I can't tell you how many times I've had my introversion mistaken for something else. It's either mistaken as coldness, arrogance, or weirdness, just to name a few things.
I can see why, too. Introversion isn't an easy thing to read. Most of my friends are, as you might've guessed, boistrously extroverted. On occasion it's hard for me to sit down and feel comfortable around most of them because they're so animated; I feel like I have to be doing something too.
Which brings me to this. There's a few things that you, the world, need to know about (most) introverts.
We're Constantly Observing
We're quiet all right, but that doesn't mean nothing's happening in our minds. Extroverts leave it all out there--they think things and then say them almost immediately. For us, we think things and don't say them. Not yet, at least.
While you're watching us in silence our minds are probably off 1,000 miles from here, thinking about next week's workload, that time we stole the cookie from the kitchen counter, and why that person over there keeps glancing at us.
We're Insanely Intuitive
Our intuition is both a good and bad thing. Almost all of the time introverts can feel when something goes off kilter immediately. That's the good part. The bad part is that when we're wrong about something we still feel right because our intuition feels so strong.
We see the unseen in everyday situations. It's because we're so observant and dedicating all of our energy to taking in our surroundings.
We Hate Small Talk
I despise small talk. That's why it's hard for me to talk to somebody without getting bored. I want to get to the heart of some issues. I want to talk about the world, what motivates you, and what the hardest time of your life was. This is how I connect with somebody.
If we ever seem disinterested or bored, you can bet that our ears will perk up a little bit when you ask us something meaningful. Quite honestly you'll have us around your finger for a few minutes.
We Overthink Everything
And I mean everything. It's impossible for something to happen without overanalyzing it 500 different ways. It's because our brains are on overload and our intution keeps whispering to us that something else must be going on.
Many times we're right, but sometimes we're wrong as well. Just know that staring off into the distance is probably an introvert overanalyzing something exceedingly insignificant.
We Get Flustered
The easy definition of an introvert is one that recharges their batteries when they're alone. This means that every gathering we go to slowly strips away at our social endurance until we need to be by ourselves.
We get flustered pretty easily because we're taking in everything that our environment is giving us. I like to compare it to how kid Superman was in Man of Steel when he couldn't focus on anything because his mind was picking up everything.
That's right, we introverts are like Superman. Never forget it.
We Can't Explain Things As Well As We'd Like
I can't tell you how many times I've felt helpess because I couldn't explain something the way that it was in my mind. Yeah, I can write up a storm, but in the moment I can't think of much to say that's going to back up my point.
This is because we're still working through so many things in our mind at once. But when the dust settles in our thoughts we'll have a whole lot to say--the problem with that is it's already too late most of the time.
Many Times We Just Don't Know What To Say
Imagine a kitchen full of chefs yelling at each other--I'm talking with Gordon Ramsay fierceness. That's what the commotion feels like in my mind half the time
I'm not crazy, but I just have a ton of stuff going on. It's because I'm trapped under layers and layers of thought that it's hard for me to pull out of it and talk about anything other than that. And by that time we're already so far along that you likely won't have the slightest clue of what we're talking about if we did decide to explain it to you. It's around that time when we explain everything that we get a weird look like, "What made you think about that?"
We Get Hurt Easily
I feel this one a lot, but that's not to say that I walk around like the Sad Dwarf from Snow White all the time. This just means that when somebody does turn their attention towards me to lay into me a bit, I take it five times worse than the average person.
I'm not saying to never tell us how it is--quite the opposite--I'm saying that when you do give us criticism, to do it with some care.
When We Do Let You In, We'll Do Anything For You
I have a handful of friends. I don't really take much time to check in with anybody else because I feel a lot of love for a select few and, in true introvert fashion, I simply don't have the social endurance to keep up with 4,000 people.
Those select few are the same people I would do anything for.
When We Say Things, We Mean Them
The weight of our words mean a lot to us. When we do decide to say something, we mean it with all of our hearts. We're not going to make a promise that we can't keep.
We're Best One on One
Big groups of friends don't suit us well. We'd much rather allow somebody else to bask in the spotlight while we fade off into the background. But we do shine when we're one on one with people. That's when we make true connections--when we can focus on just one person and give them our due diligence.
Being an introvert isn't the easiest thing in the world. Often it seems like I'm misconstrued a handful of times per day, but when the opposite party knows what they're working with, it might make things a little bit easier to understand so they don't, in turn, overanalyze your quietness for something else.