Yes, I know, just yesterday I declared that I was in fact an ambivert. But the more I think about it, the more I realise that I’m somewhere in between the in-between.
There’s a reason I hate labels.
But whatever you are, you figure out your own weird ways to navigate this uber-social (pre-pandemic) world. Here are some of mine.
- Cellphones can be your knights in shining armour. Sure, they’re your access to social media, news and all those distractions that are so much easier than having actual meaningful human interactions. But more than anything else, they’re super useful for ‘pretend’ calls, to walk out from awkward social situations with your head held high (and the phone stuck to your ear).
- Embrace being called a snob. When you’re too shy to go up to people and start conversations, even if you’d really like to, people assume you think you’re too good for them. You can try explaining your situation to them to change their mind, but then for that, you would have to talk to them first. So just get used to it. Revel in it. There really isn’t much choice.
- Learn to switch personalities. Unless you’re one of those lucky ones whose job involves sitting behind a laptop with limited humans, at some point you’ll have to figure out how to put on a mask and just get out there.
- Learn to tune out. This I’ve perfected, without ever having meant to. But being stuck in big groups that I don’t necessarily care about – this has been a life skill that I’ve come to love more than others. Talk all you want, you babbling humans, I have warm bubble bath taking place in my head instead.
- Keep your fridge and book shelf stocked. Because nothing beats curling up in bed with comfort food and an interesting read. All the zoom calls of the world don’t compare to this.
- Love yourself. Because at the end of the day, the only person who has to accept you is you – who you are, who you want to be. If you love being an introvert, great! If you don’t, pick up that phone and actually call someone new. Take up a challenging job. Go try a sales pitch. It’ll be fun (once you get over your initial apprehension), and if it isn’t, well you’ll know yourself just a little better.
Nine out of ten times, I don’t manage to push myself. I don’t speak to new people at parties. I don’t exude more energy than I actually feel. But that one time I do get out and be social, I have a great time. And mostly, I’m okay with that statistic.
P.S. Of course with the way things are currently, being an introvert has been a blessing – I’ve been more at home than most, with very little adjustments. How have you coped?