Inspired by Ella’s Inside, Outside – Chronicles of an Introvert, I wanted to talk about my own personal experience and take on the word, though I’ve taken a slightly different direction from Ella. She was detailing how she’s an introvert, and that’s okay…but that it’s not okay to have to remind herself to socialise. While this is true for me too, I’m going to focus more on the fact that a lot of people label me an extrovert, and can’t seem to grasp why I don’t spend my days at pubs and clubs, or in large groups of people.
Outwardly, I seem incredibly confident. I talk loudly, and I do my best not to let people walk over me, or insult me needlessly. I give as good as I get. I’ve had a very successful career so far, especially considering my young age, and I’m working towards continuing to improve myself. However, the truth is, I’m actually incredibly insecure. Not only that, but I’m a worrier. I’m a “catastrophiser.” I will worry about every little thing, including the absolute worst that could possibly happen, even if it’s not truly possible at all. I’m shy, but I try to cover it up with a loud voice and laughing a lot.
I avoid going out when I can. I’m happy in my little cave with my fiancé, playing games all day when I can. I’d rather be curled up on the sofa reading, with a lovely steaming cup of tea, or walking around outside, exploring, than at a pub, club, or any other social construct that people use to spend time with one another. I’m not averse to drinking, but I’d rather do it in my pyjamas. While I absolutely adore gaming events, I find them exhausting, and not just because I’m on my feet all day. Despite enjoying interacting with the people that I meet there, I go home and want to just sleep all day for the next few days. I actually didn’t even realise what was causing this until someone I met at a local geeky convention noticed that I was tired, and joked about how he understood, as he was a fellow introvert. I hadn’t really thought of it like that before.
Just because I don’t do social gatherings quite as much as the next guy, doesn’t mean I don’t like you. Just because I’m pretty poor at staying in touch doesn’t mean I’m not invested in our friendship. I really, truly am. And trust me, I’ve come out of my shell a lot more. I’m learning to exert confidence, even if it is a little fake, whenever I need to. I no longer shy away from spending time in a voice comm channel when doing events with my guild. In fact, I’ve stayed in the same guild without running away from it for a solid few months now, and I have no plans of changing that any time soon.
So what if I prefer to be a bit of a hermit most of the time? Just like Ella at Hello Wonderful, I am an introvert, and that’s okay.