Introverts vs. Extroverts: A Phase or Genre of People?
Published: Thursday, February 6, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014 09:02
I have never quite understood the concept of being surrounded by people, of all likes really. Friends, strangers, partners, new acquaintances, they all seem to have things to say and do, but I rarely feel a connection strong enough that makes me feel the desire to stick around. Maybe it is the fact that I am an only child or perhaps more likely to be wired as an introvert. But it seems as though when I express my lack of desire to be in a public place, the reaction I receive isn’t disgust or contempt anymore, its agreement. Is being alone the new social norm?
For years, in middle school and high school, everyone wanted to hang out, be around one another, text, call and message on Facebook. Constant contact, essentially. I couldn’t understand why that would be a possibility, let alone having others want to hang out with me. Naturally, wanting to fit in, I did just that. I went to movies and parties, walked with big groups in the mall that were practically filled with strangers, I had come to scratch the surface of each and every one of the people in my so-called “circle” just to gain a sense of knowing and friendship.
Like most admit, as I moved up in years and grades, I noticed a pattern. It seemed that people either only spoke to me for favors or help, or lost contact altogether. It was sort of sad, yet relieving. I had finally received this release of sustained encirclement that seemed to choke me and steal what little free time I had. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the friendship; it was more of a quantity over quality issue.
Lord Byron once said, “I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone,” and I don’t know if I could put it more plainly than that. Unfortunately, many confuse my appreciation for being alone with hostility and dislike. It’s not that, I really do love and treasure my friends; I just value being alone equally.
What makes me curious about introverts and those slowly modifying, is why now? Was it because perhaps we were younger and trying to fit in with our peers, or was there a deeper sense of acceptance than there was at home? Could it have been just simple loneliness? We often fill a void in our lives with people, and that can get dangerous.
While introversion is not anything to be fixed, it is complicated and fascinating. It is a state of mind, typically describing a self-centered person, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to be alone. It may be a sign of our maturity, or it may be possible that times have changed, and so have we.
Amber is a sophomore majoring in public relations and advertising. Also check out her blog http://addcreamandsugar.blogspot. com.