Human interactions are messy and awkward.I get awkward almost all the times. Especially for an extroverted introvert. I still don’t know how to bridge that line between friendly not so aloof and bored like I’d rather be elsewhere.
When we are small our parents..or most parents tell us to smile and be nice. Greet people with a wide grin like you mean it. Don’t fidget. Don’t sulk or bite your fingers. And yes, do share the toys. Oh, and stop being bossy while playing with the other kids. As we grow up though, our true forms morph and since you can no longer be admonished for being quiet for too long we are left to survive. Polish up our social skills or whatever. Just get along with the rest of humanity.
As an extroverted introvert which simply means that yes, sometimes I will want to be out there. I may even be the life of the party but at the end of it all I will want to be curled up in bed reading or just staring into space. Recharging. Because, you see, small talk wears me. Which is what we do most of the time when we meet an old acquaintance. So I sort of have a rehearsed script that I can go over and over in my head and with each new person. Because society dictates it most of the time. Being friendly and warm is what is considered ideal even when silence doesn’t necessarily mean animosity. Maybe I just want to sit at the corner because I need to keep running out and I don’t want to have a flurry of legs in my wake as I walk out. Or maybe the plants there are very spectacular and I need a backdrop for a selfie. Not. I probably want to avoid the least amount of conversation that almost starts with an enthusiastic hello, then some routine questions and ends in a series of grunts. Always feels unfinished ..like we should pick it up later. But when.
Over the years I have been described as quiet, reserved, too serious sometimes proud will snake its way in there. All this because I refuse to talk unless I have something serious to say or I’m answering a question that no one else could. I have also been described as lacking enthusiasm. How more enthused can I be than actually showing up for this party?, Maybe I could make up for my lack of enthusiasm by dressing largely or less.
It gets awkward when a random person or even not so random but not overly close person unburdens their problems on me. Depending on the side of the spectrum I’m on that day ,I could be helpful and at least provide a listening ear and some remarks so they don’t feel like they are talking alone but often it makes me feel uncomfortable. ‘Should I simply say ,sorry you feel that way, or your boss is a terrible person or maybe they just need silence. ‘Somehow I can’t get past this monologue before they are done and gone. See, I don’t understand how you just shared that bit of information about yourself, shrugged it off and are walking happily into the sunset.
Which brings me to the few interactions I actually make. I have very few close friends because I am not going to share every tidbit to just everyone. Except the internet of course, I’ll be reminded of this very many years to come.I digress. My friends. At any one time I will only have a handful of people I can call real friends. Too many and i just don’t know how to divide my extroverted nature among them. I have lost many friends over the years. Good ones even ,because I couldn’t reach out and say, ‘ hey, i miss you, it’s been so long let’s do something soon.’ So we just drift apart. Friendships , just like everything else need loads of nurturing. My energy levels wane on this one.
I have been confused many times for being shy. Although, yes, I’m not particularly fond of being handed the mic to say something in front of a crowd of people, I’ll do it if I have to. The point is, I’m not afraid of putting myself out there every once in a while. Just don’t push me. I’ll analyse every situation beforehand and decide whether its jumpworthy or not. If it is, I need no prodding. If its not, maybe next time.
In retrospect, in the few years I have walked on this earth I’ve realized human beings simply want you to be who they think you are. Well, that’s a nice cheat sheet right there. If you like to be put in the proverbial box then you are in the right planet. I , however, would like to be left alone to stay next to the gigantic plant for as long as i feel like it.