Everyone knows about introverts and extroverts right? I mean if you don't then you must be from another dimension (please save us). Anyway, both of these personalities present in a wide range of ways, and on the far end sits me, an EXTREME introvert.
What does this say about me? I'm often very avoidant of social situations, yes I have a million and one valid excuses like children and chronic illness, but I'll also desperately find other ways to avoid people. Now let’s not confuse this with social anxiety, I'm not nervous or afraid of judgment. There's no panic involved. I'm just completely uninterested in interactions with other people. I’d gladly do every bit of shopping online and never answer the phone again just to be left in peace.
Everything I do is internalized, my thoughts run a nonstop conversation with myself. I'm not bored, I'm not lonely. I have friends, they're out there somewhere right now. I like them. When's the last time I called just to have a conversation with them? I don't have a clue. Not because I don't care, but because the thought of it never even occurs to me. Starting a random conversation, just to talk, isn't something that crosses my mind. You might as well be asking me why I haven't tried running 3 miles up a hill during a hurricane.
Now I'm not totally averse to chatting with people, especially online. I make casual comments and I reply to them, granted it may take me a few hours to remember to reply but I will answer. Does this make being a self-published author difficult? Definitely. Introducing yourself to others can be difficult when you’re bad at making connections. The stories and words are nonstop in my head. Even here in a simple blog post, I feel like I could probably go on forever, because it feels like I'm just talking to myself, like keeping a personal journal. I'm not exhausting myself by interacting with other people. Because that's the real fight.
It's not about being shy or being antisocial. It's having an internal battery that only charges in private. Every interaction, every forced excitement or activity feels completely draining. Sitting alone in a room, I can find dozens of hobbies to entertain myself and be completely content that way. I can live completely inside my head without a problem. Sitting in a room full of people who want to talk is like work, it drains the battery. I stay silent, I listen, I observe, I get tired.
How do I market myself to people when I can't bring myself to socialize, well there lies the problem I'm still working on. It's a strange puzzle, not as easy as you'd think. Introduce myself and strike up conversations with strangers? It feels like you’ve just ordered me to perform a root canal with a Playskool doctor's kit...I'm completely ill-equipped, and slightly horrified.
So instead I creep through, I watch everyone's feeds, read all the tweets, and enjoy the fact that I'm doing it from the safety of my own personal bubble. Go ahead and wave at me from yours, I may enjoy being stuck in my quiet ways but finding common ground through small interactions can also be an amazing thing.