I’m an introvert. Totally. I can talk to anyone about subjects I’m comfortable with, and I can talk to those I’m comfortable with about any subject. But new people and new subjects, I’m a little lost.
Being an introvert brings about lots of loneliness. For several reasons. The most obvious, it’s hard to make friends when you are quiet and don’t like to put yourself out there. Some of the less obvious. It’s hard to keep friends you make because social situations drain you. Literally – I have to recover from social situations, even with my favorite people – because the amount of energy I have to put into being social is high. It’s not that I don’t want to be social – it’s just that it’s like running a marathon for me. So it’s not something I do as often as most outgoing people do. Therefore, maintaining friendships is really difficult when you don’t want to be social too much. Third, learning about new subjects or talking to people who are different from what you are used to is like doing an ironman – so it’s really, really hard to meet new people. Talking about things I’m not used to talking about is crazy hard. So if you put yourself out there, and you have nothing in common, but still like the person, it’s really hard for me to get to know them just out of the shear overwhelmingness I feel when I have to come up with unfamiliar conversation.
Most people think if you are an introvert, you don’t want to be around people and you never feel loneliness. And this is simply not true. It’s like we are fighting an internal battle over our own nature of being an introvert versus the human nature of needing to be around other people. It’s a rough ride – but we do need people in our lives.
So this past weekend I tried out a Moms Book Club. I was greeted by some very bold personalities while I was there. I guess my internal picture of the book club was of less boisterous people, but boy was I wrong. And being an introvert surrounded by extroverts – well, can you say awkward? While they were all very pleasant and friendly, I maybe said 2 sentences the 1 hour and 15 minutes I was there. It got so awkward I had to leave early. I just felt like I was sitting in on other people’s conversations.
But you know what, even if I didn’t find my soul sister there, at least I tried. I have to say I’m a little disappointed it didn’t go as I hoped, but I’m more proud of myself for going. And I am even more proud of myself that I haven’t ruled out going again. So yay for stepping out of your comfort zones – sometimes it doesn’t go as planned or thought, but you still can learn so much from just taking the step.