Tuesday, September 24, 2013

There are perks to being a wallflower?

For the longest time, I balked any time someone would call me shy. I still don't think I'm shy. I'm an introvert. Unfortunately, I'm an introvert to the point where it's sometimes socially crippling. Good-meaning people tell me I must practice being social, that the more I socialize with people the better at it I will become. It hasn't happened yet, so I'm beginning to wonder in my over-think-everything way if it's me.

Some things about me:

1.) During social engagements, I usually go to the bathroom for the sole purpose of locking myself behind a door long enough to feel human again. If it's longer, it's usually because I can't breathe. After I leave a party, I need a solid hour alone, preferably in a turn-into-boiled-lobster shower. If I don't, I generally fold into myself. If I'm at a party too long, by the time I get home I'll cry.

2.) People misinterpret my comments as overly educated or snobby. Okay, so maybe I'm a little educated. So maybe I try to speak properly and that comes across as educated or snobby. I don't know. The truth is, I'm so afraid that what I say will be misinterpreted (few understand my jokes) or that what I say will be boring, that I don't say anything. I don't want people to think I think I'm something special. I'm not. I'm just one of billions of people out there. My thoughts aren't unique. Unfortunately, I guess that's snobbery.

3.) By the time I think of something to add to the conversation, the conversation has usually moved on. I have to internalize everything first. If I don't think through my words, I have this horrible tendency to stumble over my words because I can't find the right ones to articulate my thoughts when the pressure's on. Then everyone's staring at me and I can't handle it, and then I get embarrassed and can't remember what words I was looking for until all eyes are off me again.

Sometimes I wish things were a little more like (some) fiction--where the introverted wallflower finds a friend who picks her up and introduces her into the world of fast-moving friendliness, where the conflict comes quickly and is gone overnight.  Not the one where she builds her walls higher and higher, hoping someone will see the mountain and choose to climb.