It sucks being an introvert. There’s my thought. It’s tough making new friends, whenever I try to strike up a conversation with someone new I get nervous and start stammering. Small talk and general conversational skills don’t come easy to me. I come off as being weird, sometimes creepy. The ladyfolk don’t really like that. lol. Back in my drinking days I would stay in a dark corner until I was good and drunk and then proceed to overdo trying to portray the confidant assertive guy. Usually to my detriment. Way too many mornings of calling people to ask what I did and who I have to apologize to. After those many benders I would want to crawl in a hole and hide. Took a while to find out the cure for introversion is not at the bottom of a Heineken bottle. Or a Jack Daniels bottle.
Hanging out in general is a daunting task at times too. Friends ask me to come out and when I politely decline they feel it necessary to try to convince me. The more they ask the more I sound like a douche saying no. People! When your introvert friend declines to go to a party or social gathering, please accept the refusal. We are not being dicks! We really appreciate the fact you thought of us but when you insist, we are incredibly uncomfortable. If we are ready to be sociable we will be. I don’t expect everyone to understand, just respect our wishes. Again, we are not being mean or dismissive.
I often stay home wishing I had the social skills to be around a large group of people, particularly my friends. I’d like nothing more than to be able to comfortably chat about whatever but I just can’t. I am listening to everyone and enjoy the stories being told but if I am asked to contribute to the palaver I fail pretty hard. My stories often come out all sorts of awkward adding to the anxiety. The more anxiety, the more awkward…and down the rabbit hole I go. People politely excuse themselves, awkward silence hovers like a dark cloud, beads of sweat form on my palms and I find a reason to leave the group. The need to be away from these situations can be overwhelming.
Thankfully it is not a guarantee that I never speak to anyone, it sometimes comes and goes. I put a lot of effort into trying to converse like a “normal” person and there have been times when I succeeded. I’m not a hermit after all. I like making people laugh and smile. I like talking about something I’m passionate about. Love useless trivia. Most of all I love learning things. As long as I’m listening! haa…
Being an introvert definitely has significant drawbacks. I come off as being distant and unsociable. I miss out on great opportunities and relationships. I’ve lost many friends because of it too. Do I wish I was more outgoing? Sure I do. I didn’t ask to be as withdrawn as I am but this is how I was wired and I deal with it the best I can.