Do I Have to be Social?
I have ultimately arrived at the decision that too much alone time leads to too much thinking time. As a rule, I am generally a thinker. I think about a lot of things, things people probably shouldn’t think about, things that are useless to think about. I think a lot. I dream daydreams and fantasize all manner of things.
Ultimately, when I am alone, I think about my life. I analyze my life, and that’s where my trouble starts. I went to art school, and as a rule, in art school, you learn to analyze the heck out of things. Why this color? Why that brush stroke? Who was the artist inspired by? Is this a commercial piece or is it art for art’s sake? Is this too kitschy?
Then I read a lot and I write a lot, so just throw the whole bucket of analyzer stew together and you’ve got me, the woman who thinks about, and analyzes her entire life in her spare time.
I am introverted. I always have been. I was extremely shy in school, so shy, that if a boy sat beside me on the bus, I would burst into tears. I have no clue why. As far as I know a boy never did anything awful to me when I was in primary school, but that didn’t stop me from crying about it.
I will keep a lot of thoughts to myself, except for if I’m writing about it, then, pretty much everything flies. I think writing has actually helped me to be able to express myself better. I think I am less concerned about what other people think about the things that might come out of my mouth than I used to be. Part of this does come from just growing up and maturing in general, but I think writing really helped.
Recently, I had to go to a work required personality training. I was green. Green apparently means I’m terribly concerned about other people. I want other people to be happy. I want me to be happy. I am thinking about what other people think or may be thinking. I’m worried about how my decisions will affect other people. I like the make the decision that will benefit the most people the most.
I’m not a get-up-in-your-face kind of person, those people were the red people, they weren’t actually red, that was just their personality profile color.
We had to do this stupid activity where we had rubber bands and pieces of elastic and we had to, as a group, use the rubber band to pick up red Solo cups, yes the kind college kids drink out of at frat parties. At one point, the man in charge went around and said only one person could talk. He said he was going to tap people on the shoulder to give orders. When he came to my group, you want to know who he picked? He picked me. ME.
Look, when the need arises I can give orders with the best of them. I get stuff done. I will find a way to make it happen. Don’t you ever tell me that I cannot do something, because I will find a freaking way to do it, even if it’s somewhat unconventional. You don’t tell me that I can’t do something. It’s going to happen. I’m stubborn. It’s a family trait.
With all that said, I don’t like being put on the spot socially. I’m not this overzealous and joyous social personality. Social rules can be complex. You’re always wondering if you did something that someone found offensive and then you’re wondering if that person you may have offended went and talked about your behind your back and said awful things about you thus causing other people to think awful things about you.
When you’re introverted, you’re not entirely sure about the whole social rules thing. Something may genuinely be awkward, or maybe you just think it’s awkward because you’re not a social-social person.
What gets even more difficult is if you’re introverted and you’re weird. Holler at my homies here–because that’s me. I’m introverted and I’m weird. I will meow at my cat. I think misspellings are hilarious, especially in public locations. I am a grown-ass woman who will sit down and watch Spongebob Squarepants and occasionally break out a video game I played when I was eleven, you know, a long time later.
I am not what you would think a typical woman of my age would be. It’s either refreshing, or it’s weird. Other weird people like it, but people who aren’t weird don’t like it. People who aren’t weird, just think you’re weird and then they try to distance themselves from you because you’re that weird woman who watches Spongebob and meows at her cat. (Yes, just the one cat. I know you were wondering about that.)
Sometimes, you find other weird people and that’s great, because then, you can be weird together. You can watch Spongebob, talk about video games, and spend an entire hour in a furniture store making fun of the furniture–true story. But…there is a but, there is always a but…but there is this inner dialogue in your head as a weird person when you’re with other weird people.
It’s something like this:
Ok, they’re weird too! This is awesome! Let’s talk about video games and nerdy stuff!
Yeah, so I meowed at the cat and they didn’t do anything. That’s cool.
Wait, am I being too weird? I mean, they’re weird too, but are they this weird?
What if I’m being too weird?
Then the whole thing devolves into this “what if” question-off in your head. Ultimately the question is, “Am I too weird?”
This all comes about because even weird introverted people want to be social as well, even as extremely awkward as it can be at times. For goodness sake, I wish being social didn’t involve this strange, complex, round of questioning in my head.
I’m kind of glad those stupid birds didn’t invite me to their party. What the heck was I going to say? I mean, I can’t even understand bird. How awkward would that have been? Can you imagine going to a party where you don’t speak the language?
Hi, my name is Steve. Nice Party.
Cheep. Cheep. Chirp.