Monday, March 30, 2015

The Last of the Red-Hot Introverts


People laugh when I tell them I am an introvert.  I am dead serious, yet they laugh and snort at me.
They confuse “shy” with introvert.  I am not shy.  I know how to defend myself.  I can talk to strangers easily.  I have social skills.  Anyone who has met me knows I LOVE to talk.
I am an introvert.  I like people but I also need to be alone.  As a charismatic introvert, getting along with others is a priority, but it tires me.  After a day of smiling, chatting, and seeing to the needs of others, I go home exhausted.
I can go for days (and have) without needing the proximity of another living being, animal or human.
I choose my friends with great care.  If you have gained my favor (not necessarily my confidence), I am fiercely loyal.  But I have been known to disown family and friends. They cease to exist in my circle. It takes a lot to lose my friendship, so it should not be a great surprise to those who do.  They only have to look at themselves and how they treated me to understand the alienation.
It surprises me to hear that I am rude, or cold, or arrogant. It usually comes from those who find me a threat.  They do not understand that my rudeness is a defensive strategy or intolerance for stupidity and hypocrisy.  If they find me cold, it stems from my introvert nature.  They mistake my smile for friendship and are insulted when it isn’t. As for the arrogance, I have no excuse.
Introverts are thinkers and great studiers of their surroundings.  While others force their ideas on others with their loud voices and threatening body language, introverts (or at least this introvert) see through their affectations and call their bluff.
Data shows that introverts make up half of the population, but I beg to differ.  I would say we outnumber the extroverts if you count many have been falsely classified because they are or have been in the public eye. Abe Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Rosa Parks were introverts. Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg are introverts. Audrey Hepburn, Candice Bergman and most authors, especially my favorite J. K. Rowling, are introverts. 
It’s not a laughing matter; it is a personality trait, and I am glad to be one.


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