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Who or what is an introvert? The uninitiated should know what it means. Personality assertiveness – this is not what it means but people are making their personalities known. It is either done by direct communication, smart understanding of the observer or left in the lurch with that void of the unknown.
For example, ‘I do not like cricket’ is not a personality trait but a preference or a choice. ‘I do not like to socialise’ – is a personality trait closely attributing to introverts.
The dictionary as Google calls an Introvert – a shy person – which is untrue. A subtler meaning from Vocabulary.com – ‘an inward person who prefers solitary as compared to large groups of people. They are quiet, not bothered by mixing or mingling with other people.’ Personal networking is not their forte.
The keywords here are ‘inward’ and ‘solitary’. The two words are primary for an introvert. Next comes ‘not bothered by mixing or mingling with other people’. Understand this, it may take ‘years’ for an introvert with a person who they see often to mix up. In most cases, it does not even happen. Most importantly, they don’t even care what you say or think.
I did not know I was an introvert until a few years ago. I exhibited behaviour that was nothing but introversion and I was unaware of it. I had one question to ask myself – Not keeping in touch with people was not my thing. I did not do it on purpose it would simply happen. I just did not and still don’t like to pick up my phone to call people or even much less chat with them. This would not matter how close the person was to me. I was either an observer, an eager non-participant in a group or both.
If I am active in any group then it is the office group and for official purposes only. If I have to call anyone, most of the time it will be my office colleagues for official work. On rare occasion does the topic drift away from the actual purpose of the conversation.
I preferred to stay at home, ride my bike, drive my car and play videogames. This habit of being a so-called ‘recluse’ was beyond comprehension in the beginning. Frankly, I did not mind that nor did it bother me in any way. I knew I had to live with this introversion without knowing what it was.
The introvert is a personality type. The brief behaviours described above, when turned to the opposite, is called an extrovert. The majority of the personality types exhibit this behaviour. However, introverts are a rarity. Within introverts, there are many sub-types. But I want to talk about introverts in general.
It was in 2012 that I was beginning to accept my personality-type that I am an Introvert. Keeping in touch with friends, ex-colleagues and even relatives was not my thing. In the initial days when I realised this, a brief wonderment would course through me asking that question – why was I like that. Eventually, addressing that question was not my thing. I let the question hover on the surface of my mind for several years.
Around the same time. I realised and came to accept that Introverts are a different breed and I am one of them.
Are there similar breeds of people like me? Only to be met with rarity! Introverts were as scarce as a meteor shower! I knew one colleague sharing similar interests but she was a girl. There is another office colleague who shares a dissimilar interest with me but he is also on a different level.
I am yet to encounter a third introvert in my office or someone who I could relate to. Let that show the rarity of Introverts.
Coronavirus Pandemic 2020 not a hard time for introverts!
Let me say seriously – at the time writing this blog post in May 2020 – it was the time when Coronavirus pandemic struck humanity.
I say humanity because it plagued most countries in the world. The US, China, Russia, Europe and my country India were badly affected. Comparatively, India was faring much better in handling the pandemic. The government had initiated lockdown procedures – restricting people’s movement greatly. Most of us complied.
I like most of my colleagues are working from home from 19th March 2020 to the mandated lockdown date of 3rd May 2020 and now extended by 2 weeks till 17 May 2020. What’s going to happen post with I do not know.
The government the world over have suggested precautionary measures of social distancing and staying at home. ‘Social Distancing’ and ‘Staying at home’ is nothing new to introverts. That was something we were doing way before the outbreak of Covid-19!
Despite the lockdown that is enforced – I still need to get out. No, not to meet people but to ride my bike. On and off I do get the opportunity to drive my car but that is more on an ‘official’ purpose to ferry Phoebe to the doctors for regular consultation.
I love biking, it was only last year that I upgraded from a 150 CC commuter bike – Honda Unicorn (2004 model) to a 200 CC TVS Apache RTR 200 4V (2019 model). Undoubtedly the bike is amazing and will blog separately about it.
