Warning: This is a pretty major rant and I mean no ill will or meanness...
Can I ask an honest question? I promise I intend no malice. Many of you are my friends, my com padres, people I enjoy and want to keep on enjoying...But I have a problem.
Someone intimated to me the other day that she was surprised I knew as much about a certain subject as she did. Her reasoning?...She's an introvert...and I'm so obviously not.
It hurt me that she would say that, but I wanted to learn something so I asked why. Her response "You're so bubbly and happy and fun. I just assumed you wouldn't have an interest in things like this."
Luckily for her I'm a nice person and I genuinely like her so, I restrained my extrovert tendencies and didn't get loud and obnoxious when I informed her that I like reading, calm and quiet just as much as she does. But I also enjoy people and I learn a great deal about a bunch of different things because of my interactions with and curiosity about other people.
I've forgiven this person but this opened my eyes to a common trend lately and I just wanted to share and ask to have a conversation with you, my dearest introverted friends.
Why does it seem like extroverts are always being portrayed as idiots?
Why is it automatically assumed that because I'm happy all the time (I'm really not...remember this post) I'm an airhead?
Why is it assumed that introverts are "deeper" "more intelligent" than their extrovert counterparts?
Why is it OK for an introvert to complain about the extroverts around them disrupting their day and making them miserable but it's not OK for an extrovert to complain about the introverts around them sucking their happiness into a black hole of boring?
I've been an extrovert all my life. But I've always tried to be a very kind one. I genuinely like everyone. There are very few (sadly yes there are some) people that I don't like and can't tolerate. And even those people I'm nice to because I've always felt that while I dislike them, it's not their fault that I do. My feelings are mine and I own them. They don't set out to annoy or upset me on purpose (once again though...there are a few who do) and so it's my problem that I don't like them so it's my responsibility to either avoid them or learn how to deal with them. But nicely. Kindly. With tolerance and love.
It's been my sad experience to run afoul of quite a few not so kind introverts lately and their excuse for their unkind behavior has been that they are introverts and I annoy them. Simple. As. That.
I realize that I am loud, but I also know I'm not the only person in the world...if I'm loud and you can't tolerate it...Kindly tell me. Chances are I don't realize it and as soon as you let me know I'll do my level best to fix it for you. Because I care about you.
I realize that you don't always want to talk to me...I also realize that I sometimes gloss over or overlook social cues...If I'm overwhelming you...Please tell me. Be honest. Say something like, "Shelley...I am very sorry but I just can't talk right now." I'll be a little disappointed (what extrovert wouldn't?) but I'll respect you. I'd much rather you respect me enough to let me know what to do to help you be at your best than for you to allow me to invade your peace.
But I'm going to ask you a favor, and I'm sincere, and I really want dialogue about this...Please stop treating the extroverts i your life like they are the enemy. They aren't. They just want to be your friend. They just want to love you. They just want to understand and learn from you.
Also...It sure would be nice for you to understand that while I am an extrovert, and I talk a lot, and I love people and being the center of attention, public speaking, singing, telling stories and generally anything that allows me to interact with people...I also:
Need time alone (just not as much as you)
Enjoy reading (a lot...I mean...A LOT!!!)
I sometimes don't want to be around people. I sometimes just want to sit in my own space and marinate in my music...just like you.
Have the ability to think deep and very meaningful thoughts
Most importantly...I'm a person worthy of respect and love and kindness.
This piece really resonated for me when I read it and I really hope you'll check it out and take most, if not all, of it into account. Just like you need me to take care of you...I need you to do the same for me. It's all about mutual respect.