Friday, 4 August 2017

Am I Really An Introvert?

noun: introvert; plural noun: introverts
  1. a shy, reticent person.
    • Psychology
      a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.
Damn, that definition really does not paint introverts in the right light. After all, they aren't necessarily shy, they're probably just quieter and more involved in the inner world than the outer. They just prefer solitude to people. 

You might have just noticed that I said 'they' and not 'we', even though I've been pretty vocal about being introverted in the past, right here on my blog.

That was, what, two years ago? I was a whole other person then. I went on dates with myself. I cancelled plans to stay at home. I hated the idea of college because there were other people around. I despised group projects will all my heart (though, to be fair, I still do). And now? Yes, I still go out alone, but I'd rather go with someone else. My heart leaps up at the thought of going out somewhere, although I still abhor loud places. Being around other people, whether it's at a café or a restaurant or even just a waiting room at the doctor's office energises me. People no longer describe me as quiet or shy but as one of the most talkative people they know.

So can I really still call myself an introvert? 

There are two sides to it. While being in a public place, around strangers, energises me, being around people I know and having to actively spend time with a whole group of them leaves me drained for hours or sometimes even the next day. And I still hate the idea of going out late at night to a club with loud, horrible dance music and no proper lighting whatsoever. I mean, what's up with the poor lighting? Who even likes that?

I've taken quizzes on the internet. I've taken a faux-MBTI test. I've even done the official 16PF questionnaire at my psychiatrist's office, and they all tell me I'm an introvert, a very intense one at that. Then why can't I relate to introvert memes anymore? 

These are memes created by introverts, who are supposed to be 'my people', and yet looking at them makes me cringe, because that is not who I am at all. I don't like barricading myself at home all day with no one to talk to (though I use it as a defence mechanism). I crave the idea of one-on-one social interaction, but most memes dismiss even that. There are memes about how seeing people you know in public places and having to talk to them is hell. No! I love that!

How can I be both but neither? Can I call myself an introvert simply because overstimulating social situations drain me? Or am I an extrovert because being around people in general makes me feel more alive? Am I an ambivert now?

They say the brains of introverts and extroverts are wired differently, so you can't go from one to the other. Then... explain this to me, please. I'm listening. 

Maybe I'm overreacting or overanalysing this. After all, who gives a shit whether I'm an introvert, ambivert or extrovert? I'm me. I love people. I hate parties. I love books. I love strangers. I hate being home alone. I'm a confused mess, but I love every bit of that mess anyway.
So the answer to the question "Am I really an introvert?" is... You're a Hufflepuff.  That's enough labelling for one day.


What's on your mind, Geeks? Let me know! :)