Please be patient with us introverts right now. Most people I know are RUNNING into public, vacations, and returning to their normal. The poking of “when are we going to get together” and return what was normal for everyone else is overwhelming. Some of us are not only not ready, but were never big fans of it in the first place.
There are a lot of misconceptions about introverts. The first being that we don’t like socializing at all, are shy, or are afraid of being in public. None of those things are true (though in many cases personality archetypes do run together) for me. I like socializing. It just physically and mentally exhausts me. I’m an empathetic person and I devote my entire amount of energy and attention to the person/people I’m engaging with. I need to decompress after that as it physically exhausts me more than a 10-mile run.
I’m not shy, have never been shy, never spent a minute of my life feeling shy. I do suffer from anxiety, but those are two different things. I’m outspoken, opinionated, and comfortable speaking in front of large crowds.
I’m not AFRAID of the public, but I do not like crowds or being in large groups of people. As I mentioned I’m an empath and often the energy from so many people in social gatherings can be overwhelming. In other scenarios like a crowded store or restaurant, I simply don’t like feeling like a herd of cattle. I like my space. I like to breathe. And in my personal experience, the average person is rude and often disrespectful.
Patience Please, Padawan Learners
Those are real things I face. I also deal with them. It doesn’t stop me from going to concerts, running in races where people are literally corralled together like cattle, engaging in social events, traveling, or any other activities that I find exhausting. What I do require after is decompression.
Bringing this back around……during the past several months of quarantine I’ve been reaching out to all of my extrovert friends that have been struggling and friends that are always out and about filling their schedules with activities not at home because I know they’ve struggled. A lot of these people have just jumped right back into life and are fast-forwarding gatherings, get together’s and visits which is great for them, but it is absolutely exhausting for us introverts. What I am asking is for the same patience and the same understanding.
I’m slowly trying to see people I haven’t in months, but to be quite honest the time periods of which I haven’t seen people outside of close family and friends really isn’t that far of a gap from what our normal visiting schedule is like. But now it’s overload and it’s just too much. I liked not having every weekend full of required activities and I intend to try to keep that peace in my life, if only on a smaller scale.
Also, a lot of people would like to ignore that there is still a health crisis going on. That is 100% your choice if you want to travel and congregate in big groups, but I have elderly family and friends that are high risk that we see regularly and I have zero interest in risking their health or their lives. So if you aren’t cautious in that way I won’t be seeing you in person or we will be exercising social distancing. The polite thing is to ask people what’s okay for them right now and if inviting people over asking them what they are comfortable with. Anything less than those considerations makes you kind of a douche bag.
So please friends and family of introverts, the shy, or those that just enjoy keeping to themselves be patient and understanding. A lot of us aren’t ready for health reasons and some because it’s overwhelming and we like our private time. For myself, it’s both.