I am just an introvert. It’s funny how nowadays the extrovert is the ideal type, the perfect example of how we should act. But the world is not made only by extroverts and being an introvert is not something bad. I just started reading Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain and it’s an amazing book that talks about introverts and extroverts and how these are just two personality types and we shouldn’t praise one more than the other.
However, life is hard when you are an introvert, a shy person and have social anxiety. And I am so lucky that I got that combo! And every time I have to do something outside my comfort zone that involves talking I become red as a tomato and my hands get all sweaty and I am shaking and sometimes I am scared I might just have a panic attack. And every single time I just wish I was a little bit more like an extrovert.
In high school I thought I was the only one dealing with this, but fortunately then I didn’t need to put myself out there, outside my comfort zone. But now I am the only one who can solve my problems and I can’t send anyone else to talk instead of me. But I also learned that I am not alone.
It happened the last semester when I really had to talk to a professor and my friend P. had to do the same thing. Both of us stood in front of the door trying to convince one another to knock and enter. “You go first!” “No, you go first!”. Both red like tomatoes, shaking and with sweaty hands. Finally I knocked. And that was the start of a nice friendship between two introverts.
Last week we went to a sleepover. Just us, girls, drinking wine and sharing stories. Everything was fun and pretty until one of the girls brought her boyfriend and two or three friends of his. People were still laughing, still drinking and sharing stories, but I went in my corner away from the center of the attention. Moments later P. was next to me. We just couldn’t deal with that big group of people and that was alright.
The next day we woke up early and went to the school to work on our etching plates. We talked about how the party died for us in the moment the intruders came, about the book of Susan Cain, about how sometimes we would rather stay home cuddled up with a book or a TV show instead of going out or partying. And it’s not because we don’t like parties or spending time with our friends.
We both felt a little less lonely that morning and the night before.