I am an introvert by nature. I think I am, watching my own symptoms and at the feedback I get from others around me. Some complain that I don’t talk much. I can’t gossip unnecessarily when a bunch of girls sit near me and start with their own conversations. When I am at a party or a birthday treat, I mingle and smile with those who I know. But after 15 minutes, I detach myself from the group and take my leave. I don’t have patience to do small talk. If there is seriously something to talk about, I take the initial step and start speaking myself. But if there is nothing worth to talk about, instead of wasting my time, I prefer to not enter into any conversation at all. If any stranger joins my group, I acknowledge him/her with a warm greeting and then go back into my own shell till I am asked something or made to laugh out loud on someone’s joke. People render it in a wrong way. I am labeled as being shy. Sometimes people feel that I am being rude by not talking openly and gregariously to a friend’s friend or a colleague. I am labeled as being arrogant and someone who has ego problems in abundance. I am not talking and deliberately not mixing in a new group because I think highly of myself, some openly tell it on my face. These accusations just amuse me and bring a secret smile on my face that becomes visible to others in no time. Next second I am rendered as being shameless!
This has been the situation with me since childhood. I have long ago realized that how I would like to be treated is very less preferred and followed by others. And I have learnt to live with this inevitable truth. When there is any function to attend at home, I gladly participate and enjoy till my brain tells me to stop and my heart searches for some solitude, some time alone with myself to live in peace and away from the noisy crowd. When I declare this to my relatives, they feel that I am being rude. I don’t like socializing too long for nothing. The same fake smiles, the same kind of guests who are more bothered about their designer dresses than the actual function or the same new introductions every time- these all get to my nerves and I want to scream out in private and therefore rush of to have some time alone with myself. When I have some thoughtful expressions, people take my look in a wrong way as if I am being arrogant. When I don’t want to visit any hill-station or don't want to go for a new movie, but just want to spend some time alone with myself and family at weekends, my friends label me as a traitor. I am considered a big spoilsport of their weekend fun plans. Though I don't have any strings attached and don't ask anybody to wait for me.
I am thrown this question a lot, "Why are you so quiet?” I am accused of not being socialable at all in public functions and friend circles. Some claim that I day dream a lot, which I do in fact.
Give me a mike and a stage in front of 1000 people. Or a blog platform. Or any other spotlight. Let’s see then who talks a lot and who remains silent :-)
I don’t think there is anything wrong at what I am doing or the way I am in my social life. If any occasion calls for it, after saying a simple hi or a hello, I enter into a conversation myself. But I cannot talk for some time pass. If there is nothing to talk on and introductions are over, then it’s a bye bye from my side. I have other important stuff to do instead of wasting time on unnecessary gossips about who wore what and who broke up with whom. If anybody doesn’t get straight to the point and just beat around the bushes, I easily get annoyed. When I am travelling in a train or a flight, novels are my best friends. A cup of coffee and an opened novel in my lap doesn’t bore me. But a non-stop party will. Maybe I am a textbook introvert! But I like to be surrounded by thought-provoking movies, newspapers, magazines, interesting blogs and fiction novels rather than human beings at times. Some friends get surprised when they come to know that I have done something without telling them or sharing with them beforehand. What they fail to understand is that I like to maintain my privacy and remain independent. People can’t get it, why I like to remain most of the time alone or just associate myself with small groups. I have very close knitted friends who I like to be with and feel comfortable in their company. Making new social contacts just for the heck of it is never on my list, whether it is in my office or a party or on Facebook. I like to lead from the front and talk with colleagues about project work, but ask me to mingle with the same people offline and I might turn back to my novels instead.
Hear, hear! There have been many introverts among the famous personalities in our world. There have been many musicians, film-makers, writers, scientists, doctors, engineers, mathematicians, economists, philosophers in and around us who have made a mark in their respective fields and were an introvert in their personal lives. The popular author of Harry Potter series- J.K.Rowling is an introvert. Even Emma Watson, our very own Hermione Granger, is in the club. The world renowned physicist, Albert Einstein, was widely quoted as saying that the monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind. Steven Spielberg, director and producer of many popular Hollywood films that include Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Adventures of Tintin, and War of the Worlds is an introvert. Did you know that the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi was also an introvert? And the list goes on.
Recently I read in a website about the review of a book titled, The Introvert Advantage (How to Thrive in an Extrovert World) written by Marti Laney. The book went deeper inside a human brain to find out the real reason behind a person being an introvert. It reveals that such a person is the one who is over-sensitive to Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps in the transmission of signals in the brain and other vital areas and so, too much external stimulation overdoses and exhausts him/her. I couldn’t understand what all this meant. Some scientific fact indeed. But whatever amount of Dopamine or any such thing that I have in my brain, I am fine by it. Over-sensitive or not, I am an introvert, sometimes quiet and many times in my own thoughts. If you can handle it, then fine. If not, then move on. Take it or leave it, see? It’s very simple. No need to break your head or mine for that matter on my mysterious, satirically rude, shy, arrogant, cumbersome and old soul world. I am definitely not any of these adjectives used but I am labeled as such by the society I live in.
And I am least bothered by it. What to do! That’s how I am. I love being myself. I am a big introvert in my personal life. You might come barging into my life and shake me roughly to speak up to your friends and admirers, catching me unawares and distracting me from my work with your nonsense speech. But then you might run away in search of a safe hide-out on seeing me removing my heels in retaliation and throwing them at your retreating figure.
That’s me. Some introvert indeed! :-)