I am battling with insomnia the last few weeks. It’s a bit annoying because it feels like this endless battle. But I have managed to fix it before, so I know I will soon. I pray anyway. Why do I get insomnia? Mainly because when stress and inevitable conflicts arise I cannot shut my mind off. However, I am aware I must let go of things that I cannot control.
Now onto to my point…
Kindness is a word most of us aspire to reach. We yearn to be synonymous with the words “good person.” My mother always told me, “ be polite, especially in public.” I try my best. But who knows how much I succeed at it—probably not 100% of the time, especially since I am an introvert.
I go out into the world, and people don’t hold doors for others. By the world, I mean the mall. They don’t say excuse me. They want to push you out of the way. Shopping turns people into monsters. Okay, maybe not monsters. But some people are mean and nasty. And then, of course, you have the kind and polite ones.
Introverts we like our space—actually it’s an American thing Too. Notice all the in between seats at the theater. When you use a public restroom, Americans tend to skip a stall instead of using one where a person is next to it. Again, So we like our space.
When I’m out shopping, I mind my business at my side of the rack looking for clothes. As soon as it begins to get crowded, I move on to another one or seek a new aisle where it’s a bit emptier in comparison to other ones. Well, my friend noticed this pattern and thought I was unhappy. I’ve been stressed about the insomnia, but I wasn’t unhappy. I felt quite happy. She worried that I had issues with society. That’s the exact bias introverts cope with on a daily basis, an inaccurate understanding or meaning of who we are. I was quite chatty actually, except it was with my friend.
So how to we make our friends and loved ones understand that introverts don’t have anything against society? Or freaks. Yes, I’ve heard this word about an introvert. As I mentioned a few times, we like our space. We love our private circle of friends. It doesn’t mean we dislike others or that we won’t interact with them. We enjoy our alone time. It doesn’t mean we hate people. Unless someone is rude, then yes, that won’t make me happy—like a lady in three different occasions pushing her cart through a thin aisle without saying “excuse me,” and pushing my purse. Extrovert or introvert, no one will like this behavior. It’s rude.
At the mall, we had this random young couple approach my friend and me. They began to improvise different accents and characters. I liked them and was quite amused. They seemed very kind, and they made me smile and laugh. I kept a bit more space than my extroverted friend, and yet I found these particular strangers part of the lovely people at the mall. We all introduced ourselves and shook hands–a bunch of strangers engaging in a friendly and sociable interaction.
So what exactly makes an introvert a freak or antisocial? Nothing. Introverts aren’t freaks or antisocials. They are unique individuals different from you. I cannot stress this enough; we feel comfortable with our circle of friends.
To me, the definition of politeness and kindness means to accept people for who they are, and don’t mistreat them or get frustrated because they are different from you and have different needs.
So, next time you notice an introvert retreating, don’t assume they are unhappy or that they dislike you. I understand that it’s difficult to tap into the mind of a quiet person. However, give them time to gain your trust. And when you achieve it, make sure to cherish it.
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, tell me about your frustrations. What bothers you about a quiet person? Why? And if you’re an introvert, tell me about your “freakish” or awkward moments. How did you feel? Why? Have you social anxiety? Feel free to share your experience. I’m no expert, but I am an introvert doing a lot of research on my own.