Wednesday, 23 December 2015

That's the Thing About Introverts... They Demand to be Ignored..

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So many people tell me that I'm really shy, or super quiet, and that I should just talk more. This is something that I've struggled with all through school, both primary school, and secondary school, and it's still a major personality trait in college. 

I am a quiet person. 

Why can't people just accept this? Y'know, I like being quiet. I would much rather be with a few close friends in a coffee shop, and have deep and meaningful conversations, than exchange small talk with an acquaintance at some random's party. 
On basically every single parent's evening in school, my parents have been told the same thing. "She needs to talk more" "She's too quiet" "She doesn't interact with the large majority of the class". Okay, my year 5 teacher even told my mum that I deserved to be bullied because I was too quiet, and didn't really like spending time with other people. A teacher said this. No one seems to understand that maybe I just like being alone sometimes, or with a few close friends. 

Another thing that I'm regularly told is that I'm shy. And yes, I may seem cripplingly shy. And yes, I do sometimes agree that I am shy. But I don't think I am, not really. I, personally, feel that there is a difference between being an introvert and being shy. 

You see, an introvert is someone who is very though-orientated; they're always inside their own head, deep in thought, and they seek a depth of knowledge, and they are energised by being alone. A shy person is merely reserved or embarrassed in the company of others. 
I see myself as an introvert. 
I think a lot, that has to be said. I can also talk a lot, in the right company. But, when I spend time with large groups of people, I am more than happy to sit and listen to them talk. I find it interesting. Yet still I get asked if I'm okay, or why I'm so quiet, or jokes are made about how weird it would be if I suddenly got really angry, lost it, and started yelling and putting people in their places.. I don't really feel embarrassed in social situations. Another thing about me is, I quite like talking to strangers. Which, I know, can be dodgy, but I've spoken to people on buses before, and it's so lovely to see people's views on things, and just to spend some time with someone different. A shy person wouldn't do that, would they? Like, I don't know, they would probably just listen to their iPod or something. 

As usual, I'm not too sure where this post is going, but I want to write it, so I'm going to just go with whatever I put.. 

People always assume that introverts are shy, and we're not really. We just are different to extroverts. I've met a fair few extroverts, and social butterflies in my seventeen years of life, and I cannot even begin to tell you how jealous I am of their ability to just thrive in social situations, and to be confident, and chatty and interesting. 

But I am who I am. 

Another thing I want to write about in this post is a thing called an "ambivert". And no, it's not some weird animal or whatever. There is a spectrum of social interaction, just like there is a spectrum of sound (left to right) and a spectrum of asexuality (sexual to asexual) and people can sit anywhere on these spectrums.. Apart from maybe the sound one.. Yeah, that didn't make much sense, did it? 
But anyway, back to ambiverts. They are people that aren't introverts and aren't extroverts. People have always assumed that the social interaction thing is just black and white, you either like people, or you don't. But, unfortunately, nothing is black and white. 

An ambivert is someone who might love spending time with people, but will get tired after a period of time spent socialising; they enjoy time alone, but too much time alone sends them into a depressive slump.. You get the picture. Basically, an ambivert is someone who is kind of a crossover between a bubbly, social extrovert, and a quiet, thoughtful introvert. 
A very useful, and insightful article about ambiverts can be found right here

So that's all I really have to say for today, other than, I apologise if the title of this post offended anyone, it was a joke, I am very sorry. (I adapted John Green's quote, "That's the thing about pain. It demands to be felt." I just thought it was funny). 

Okay, bye for today! 
- Dottie. 

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