). I just really struggle with social things and am perfectly content in life just avoiding them all together. I don’t want to talk about what I’ve been doing, and I don’t particularly care what you’ve been doing (unless said thing involves something nerdy that I want to learn about). To be honest, I’m sceptical as to whether other people care anyway. Are they just being polite?
Who knows, thinking about social interaction never fails to give me a headache. Anyhow, do you agree? Am I being silly? Do I have a part of my brain missing? Do you also like the idea of going and living on your own planet? Let me know! Being alone is too often portrayed by society as an intrinsically bad thing. But I have to disagree.
As always, and until next time, I thank you for the read.