What happens when you feel insecure, self-conscious, or a bit more introverted than normal?
Your hands get sweaty.
And you don’t go through with whatever you were doing because… reasons.
Our extrovert friends have no idea what this feels like or why we don’t wanna go hang out because we would rather build a fort out of blankets and hide from society all weekend. Just please leave me alone.
No means no, am I right?
With these feelings of insecurities comes the potential risk we take in missing out on a great event or having a lot of fun. But we try not to worry about that too much. When we feel like our social fueltank is high enough, we promise to engage in a fun activity… We just need to be home by 9:00, okay?
I remember entering my first few months of adulthood and having to go shop at Wal-Mart… Alone.
Even to this day when I walk into that giant store I feel insecure and unsure of myself. I walk as quickly as I possibly can, I avoid eye contact unless it is a seemingly nice old lady, and I get out as soon as I can… Or I go to the book section and calm down. But even then someone sees me over there and thinks they should also browse the books and stand too close. Get away from me!
I have never been the one to reach out my hand to a stranger and introduce myself. Nope, I will wait for you to introduce yourself and extend your hand first.
This doesn’t mean that having insecurities, being introverted or self-conscious means that I am an antisocial person. Not at all. I can be very social and engaging. With a comfortable group of friends, family or my husband, I can be somewhat outgoing and fun. Yeah it lasts for about two hours before I start to feel like I should go home and build that blanket fort, but at least I went outside.
But as I was saying before, none of this means I am anti-social. I will happily help you get an item from the top shelf and then make a joke out of it, but not for very long. I am too good at the whole shuffle-away-from-conversation-so-I-can-make-a-break escape scenario. Too often I find myself doing this and the other person just doesn’t understand. Let me flee!!!
I don’t like germs. I don’t like big crowds. I don’t like small talk. I don’t like shaking hands. I don’t like talking about myself.
If the conversation spans for more than five minutes at Wal-Mart and you keep edging closer to me, don’t feel offended when I make a lame excuse to leave your ass behind in the cereal aisle. You just don’t get it.
My mom, bless her, has always had a habit of talking to complete strangers in Wal-Mart when I was little and then acted like I was crazy when I would be like, “MOM YOU CAN’T DO THAT!” Which she was probably right. Probably. I can remember being absolutely horrified that she would strike up a random conversation with someone she didn’t know. We would always ask her afterward, “Mom, did you know that person?” She would reply with an innocent, “No,” and question it no further. I love that woman. She is so brave.
Insecurities, introvertedness, and self-consciousness are not signs of being antisocial. They are signs of a person who would rather run away from a conversation than engage. Again, leave me alone. IF you see me in Wal-Mart, smile, wave, say hello, and move on. I am not there to say Good Day to my fellow shoppers but to shop. Gasp.
And before you go around saying that introverts are psychopaths or weird, remind yourself that everyone is unique and capable of being a little different than you. We have bigger numbers than you realize. So the next time you extroverts think it is okay to flag an introvert down in Wal-Mart, don’t. Wave, say hello, and go about your merry way. We will like you far more for doing that than stopping to talk about your children who have the flu.