Most introverts I meet, including myself, want friends. We, like many people, long for meaningful relationships and meaningful connections. Who wouldn't want to be surrounded by people they love and connect with? Introverts, most times, long to be accepted. Heck, we even sometimes find ourselves longing for connections so much so that we try to alter our personalities. Some of us try to take on the persona of someone we perceive as extroverted in hopes of being included. It never works. Hell, almost 100% of the time of us trying to change ourselves backfires and we end going right back to our introverted selves like a dumbass. However, even with our longing for connections and efforts to find these connections, for myself and others that I meet who identify as introverts, we're perceived as people who generally don't like people. This is not true.
What I've found to be true for myself as an introvert is that my comfortability makes other people uncomfortable. What do I mean, you ask? I mean that in a setting that would make extroverts uncomfortable, I can find comfort. The uncomfortability experienced by some extroverts leads them to say that introverts are stuck up people. For example, An introvert would perceive themselves as minding their quiet business, and someone would perceive that behavior as unfriendly for not starting a conversation. I can only wonder why then didn't the extrovert start the convo with the introvert? Interestingly, whether or not the extrovert wants to or didn't want to start the conversation, the introvert is usually okay with remaining alone in silence. But I wonder why is that a threat to some people? As an introvert, I can find comfort in an empty, quiet room while knowing that right outside my door is a party full of people. Yes, I would be that person that would rather be in that quiet room. And, someone else who is not like me would perceive that as weird. Ironically, I wouldn't view the individual who chooses the party over the quiet room as weird. I would gladly welcome them into my quiet space. I wish that the perception of introverts wasn't so negatively interpreted.
One day, I hope that people would start to see that there is nothing wrong with finding comfort in solitude as we see nothing wrong in finding comfort in socialness. And, being comfortable in solitude doesn't necessarily suggest uncomfortability in other settings. It is not so one dimensional. People should understand that introversion has nothing to do with the like or dislike for someone else. Introversion is not something to be turned on or turned off. I do not choose to come off as "stuck up" or unwilling to get to know someone. It is merely my comfort in being alone that poses a threat to society's idea of someone who wants friends. Although I may not be the first to start a conversation with someone, I am open to having that conversation. We may interact differently, but please know that we are indeed interacting.
The next time you see a person that may be an introvert, try saying hello! They may be your next best friend.
To be continued...