Written By: Caroline Hindle
The world we live in doesn’t make sense to introverted people. We live in an extrovert’s world.
What’s considered normal social behavior is the kind of social behavior engaged in by extroverts.
There are good reasons for this. Human beings are social animals. Due to our natural vulnerabilities as a species – being relatively weak, slow, and lacking adequate physical defenses against predators – human beings have managed to thrive only through grouping together and pooling skills and resources to survive.
Introverts, while a minority, make up a significant enough proportion of the human race as to demonstrate that they’re not just an anomaly but serve some actual collective purpose. Nevertheless, because of the fact that, on the ground, introverts are few and far between (and because of their nature not likely to meet), it can seem at times that there’s no place for an introvert in the world we live in.
Being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t need people. Introverts suffer from loneliness just like anyone else. Introverts, however, have very different social needs to extroverts, meaning that many conventions don’t make sense to them and don’t suit their temperament.
1. Large gatherings don’t make sense to introverts
If you’re an introvert, or know one, you’ll recognize the inordinately anxious and perhaps petulant response to invitations to large gatherings. Let’s say our introvert is invited to dinner with their partner’s parents, and then finds out at the last minute that they’ll be joined by aunts, uncles, cousins, and some family friends. The introvert might suddenly become furious at having been ‘tricked’ into attending this party. The reason for the frustration is genuine fearand anxiety at the prospect of having to be in the company of more people than was originally expected. Consider that even dinner with parents requires an internal pep talk in advance. Having to speak to new people in an average social setting causes them the same kind of panic that going to a job interview might cause for an extrovert.