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Rule #12: Respecting Introverts

Recently I found this list on Tumblr:

Even more recently (AKA: Sunday), I ended up talking with my Aunt about how depressed I get around my birthday, which is on Memorial Day this year. I talked about getting depressed, mostly because another year passes, where I've yet to find my soulmate. Though I was thankul that for one year I could actually say one thing was going right in my life: writing, I would rather be happy with Morgan and struggling with writing, if given the choice. She said that it seemed things were moving along in the areas I was putting effort in. I told her there wasn't much I could do about what I really wanted, though. And then, I could see the conversation turning in a bad way. As with many people, talking about finding Morgan was not a safe subject. Jan started giving me the same things I've heard so often. I have to go out more and meet people.

World, listen... I have severe Social Anxiety. No, like... seriously. I don't handle social situations well. I can't go out much and never alone. But I'm okay with that. It's part of who I am. Why does nobody get it? Why does it seem that the most common reaction to an introverted person is to try to "fix" them? I realize I'm an extreme case - even my pesonality test has me at 100% introverted - but my point is still true. Why do all the movies try to makeover the quiet girl into a social butterfly? Isn't she beautiful the way she is?

I'm not saying it isn't good to try to gain more confidence. And occasionally, it might even be good to push yourself a little bit. If it's important. If you find you are keeping yourself from something you really want to do. But it is not okay the way everyone wants to make you change into a person that just not you anymore. That's never okay.

And going back to my conversation... when it comes to finding my soulmate, I want to find someone a lot like me (#10). A quiet person, who likes to stay home most of the time. Does it really make sense to push myself into social situations to find a person, who also avoids them? Isn't it way more likely to find that kind of person online? Maybe, he'll stumble onto my blog and fall completely in love. Or vice versa. To me, that seems way more likely.

Not that I'm totally against finding him in person. Not-so-secretly, I wonder if I'll meet him just about everytime I leave the house. And I have pushed myself to do the things that really call out to me. Hopefully, someday, I'll sit with LK Hunsaker in her book tent at craft shows or do some kind of book event at the mall bookstore, like the owner has offered to me... even though the idea of these things kind of terrifies me. But I'm not ever going to push myself to go out and be more social just for the sake of it. Hear that, world?! I like myself the way I am!

Side Notes: 1. I think I need to purchase Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, which LK told me about, since I'm getting so fired up about the subject. 2. Anna Nalick's Shine is a fantastically inspirational song. It's my theme for Spun of Silver, no question. 3. Please fix your spell check button, LiveJournal. I'm a terrible speller, and I'm nervous enough posting with spell check.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 22nd, 2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
Ah, you're young to worry about not finding your soul mate already. A soul mate will happen when it's time.

Yes, you need to be you. The thing is: introversion should not mean you can't go out by yourself. You shouldn't have to be afraid of doing so. That's not you. That's life's byproducts. Please do read Quiet; she explains it. As someone who's had severe social anxiety disorder for ... oh, about 30 years, I have to disagree about not pushing yourself. Take small steps, but push yourself, not to find your soul mate but to find "you" underneath the fear. Your writing will be the better for it, also.

May. 22nd, 2012 11:30 pm (UTC)
Finding my soulmate is the most important thing in my life, and I don't think you are ever too young to want that. I hate when people tell me I'm too young; it's just silly. Age is just a number. You're as old as you feel inside.

Maybe I shouldn't have to feel that I can't go out by myself, but I do. I always have, and I always will. Pushing yourself may help some people, that's true. But it doesn't work that way for me.

Thanks for reading! We may disagree on some things, but I appreciate your input. *Hugs*
(Deleted comment)
May. 23rd, 2012 03:10 am (UTC)
Great input! I think being introverted has degrees, and that there are all different sorts. I'm on the very far end of the spectrum, and it doesn't help that I have Panic Disorder, which makes my issues all the more extreme. The list applies to me, but I can see where some of them don't really fit the theme. It seems more like a Social Anxiety/Panic Disorder list. Which is what I am, so... yeah. I agree with the list applying for me, but not necessarily all introverts.

I took that test awhile ago, but I forgot about that. Haha.

Yeah, exactly. Around here there's not much that people my age do but go drinking, anyhow. And I don't drink. Forcing myself to go out doesn't make any sense.

Thanks for your novel; it was lovely! ^0^/
Jun. 6th, 2012 01:52 am (UTC)
*Stumbles on this blog and falls madly in love*
So how do you propose two flies on the wall meet up and fall in love if they never take a chance of moving from their safe spot?

Indeed, the internet is a great place for introverts (such as myself) to find others, but it still involves taking risks and chances. Let's say you and I fall madly in love but it turns out I happen to live here in Canada. Who is going to take that big step of travelling to see the other? Are you content with a purely digital relationship that has no physical intimacy or would you be willing to fly off of that wall in order to be with your soul mate? Would you ask them to be the one to take that risk?

I'm not entirely sold on this idea that everyone is out to "fix" us introverts. I'd like to think that with many it's more a matter of seeing a friend suffer and wanting to ease that suffering. You say you're happy with who you are while at the same time lamenting the fact you lack a soul mate. So you're suffering and people want to ease that suffering and the most logical way to go about that is suggest you go out there and find Mr Right!

Sure, you've decided that that strategy just won't work for you, but there's no need to think people are just trying to "fix" your introverted nature, when it could very well just be them wanting you to find happiness and not knowing any other suggestions to offer.

I'm just babbling and I'm sure my words have little effect, but just know I'm cheering for ya, so do your best!
Jun. 6th, 2012 01:53 am (UTC)
Somehow the From box reset to anonymous.... I wonder if that last message even sent... Well in case it did, that was from me, your friendly neighborhood PixelPrinny. <3
Jun. 6th, 2012 02:32 am (UTC)
Re: Arg!
If I found my soulmate, I'd hope he'd be able to come and see me, but if that wasn't possible, I would go to be with him.

Being happy with me is different than being happy with my situation.

Where exactly do people think I would meet this someone? The only place people my age go around here are bars. I don't drink, and I think bars are gross.

I do know people mean well, I'm just getting fed up with all the pressure.
Sep. 14th, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
Great post!!!
Keep doing what you are doing. Be yourself! I took many years to learn the extrovert ways, just like everyone said to do. They basically said, don't be yourself, be like me. It was a waste of my time. I needed to be myself. I have decided to happily be myself and I wish I would have done it sooner. I didn't make any close friends faking being an extrovert. I met friends who thought I was something that I was not. I met my husband at work - we were both software developers. I am not shy and I don't have social anxiety and I really do like people. I really like them a lot more now that I have decided that being an extreme introvert is great. I write from home now and hope to publish a book someday on the wisdom of kindness or the kindness of wisdom... Good luck to you and don't waste your time! Be yourself. You are great the way you are!
Sep. 15th, 2012 02:00 am (UTC)
Re: Great post!!!
Thanks very much. <3 And good luck with your book!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )