I don’t know at what point do introverts realize they are introverts? Or that they are not like the vast majority. Is there an age? A moment? The big epiphany?
I don’t remember mine anyways. All I remember is ever since I my adult life I have understood I only have a certain amount of tolerance for interaction with people.
So. Flashback. The main protagonist of this story – a smart, intelligent, kind, pretty, FUNNY girl, was nothing like the party girl she is today. (Yes the girl is me. Funny really gave it away right? Okay No.) I was like any typical teenage girl growing up – conscious of my looks, super shy, zero interaction with these mystical creatures called boys. And school life was so motivating and helpful, that my insecurities did not blossom into full blown social anxiety at all!
In short at age 15 something, I was a high school student with deplorable social skills. Boys were those magical beings other girls called ‘friends’
Fortunately this deplorable social skills girl grew up on the right side of puberty (or maybe just being a girl helped) and I managed to cruise through ‘Hi’s without panic attacks in college.
Improved social skills. Less panic attacks. More than two male acquaintances. The introvert girl had made it!
Until I moved to the next phase of life. Moving away from home. Now when you’re an introvert you already have solitude goals in life. Add to that freedom. And I am not talking about freedom from parents, strictness-freedom. Freedom from recognition. New city. New life. No one knows you. No expectations. No judgements. More importantly no one to care about! Which is in short freedom to live.
Very quickly I realized how easy it was to lose yourself to music. (For some reason I feel very stupid writing this line.) Imagine the shyest person you know. Now imagine him\her dancing like they’ve been drinking for three days straight. Add to that the fact that I don’t actually drink. (Alcohol is only placebo. You do not need a drink to “lighten up” but no judgements)
The thing that baffles my friends is how a person who absolutely loathes stepping out of the house for a movie or lunch is always ready to go to a pub. There’s something about growing up shy. You learn to tackle it. You get better at handling situations. You adult your way through it. But the shy kid always stays. That aversion to people never really goes away. Don’t get me wrong we introverts are like everybody else people. With real friends. We also do “fun” things. It is only when our social circle expands beyond the tolerable number of 3. New people. Small talk. What do I talk about next? That’s the difficult part. And it’s not like you can’t do it (I for one excel in small talk now no kidding) it just takes extra effort than extroverts. Avoiding a social situation is the lazier and easier way out! And that is when you understand the beauty of bars and drunk people. There is a strange kind of freedom being sober in a room full of drunk people. Everyone just assumes you’re drunk. Any kind of behavior is okay. “She’s acting like that because she’s high. He is so silent because he is just enjoying the music” These are the only places where it is socially acceptable to be silent. Or scream at the top of your lungs. Where you can have a conversation about Coldplay’s paradise. Or not have one at all. The only place where people are unusual. And weird. And interesting. Slightly more themselves. The only place where you finally feel like you belong.
Hannah Montana has realized Miley Cyrus is here to stay.