A Facebook friend of mine recently posted about HOW TIRED she was of hearing about introverts. I guess I can understand that as articles and memes about introverts are very popular right now, with good reason. Being a member of the exhausted by people clan, I can tell you why we are writing and making funny pictures about being introverted. It’s because we are TIRED of being told that we need to “come out of our shells” or “get out more.” I’ve been told this by friends and family my whole life. Strangers join in with the unwanted advice, too. Some random dude on Twitter just put me in a list called “Introvert Problems.” This guy claims to be “Exploring introversion, shyness, and social anxiety to break free from the pain of being in our shells and succeed in life and business.” Screw off and go read a book. Introverts are not shy; we just need more time to ourselves. So, if you want to be friends with one, you need to follow some simple rules to avoid frustration.
No last minute invites. This throws me into a tizzy. I plan out my weekly schedule on the calendar in my head. Same day invites are not on that calendar and I can’t just up and change my schedule. I have all of my tasks planned at least 24 hours in advance, if not longer. If you want to make plans, give me a few days notice.
Don’t invite me to anything loud or crowded. I’m not the kind of girl who wants to go clubbing or to a super crowded festival. Not only do I just not like being smashed between bunches of people, I really can’t HEAR in situations like that. I wear hearing aids. They make EVERYTHING louder, not just your voice. So, thumping club music and carnies on cheap microphones are both nos for me.
Please don’t require me to make small talk. I hate small talk. So, I have a tendency to listen for a few minutes and then stare into space and think about all of the other shit I have to do, like actually work on that novel I’ve been writing for four years, and how listening to this person, who I can’t really hear, is taking time away from that. This is a lose lose situation. If people I don’t know will be there, please have a dog or cat for me to hang out with, preferably a cat.
Understand that I WORK FROM HOME. By “work from home” I don’t mean that I have a fabulous business opportunity for you at Jamberry, or that I am counting my Scentsy inventory. I mean that I have a big girl job with an online university. I’m not hanging out waiting for a social invitation, and I can’t babysit or pick you up from the airport. I’m expected to be online during business hours. After that, I have a part-time job, also online. AND then, I try to find time to cook dinner, do laundry, and WRITE. I never have enough time to write. If a writer doesn’t get time to write it’s like being constipated in the brain.
DON’T call me! Don’t take it personally, but I hate the phone. I probably won’t answer. Just text as nature intended. And text before coming over. If you just show up at my door, I will let my big dog jump on you and lick you. She eats her own shit.
I know it seems like a lot to ask, but that was only five rules. If you can just follow those, we can be friends. Well, we can be friends who get together like once a week or month or so. Just like world travelers need a day for each hour they travelled outside of their time zone to get back on a normal schedule, introverts need days without any social plans to recover from the last social occasion. So, give me my down time and I will be somewhat energetic the next time I see you.