“Let’s clear one thing up: Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people. We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.” ~ Laurie Helgoe
Yes, I am an introvert. No, I am not happy in lockdown.
Lately, during the COVID-19 lockdown, I have been seeing a lot of memes about introverts and how happy they must have felt when they have found out that they were going to be confined to their homes.
Heck! Even I shared some of those memes. I was certainly tagged in a bunch.
My friends and colleagues know that I cancel plans all the time and rarely attend gatherings. Let’s be real! As an introvert, I would rather climb the 1,576 stairs of the Empire State Building than go out in a group of more than, say, two people. Moreover, most of my hobbies require solitude and, consequently, people decided that I must be what the current world calls, an introvert.
However, what a lot of people do not know is that introverts do have a super small circle of special humans that we love to interact with, hug tightly, and talk to for hours. We even miss them when they aren’t around.
This lockdown has been tough for introverts, as well, and I dare say, even more than others.
After all, we do feel things deeply, and we are affected more by everything. Not being able to properly connect with these few individuals is more difficult for us and hits harder because the satisfaction that others might get from things such as small talk at grocery stores do not satisfy us.
It is certainly easier for someone who prefers reading over partying to spend more hours at home feeling entertained and content, but it doesn’t make dealing with all the overwhelming feelings and overthinking easier.
We just wish the world would understand what really being an introvert means, especially during these rough times.
Here’s what we want you to know:
1. Introverts are not shy, at least not all of us are.
It is really sad that the dictionary’s definition of “introvert” is shy. Some of us are shy by nature, but being quiet, disliking big groups and surface chitchat, or needing time to recharge after being around people has nothing to do with shyness.
2. Introverts are not quiet all the time.
People should see when an introvert finds another human that they like talking to. This Lana Del Rey quote sums it best:
“When you’re an introvert like me and you’ve been lonely for a while, and then you find someone who understands you, you become really attached to them. It’s a real release.” ~ Lana Del Rey
3. Introverts are not anti-social.
We do not hate people; we are not psychos. On the contrary, introverts are usually empaths. We love and help others like no other. We’ve been hurt so many times and we are still the first ones to run to the rescue when needed. We connect with animals and feel so much love for innocent and helpless creatures.
4. We are not depressed.
I cannot stress this enough. If we need our alone time or if we are quiet, it does not mean we are depressed. Depression is a serious medical illness. It is not melancholy, or the need to recharge. Introverts are at peace on the inside more than many people who only seem happy.
5. We are not eccentric weirdos.
I mean, we can be—but it is not a requirement for introversion. We may lead a normal and successful life that may not seem like the perfect fit to the social norms of today’s society, but anyway who said that fitting in is the right thing to do?
6. We do not want to be forever single and die alone.
Last but not least, we actually want another introvert who will “introvert” with us happily ever after.
To sum up, it is crucial to understand others, as much as we, ourselves, want to be understood. The next time we meet an introvert, let us not judge them too quickly, and let us be kind enough to let them be who they are, love them the way they are, and give them the space they need.
“Blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge.” ~ Paulo Coelho