Have you noticed that everyone one Facebook has been posting these “How to tell you’re an introvert” or “Signs you’re secretly an introvert” or “How to handle an friend who’s an introvert” articles? Firstly, I hate to crush your dreams, but not everyone in the history of Facebook can be an introvert–and we’re all probably some mixture of introvert/extrovert depending on the people who surround us and the situation.
The Huffington Post wrote one a while back with some pretty generic qualifications that could make US ALL into introverts depending on our moods and whims. For example, “You go to parties -– but not to meet people.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been to a party to meet people, and I don’t know anyone, even out of my extrovert friends, who goes to parties to meet new friends. No one over the age of 12 goes to parties to meet new people. I go because my friend invited me and there will be food and drinks. The only parties where people go to meet new people is networking events and conventions for business. Sure, you may meet new people as a consequence of attending a party, but that is rarely one’s sole purpose.
Another sign? “You’re easily distracted.” Has the author of this article met anyone 30 and under these days? We spend most of our lives doing 6 things at once unless we’re sleeping. I can eat breakfast, have a conversation with Sean, check the gym stats, be on Facebook, and chat online with my friends all at the same time. And, if anything, I think all that social interaction is practically extroverted of me.
The author makes all introverted people seem like that have some form of the autism spectrum disorder as someone like Temple Grandin describes it. She said she can’t sort out different stimuli, so it feels like everything is happening at once. This HuffPo article describes introversion similarly, “[introverts] get easily distracted and overwhelmed in environments with an excess of stimulation.” This is a very overdramatic way to describe introversion, no?
Here’s one of the best ones: “You screen all your calls — even from friends.” I don’t know a single person who doesn’t look at their phone and think, “Uuhhh,” while hesitating even for a millisecond. Extrovert or introvert. Sometimes the phone is annoying.
I’m not trying to simplify the personalities of other to a few traits or “introvert v. extrovert” because, unlike these articles, I think everyone’s a little bit of everything based on what you are doing at the time. I know I consider myself to be fairly introverted, but to Sean I’m the social butterfly of us two.
I’ve read quite a few of these articles, and it seems like they’re all saying, “Please accept that I’m an asshole sometimes. I blame it on introversion.” Either that, or it says that you act like the clueless, awkward girl stereotype that Zooey Deschanel plays in almost every role. The worst part was that so many people were posting these articles saying things like, “FRIENDS, TO UNDERSTAND ME, READ THIS!”
If the people who are your friends are actually your friends, they’ll know you get a little weird at times. Maybe stressful situations make you a little cranky or sometimes you just like to be alone. If they’re you’re friends, they don’t need a generalized article to know that. And sometimes we all just like to be ornery.
I know that when I have a bad attitude, sometimes it just feels good to embrace the bad attitude and be nasty. Not to other people, but in general. I recommend listening to “Bad Girls” by MIA or “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood & The Destroyers or whatever your “I am one BAD mamma jamma” song is. Just be baaaaad (to the bone).
I hope I didn’t offend you, but if I did, I’m just going to turn on my jamz and rock out with my bad self.