How else do I ‘get out’:
This should not come to you as a surprise. I start by not contacting anyone! There is an ‘unless’ associated with that first sentence, that ‘unless’ means if it pertains to office work.
Before starting with my work life, I spent my time playing videogames. It was something that cultivated my interests since childhood. Unfortunately, becoming a career-game designer was not in my destiny. With fewer friends and bad performance in academics, my PC became my life. I can live without TV but not without a PC. During this time.
PC for me is like a full-fledged entertainment system. It has been my companion ever since I found solace in it. I can play games, watch movies, listen to music, create my YouTube Videos – although right now it is on my phone, blog and pretty much does almost everything. I only had my best friend to look up to. He became my 4 AM friend. No matter how bad the calamity struck, we have been for each other through thick and thin. Never once did I regret it.
Introverts find recluse in their ways. One of my introverted office colleagues can easily succumb to travelling. She has her travel gang and visits places whenever time permits.
I am a content creator and create YouTube gaming videos, I blog and also learn how to create music. In time I will also work on my novel.
#Offtopic: How to make sure you are not making an introvert feel bad?
Making an introvert feel bad is the worst thing that you could do. Doing so online or offline would not matter. Expect no compromise from their end.
Once you cross an Introvert – you are ‘blacklisted’ for life! It will lead to temporary disconnection from their lives and in worst cases, that disconnection may be permanent. An introvert will never make the first move unless it is required.
If things go out of hand, expect to reach a point of no return. The moment that bad turn of events is fixed in their head – it will never come out.
A thing about my best friend:
I have a best friend. He is my best friend not because I call him so but because he has earned it. I don’t call anyone else my best friend for the sake of saying it. There is one girl who deserves to be called my best friend and I will talk about her separately.
I rarely pro-actively call him. Most of the time he gives me a call either to meet-up or go somewhere or eat something (which is rare).
Till date, he has never asked why am I not keeping in touch or checking on me whether I am alive or dead. He gives me my Introverted space and recognises when I need it. Till date, I have never told him that I need time to recharge. Since the time of our late schooling, we have been best friends and still are. Perhaps, we will also grow old together! May God bless him always!
When an introvert opens up to you recognise that they consider you special. Once one of your friends declares that he or she is an introvert or you realise it, don’t force to keep in touch. Don’t fight, argue or ’emotionally blackmail’ them to meet, stay in touch or call up. Respect their space. The more you push them, the farther they will go. The next time they proactively contact you, it will not be because they want to stay touch, it will be because you forced their hands to call you. Leave them be or they will eventually drift away. Trust me, you don’t want that.
Sometimes, it is hard for some introverts to declare to some people that they are one. Under such circumstances, more understanding is required. Remember, Introverts do not like to be compelled or forced upon. Try to figure the subtle signs they give away. There is no better place to understand that than social media.
My office colleague, the travel bug, had shared a post about introverts on Facebook. I was grateful for that and thanked her for it.
I soon started following it and sharing it on my newsfeed. Any post that I can connect with, I immediately share it online. If you are my friend then this will come in your news feed. That is my subtle hints to you. Better if you recognise that fact otherwise we know how to ‘get out’.
There are some when they hate to be told what to do – this implies they disliked to be bossed around even when you are not their office bosses or videogame bosses. Such instances, I believe is rare and is not subjected to expressing.
The difference between Introversion and having an attitude:
Most extroverts may feel this at the first instant. He or she does not talk because he or she has loads of attitude. while this may be true for some people, in the instances of Introverts it is not you will find them to be the least proud!
Their behaviour of not talking is their way of being selectively social. If the time they invest will demise in a short period is not worth putting their energy into. They measure their time well and know the outcome of how much investment in terms of time and energy will be involved.
A person who has an attitude is mostly associated with the ego in some way or another. Attitude always shows how the person talks and behaves. In other words, Introversion is hard to gauge where an attitude can be gauged.
There is a thin line that differentiates the two. It is only when you eventually mix up with the person you may understand.