This post, unlike many of its predecessors will veer away from the traditional self-deprecation that is my trademark and head directly towards self-affirmation.
I’m an introvert. This isn’t surprising to anyone who knows me. I need to be alone at pretty regular intervals throughout the weeks and months. This is how I recuperate and rejuvenate. But more importantly, it is an activity that I enjoy.
I love the time I get to spend pursuing my own projects. I love having the freedom to simply exist with my thoughts or to wrestle with them on the page. There’s something delicious and richly fulfilling about being alone. I don’t expect everyone to feel this way, of course, but I think it’s a viewpoint that could do with more publicity.
Here’s the thing, almost always when someone withdraws from company it is seen as a negative, an indication that something is wrong. I don’t want to get into a discussion of mental health issues (it deserves a much more in depth discussion), but suffice to say this is sometimes the case. Withdrawal from normal behavior can indeed be a sign that a person is struggling. But if quiet time alone is itself a normal form of behavior, might I, as a proud introvert, suggest less pity?
You don’t have to understand or agree with what I think is fun, but it becomes irritating fairly quickly when people express sympathy when I leave a social event early, or when I decide to spend time in isolation. I fall into the trap myself sometimes, too. It’s a societal thing. A person’s social status is generally based on the amount of time they’re seen with other people (at least from my understanding of it), so to willingly choose seclusion is to willingly embrace a decrease in apparent social standing. Which is really ridiculous. The number of times I’m in a public setting is in no way indicative of the strength or quantity of my relationships.
The truth is, I don’t do well at loud and large gatherings. Not because I’m not a social human being, but because I’m not that kind of social. I’m a one-on-one specialist. I like humans a lot, and I like hearing their stories. I like actually being able to listen to people and engage in conversations. Loud sorts of endeavors aren’t really created to cater to in-depth discussions.
So that’s all, I just want to say that I’m very glad to be an introvert and I hope people can accept that. Thanks for listening and maybe next time someone decides to spend some time alone wait a moment before expressing pity. I’ll be working on this as well!