If you’re an extrovert, surrounded by other open-minded extroverts, you would probably assume that introverts hate people. You would perceive their quietness for rudeness, their shyness for arrogance, and their modesty for vanity. But if you know a little something about the introverts’ nature, or you are one yourself, then you would know that they don’t hate people.
Why introverts simply choose to avoid shallow socializing?
In other words, introverts can’t stand pretending to be enjoying a trivial conversation. This doesn’t mean they despise people, or they prefer to be left alone 24/7. It means they would rather engage in deep, meaningful conversations, rather than shallow small talks.
The “I’m too cool to talk to you” persona has nothing to do with the nature of a real introvert. Unfortunately, that’s how most people believe introverts behave all the time. What they don’t see is that this persona actually serves as a coping mechanism. It is much easier to say you don’t like people than to admit you find a simple small talk both terrifying and completely senseless.
So instead of expressing their true feelings about the triviality of social gatherings, when they actually attend one, introverts prefer to talk to the cat or pet the dog. At least the pets won’t put them in awkward situations or pressure them to talk about the weather.
Literally, anything is better than small talk.
However, avoiding awkward chats about how hot it gets this time of the year doesn’t mean hating people. It means preferring to occupy your mind with much more relevant, purposeful things.
Sadly, many people fail to understand this. They wrongfully presume introverts cannot stand being around others. But no one can blame them. The truth is, only a real introvert can see through this coping mechanism. And that’s exactly the reason why introverts spend countless nights lying awake in bed, trying to figure out how to socialize without having to get past the border of small talk.
But how could you talk to someone about your future goals, your wildest dreams, and your biggest fears, if you don’t start with a simple small talk?
To understand better why introverts are like that, you need to try thinking like one. Imagine having to do something that you know is going to be beneficial for you in the long run, but isn’t quite pleasing at the moment. That’s how introverts see socializing. They know it’s good for them, as it would help them meet other people and expand their tiny inner circle, but they simply can’t see themselves surviving through a meaningless conversation about sports or celebrity gossip.
Would you rather talk about the news with people you just met, instead of chilling at home binge-watching your favorite Netflix show? Me neither. It’s simple as that.
However, sometimes it takes a little bravery and a little “Okay, what the hell” to balance things out.
In order to surround yourself with people whom you can talk to about whatever it is that baffles your mind, you need to make the first step.
In this case, the first step is getting out of your comfort zone. It’s putting jeans instead of an onesie and getting out of the house for a change. And if going out is not an option due to the current circumstances, it’s answering to that video call you’ve been pretending you never received. A simple Friday night chill with a few of your most favorite people through a video chat, while you’re still curled up in bed, wouldn’t harm.
Are you still having doubts about socializing?
Well, think about the situations that brought your closest friends into your life. Would they be by your side now, if you chose to stay home instead of getting out of your shell and making an effort to get to know them? If you take your time to reflect on that thought, you would surely realize that some people are worth the mini anxiety attack you feel when it gets to having a small talk with a stranger. While establishing a strong connection with someone is rare, it’s definitely worth the shot.
Surely, meeting someone with the same level of sensitivity and compassion as you doesn’t happen every day. Not every conversation has to be life-changing. Not every person you meet is there to stay. And that’s perfectly fine. But you need to understand that one awkward, short, a little uncomfortable social event shouldn’t stop you from getting to know others. No matter how hard it may seem, you are stronger than that. Some people are worth the uneasiness of socializing. You just have to get out of your shell and find them.