I wrote a while ago about finally coming the realization that I am an introvert. It actually took becoming friends with another introvert for me to realise there is a name for what I feel and it was very refreshing to know it’s not that rare after all.
Now I’m very conscious about some of the things I do as being behaviour that is typical of introverts and with the need to do those things comes a host of first-world problems:
- Having to spend extra time in your public toilet stall waiting for everyone else to wash their hands and leave so you don’t accidentally meet them at the sink and have to say something
- Needing to take your phones (yes, I have two…) everywhere, particularly to the toilet, because if someone happens to call and I can’t answer that means I’ll have to call them back and that’s even worse than having to answer the phone when they called to begin with
- Going to Supercuts and having to put up with bad haircuts because at least I know I’ll be in and out in less than ten minutes and that’s about the longest time I can stand to make random conversation with the hair-dresser
- Walking back from a bus stop that was past the one I wanted to get off at because (a) there was someone sitting next to me and I didn’t want to ask them to let me out (b) nobody else pressed the button and I didn’t want everyone staring at me as the only person getting off the bus at that particular stop
- Taking the stairs whenever I can, avoiding the need to be with someone else in a lift and possibly having to say, “Hi”
- Putting my ear up to the door and checking the hallway for noises before I go outside my apartment to make sure that I don’t actually meet any of my neighbours
- Having to cross to the other side of the road if I see something up ahead that may necessitate having to have an interaction with someone such as road works (some person telling me where to walk) or a garbage man or someone having trouble with something (I’m so not the person you want to ask for directions or for help to operate a parking meter etc.)
- Trying to get the timing right at work to go out the back and make coffee/get a glass of water with no-one else being there that I may have to talk to
- Physically taking the time to go somewhere to make an appointment because I can’t stand to make a thirty second phone call just to make an appointment (I LOVE ONLINE BOOKING SERVICES!)
- Not being able to return anything that is wrong or having to fix things myself because I can’t complain
- Having to shop at large generic stores where I can serve myself and don’t have to talk to anyone (I’m sorry small boutique with fantastic things, I can’t shop at you because your staff will watch me and sometimes want to talk (I LOVE SELF-CHECKOUTS!)
- Going to the dentist/doctor/piercer to get my ring changed out after fucking up my old ring by using the wrong type of pliers (true story from yesterday) and having to tell them my problems (I usually practise what I want to say before I get there and still sound stupid and nervous anyway so I don’t know why I bother practising at all)
- Praying to all the gods that be and sacrificing a goat so that I won’t have a chatty person sitting next to me on a flight (I always, always have my ipod and a sleeping mask to avoid any unnecessary chatter)
- Getting the timing right of looking down at the ground or at some fictional thing that has taken my attention when I pass someone in the street so I don’t make eye contact when they are close enough for it to be an interaction
- Having to walk at a snail’s pace and sometimes hide behind someone who I know when I accidentally come across them in the street (particularly people from work and acquaintances) so I don’t catch up with them and have to make conversation
What is really funny is that these are things I actually do on a daily basis and if you said “Hell’s yeah!” to more than three of those things, you may be an introvert too! Welcome! It’s a very exclusive club where we never hang out together or talk about anything.
The world is fraught with potential interactions when you’re an introvert, but at least now there is the internet to amuse and keep us company when going out into the real world is just too much.