Other People

18 Nov

I am an introvert who acts like an extrovert when needed.  A super secret introvert, who would be happy to be left in a tower with books and notebooks for a decade in a tower with only a visiting hour once a week.

Oh, Other People, I have been so ambivalent about you my whole life long.  I wish I could bring in Other People to a meeting so I could make a deal with them as to how I liked being treated and some boundaries.

I want to be able to be quiet in a group and not care.  I want to be able to not find other people’s jokes all that funny, but not in a mean way.  I like people in ones and twos.  I like conversations strung with comfortable silent pauses.

I don’t like a dozen people talking at once.  I don’t like big public places, and pretending I’m having more fun than I really am.  I don’t like group discussions.

A year ago, a lady I once knew had read a piece I did about introversion, about how I’m happy leaving the world where it is, and making my tiny little pocket where only people I invite are allowed, and only so long as I am comfortable with that.  She was a much more religious person than I and asked if I thought God wanted people to be extroverts.  I never got the chance to answer her before she died, but here it is.

I think God wants us to do what we do best.  There are millions in this world that could happily live in a crowd every day 24-7.  I am not one of those, and though I can go out and function in crowds (I am not afraid of people, they just tire me out), there are those who do their best work alone, with thought.  The world needs studiers, and people who would like to spend all day drawing birds, and readers, and audience menbers, and people who only need three friends at any given time to give them space to make the worlds.  The world needs the anticelebrities, those who don’t care what other people think of them, but would prefer them to not think about them at all.

Other people, I’m back to that phrase, because other people means people I don’t really have a connection to.  That’s who I would choose to ignore–the other people at work, or the other people in my neighborhood–they are the voice of no one individual, but this general consensus that just floats around.  And I think that’s what the big difference between introverts and extroverts is–the relationship with other people.

I can’t pick up friends.  I am very loyal to those who I consider my friends.  I only do small talk when I have to, but I could talk about a passion for hours with someone I care for.

And I’m not saying that introverts are deeper than extroverts–there’s deep and shallow introverts and extroverts alike–but I am saying that we are in a world driven by socializing.

Oh, other people, it’s not that I don’t want you to exist, I just feel like you require a lot of work to keep happy, and I don’t get very much in doing so.  Selfish?  Maybe.

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