An Introverts New and Now Confident Response to the World’s Extroverts
I am a natural homebody introvert. I’m a homebody because all my stuff is there, and I don’t like people. When I was younger, I tried so hard to fit in. Especially in high school, I just wanted to be like everybody else, fit in and have friends. It just didn’t wish to work for me. I was a bit of an outcast. Not like being like everybody else didn’t mark with a scarlet letter or anything, but I had a tough time being in crowds, even more, noisy and, worst of all, chaotic crowds. I had a hard time fitting in. I did have friends. I did have people I talk to and still talk to, and I am happy when I have the opportunity to see them.
Though I wasn’t part of the crowd, I wanted so bad to be in. I tried to be more extroverted and social. It usually ended with me still being off the side, quiet, and in the back. That’s what I was comfortable with. That was and is my comfort zone. However, it is tough when you are interested in the opposite sex or even the same sex. I doubt it matters. You may be quiet when you’re an introvert, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have infinite abilities all swirling around tie dye style in your head from which the world can benefit.
Extroverts are like shotguns. They blast out and hit everyone and everything. I’m a single-shot sniper laser-focused on the heart of the matter. In reality, both are needed. I get that. But I don’t have to be like you, nor do you have to be like me.
A double standard does exist here. The extroverts are the social ones. They’re the fun ones that are often spread too thin to focus on anyone, but who cares? They’re fun. They’re the life of the party. And yes, they get the girls, guys, or whatever is yours after. They get to say you should be more like me, and that’s accepted.
In my head, I wanted to be accepted, an extrovert, and be the party’s life. I tried so hard to do so. When I did, it usually didn’t work so well. I wasn’t being authenticated, which resulted in awkward interactions. I found that I was livelier if I drank an energy drink or two before going out, but that isn’t a good solution. I shouldn’t take any chemical, even if I get it at a convenience store, to feel good or be accepted.
The whole time this was going on, I had this picture of my ideal self in my head, but I wasn’t identifying with it and rejecting it. The best way I can put it is through movie character illustrations. I am either Lloyd from Say Anything or Wes Bentley’s character from American Beauty. I’m quiet. I am who I am. I don’t need to, nor do I was to fit in. I accept that now. My self-esteem has gone up, and so has my self-confidence. I no longer need to please anybody.
The new me. The me I now accept and the me I’m supposed to be has a new, more confident response when the world’s extroverts tell me I need to talk more and expand my comfort zone. I now politely smile and say, “I’m comfortable in my comfort zone. Why don’t you shut the f**k up? Take a step back, and we’ll all be comfortable again.”