Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Introverts: A Forced Enigma

It's almost first nature to assume that different means bad, or in some cases that new is negative and unusual is unfavorable. We often hear about this regarding groups such as homosexuals, minorities, and sometimes even single parents. One that most do not realize, however, is introverts. Dictionary.com defines introversion as "the state of being concerned primarily with one's own thoughts and feelings rather than with the external environment ". All in all, an introvert is a quite person. Often shy, and prefers to keep to themselves. This is the opposite of an extrovert, who will talk and talk until they have to blurt out anything to break the silence...even if it's declaring what their favorite color is. I'm sure we all know that quiet guy. The kid who never acts up or never talks in class, or the teenager who would rather stay at home with a good book instead of a panty raid. I'll also bet we've all heard jokes about this person being a serial killer or rapist. How do I know this? Well, sometimes I'm that guy. In fact, most of the time I am. Of all the things people learn about me, this is what they nitpick at the most.

Like I brought up before, there's the serial killer joke. This brings me back to my school days. While more than one person has accused me of that, there's one more that's really caught my interest: intelligence. The words "mentally challenged" have been tossed around, as well as "retarded". Now I'm not Einstein, but I like to think I know my way through a textbook. To have everything I say ignored, and be judged for the fact I don't shout random things when I enter a room...that gets a little more frustrating than you might think. Even a teacher, who was known for never shutting up, went on a rant about me of all people to the class. The man went as far as saying that if it weren't for knowing me better, he'd think I had something wrong with me.. He also celebrated a little that he finally got me to say a sentence. Kids would laugh at me from the other side of the room, assuming I had only air in my head. Little did they know that during their giggles I was writing a two hundred page fiction. Life's ironic.

Then there's how it affects the outside world. Between that and school, I've been given the labels "unmotivated", "secretive", "creepy", "dumb", "lazy", "weak", "untrustworthy", "perverted", "suicidal", and still more...all because I don't talk much. It's amazing how one tiny thing can conjure so many accusations. It's also amazing how not tiny this thing seems to others. Also how much they'll defend these accusations to the death. So when you do encounter another one of us, I beg of you. For the sake of all introverts around, think of what you've just read. Maybe just think of me. I'm an educated, mature, aspiring writer who wants nothing more than to get a job and make his mother and girlfriend happy, with a soft spot for dogs. Despite this, society classifies me under one of the most misunderstood groups there are. Not for my skin color, religion, opinions, even physical appearance, or even athletic ability am I judged for as much as my introversion. Still, I'm not the only one. If you're an introvert reading this: neither are you.

1 comment:

  1. The funny thing to me is that many of the most notorious serial killers were actually extroverted types and supposed pillars of the community! Just by statistical probability alone, most murders would have to be extroverted. Ha-ha!!!

    I absolutely agree with the assessment of an introvert's intelligence. I'm pretty smart, but I'm I have a long processing time like most innies and I suck at extemporaneous speaking, brainstorming and all that extro-invented crap you find in school and the workplace. Because of this I am pretty sure people feel I'm an idiot at times.

    Love the look on their faces when they discover the opposite. I rather enjoy having my abilities underestimated.