It occurred to me while I was at a swim team potluck party where I should've been socializing, but instead I was off by myself with my head stuck in the book Quiet, the epitome of an introvert. I've known my whole life I was introverted, so it didn't come as a shock to me. But, I thought I'd gotten to a point in life, through my own forced self socialization program, where I could disguise my true nature to strangers. But, I just outed myself to everyone at the pool.
When I started reading the book, it was just so engrossing, I couldn't put it down. It put into words everything I've ever thought as an introvert. Mostly, that the world is ruled by and favors extroverts. And that being an introvert is like having a disease. It's something that needs to be overcome. I always felt like something was inherently wrong with me that I needed to fix. Or explain it. Usually, both. But, I didn't want to do either if it involved talking to people. Cause I'm abominable at talking to people. Especially ones I don't know.
Both of my parents were also terminal introverts. I can't even comprehend how they got together. I mean who approached whom exactly? What did they talk about? Or did they communicate through a series of notes. Because introverts are typically much better writing their thoughts down than saying them. Case in point, moi.
I took the test in the book to determine if I was indeed an introvert. I knew I was, but I was surprised that I answered every question "True" for introversion. Yes, a perfect score. What I didn't know is that not all introverts are shy. Unfortunately, I am. So it means while not only do I live in a world in my head, I find social situations awkward and painful. Even when I've enjoyed myself, I still feel drained and need post party recovery time alone. So I can recap all the stupid unscripted things I said trying to make small talk.
I went through years of high school and college, sitting in the back of classrooms not raising my hand when I knew the answer. I had a college professor tell the whole class on the first day he knew the grade we'd get based on the seat we chose. While I quietly sat buried in the "F" zone, I walked out with an "A" like I knew I would. I avoided parties in high school and college, because they were uncomfortable. I chose to work on Friday and Saturday nights instead knowing I'd get an "A" at working and knowing for damn sure I'd get an "F" at a frat party that I had no interest in going to.
I haven't finished the book yet, so I don't know if there's hope for me as a desperately shy introvert in an extroverts world. I hope so. But, I am happy that while I have 3 introverted children and one extrovert who never shuts up, none of them are shy. So there is hope for them.
Shhhhhhhh....now, if you could kindly keep it down, I need to finish the book.