Here I will relate a conversation I had with
an acquaintance a person I barely know at a bar last night:
Person I Barely Know: “Wasn’t expecting to see you here tonight, Rebecca.”
Me: “My name’s not Rebecca.”
P.I.B.K.: Clearly struggling to remember my name, clearly has no idea
At this point an actual acquaintance, who is standing nearby, interrupts the conversation
Acquaintance: “Her name is Britta.”
P.I.B.K.: “Ohhh, oh yea. Britta. Like the water filter, right? Anyways, I wasn’t expecting on seeing you here tonight, Britta.”
Me: “Why not?”
P.I.B.K.: “You just don’t seem like much of a partier.”
Me: “Oh, really? Well, I wouldn’t consider myself a partier, but I still like to go out sometimes with my friends.”
P.I.B.K.: “So you’re not a total stick in the mud?”
Me: “No, I wouldn’t consider myself a stick in the mud at all.
End conversation, P.I.B.K. ends up walking away.
As you might imagine, I was absolutely livid with this occurrence. If I wasn’t my naturally non-confrontational, INFJ self, I would have let P.I.B.K. and the entire bar know just as much.
This kid’s assumption that I am a “stick in the mud” is rooted in the well-known fact that I am very much an introvert. Yes, I’d prefer to stay in and hang out with a few close friends instead of going out every night. Yes, I’m not wild about crazy parties. Yes, I’m fairly uncomfortable with small talk and prefer to not be in a situation where I have to rely on that exclusively for an extensive amount of time. All these are quite true, yes. However, my introversion does not mean, under any circumstances, that I am a stick in the mud. I like to go out, just not every night. I personally believe there is more room to learn and grow, more opportunities that can be realized, when spending time by oneself or with a small group of friends.
I am at a place in my life where I’m proud of who I am. Sometimes I wish I could be better at small talk, yes–it is, in fact, a skill I’d like to get better at since it is such an important skill in modern society–but I’m happy to be an introvert. I love the life I am choosing to live.
I didn’t always use to feel this way though. I went through a period in my life where I tried to deny my introversion, where I wanted to be like what seemed like to me, everyone else on the planet. Everyone else who didn’t need to spend copious amounts of time by themselves, who didn’t struggle to simply carry on a conversation with others.
And you know what? It was people like P.I.B.K. who convinced me that I needed to change myself. That introversion was a synonym for boring. That I had no chance of being successful and satisfied with my life as the quiet girl that I was, that I still am at heart.
Well, I’m done with people like that. Why don’t you try getting to know someone before so quickly passing judgments on them, ay?
So yes, introverts are people, too…we just need to take some time to recharge by ourselves on a regular basis. Oh, and as for being a stick in the mud? Hardly! Our lives are so full…our minds are always keeping us busy.