I am an introvert. This I know, and I don’t hide from it anymore. Mostly because I now understand what it is. It has nothing to do with not liking people, being a recluse, hiding from social scenes. It simply has to do with where one is most comfortable — by themselves or with others. Now, I LOVE being with others. I love being with my boyfriend, close friends, family, etc. I fall somewhat in the middle, where I can go out and be social, and do, quite frequently. But then things happen that make me realize how I differ from some of my friends.
Such as, late at night friends are a few miles away and want me to go out. To them, me saying no is selfish, lazy, etc. Not in an unkind way, they accept me for who I am (although I do wonder, for how long). But more in a they-don’t-understand way. They are the ones who hate being by themselves, hate down time, hate having nothing to do. And I am the opposite. I don’t like changes in schedules or spontaneity. I’m getting better at it, much better. And I don’t always say “no” to an invitation like this. But on the one day I want to say no, I get stuck in my thoughts. Am I being lazy? Am I defaulting to a place of comfort? Well, yes, but is that always a bad thing? Is it playing it too safe to not go out at 9:30pm by myself and go to a bar a few miles away? Or, is it reasonable to not want to get dressed up nicely and worry about how to get there and my fears of the dark and strangers and all of that? Should I nurture my own needs and wants? Or do I put my friends first and push myself out of the comfort zone?
That’s what I struggle with — I know sometimes I have to push myself. And I do, frequently. But that’s why when I don’t, I wonder if I should be. I realize there’s no right or wrong answer. I realize that I differ from people in this way and that not everyone will get it. I believe that if people leave or abandon me because of it, then a friendship wasn’t meant to be. I get that. And yet, I still feel guilty. Still feel bad. Still feel the need to prove myself, to profusely apologize, to make them understand that it’s not that I don’t want to see them, not that I don’t want to do the right thing, it’s that I can’t bring myself to, as awful as that sounds.
Are any of you introverts? Does this resonate with you at all? What would you do? What should I do? How do I explain it?