5.9.13

confessions of an {introvert?}

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Talking + me is similar to pulling a tooth. It hurts to pull, feels horrible afterwards, and only after a long year of getting food stuck in the hole it finally grows back in (if even) and you forget about it.

I'm terrified of people. Frustrating, because talking and being unafraid of people would really be a lovely asset to carry on in this world...made up of mostly people. I'd love to be the one to talk to all those poor shy people moping around naturally seeing them and sympathizing because I can relate perfectly to the thought process screaming inside their head.

I've been told my fear is stupid. Get over it. Most people don't like shy people anyways. I've been told in my face, you really don't talk much. People talk to me via others and say How can I talk to you because I've never heard you say one word. I walk into a room of strangers and immediately am labeled the Quiet Girl (literally) because no one remembers my strange exotic name which I'm too shy and annoyed (mostly annoyed) to repeat. Brittney, Breana, Bailey, Stephanie - they're all the same to me, I've learned to respond to each.

My twin brother and I are very different. Features-wise, not really; we look similar - but characterwise? Big difference. My twin is the class clown, social buddy type who can make friends with anyone and everyone - even if they "hate" him. Christian is normally my road to meeting people. It's like I already kinda-don't-actually-when-I-think-about-it-not-really-at-all know them, because they know my brother and probably know me as "Christian's sister" (my name is Bethany - or at least use one of my eleven other names)

Did I mention I really do hate being around people? Not the people I love and adore - but crowds. They make my stomach flop. Literally. It's awkward being expected to say something but even worse to say nothing. So generally in my attempt to get over one of my most crippling fears I'll start some stupid conversation in a public restroom and laugh nervously when the person ignores me or is too scared to reply themselves (which is awkward - okay? If someone speaks to you it's only polite to answer. Even if you're shy. No excuses.)

Am I self-conscious? I recently went on a night-hike at a family camp and found I could talk to anyone because I couldn't see them and they couldn't see me. We had some deep discussions about coyotes, satellites, and how to get out of bogs and quicksand without dying. It was great.

Don't get me wrong. I talk to strangers - okay? I can carry on a conversation when I finally make up my mind. I can meet knew people. I'm not afraid to respond when someone random strikes up a conversation.

But people really scare me.

And they're really confusing.

Is it just me?

And p.s. - I really don't like talking in general when there's nothing to be said. Some people are eloquent, I'm not, and I find it more interesting to listen anyway.

7 comments

  1. Oh, this sounds so much like me. With my friends or my family (or online) I will talk your leg off. If I don't know you and we're sitting face to face, it's just completely different. I can make small talk, but if we don't hit it off right away, I just feel awkward sitting there not knowing what to say. When I'm at home, I can come up with thirty different ways to start a conversation... and then when the opportunity presents itself, I freeze up.
    So I pretty much know exactly what you're talking about, and I'll be praying for you!

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  2. I'm smiling at your post here, because earlier this week I was thinking of how I'm apt to talk *too* much. There's so much noise in this world, and oftentimes I'm merely adding the white kind to it. Chatty-ness is overrated.

    There's a lot to be said for being quiet. (See what I did there? A little oxymoronic, no?)

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  3. Hello, fellow introvert!
    I was really shy when I was little. Now I'm kind of shy, but really, I feel like I'm not good at talking. In conversation, I'm always the one sitting there looking thoughtful, maybe nodding, then making a short but (hopefully) insightful remark.
    My main social problem is: I don't want to be everybody's friend. I just want to find a soul-mate or two. But how can I find one if I don't talk to people?
    Keep trying. When I was your age I was much more afraid of people than I am now. Growing up involves figuring stuff out---and I still have a long way to go. ;)
    <><

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  4. Talking to people is complicated... I know very well where you're coming from!

    :) *Hugs*

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  5. yes!!! i totally relate. i consider myself an introvert. i love hanging out with my friends, but when it's people i don't know so well, i kinda back off and throw up my walls. and then i freeze and don't say anything, and am kinda always left out of the loop, and yea, i know. but as i keep learning more of myself, and who i am, it's been better. keep growing!

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  6. No, it isn't just you. Small talk--I've never figured it out. How can you? My mind is like an empty sheet, a cluttered closet, a black hole when it comes to talking to strangers or those folks you sorta-kinda-know. I barely absorb what they might be saying--too busy figuring out a relevant question or response. It just isn't natural.
    As the in-between sister to two extraverts, I know. And it isn't just you.
    I have learned how to talk to others, and its doesn't frighten me (much). But crowds and large groups exhaust and overwhelm me. When there's too many people to talk to, to think about, to exist I guess, it feels like a mental claustrophobia. At least, that's what I call it. I'm constantly simply walking out of the room, the building. Or, if I can't physically do that, I give my mind permission wander over those mental hills.
    I like to write. It's quiet. It's like listening, right?

    -The ponderings of a fellow introvert. Who is growing.

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  7. @ Mia -- wow, that was beautiful. :) And I can totally relate to you! That's exactly how I feel: overwhelmed and exhausted...before I even try talking to people. :D

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