How many of you have covered your rude, antisocial behavior by saying “oh well I am just introverted that way”? How many of you have used introversion as an excuse to laziness? How many of you have called a friend self-centered just because they refused to hang out with you? Well, love, you have got the idea of introversion wrong. Let me try and enlighten you a little!
You might think that introverts are antisocial and reclusive people who do not think about anyone or anything else other than their own self. That is just not the case. We don’t dislike people, it is just that socializing has a limit and once it is reached, if you push any further, it gets tiring. Sometimes to a point that it feels like a punishment. Being alone at home feels relaxing because it is a familiar environment where we don’t have to continuously put efforts to feel included. We don’t want to stand out in a crowd but just hide in it and even the slightest bit of attention or interaction from anything or anyone that is unfamiliar to us feels torturous. Sure, I’d go out with my friends and have a great evening socializing and in a crowded place but not without having episodes of just wanting to be left alone. I’d also go again, but only after recharging myself with a soothing lone time and not a moment sooner.
Scared of the social construct that constantly judges and finds faults, we just try to remain discreet and transparent as much as possible. We also feel saying ‘no’ will make people love us less and try to push ourselves to cover everything. In this process, just end up being continuously tired and weary. Scientifically the only difference between an introvert brain and an extrovert brain is the dopamine reward network. Dopamine is the chemical that’s released in your brain which probes you to excitedly seek external rewards, like, say the phone number of that good-looking guy or girl you saw at the bar. The amount of dopamine that flows in our brains due to such stimulus, are similar but the reactions to it is different. Where an extrovert feels enthusiastically good and would willingly go forth to seek his or her number, an introvert will feel overstimulated and never go ahead with it simply because they see it as a tiresome thing to do. To initiate small talk and maintain it to finally reach that comfort where the other person gives you their number is just too overwhelming to do.
Whenever I am cruising the internet, watching Netflix or lost in a book in the quiet confinements of my home I am in the pleasant effects of acetylcholine, which like dopamine is another chemical in your brain that powers human ability to think deeply, reflect and focus intensely on one thing. And like dopamine, its presence on human brains is also in equal amounts either you’re an extrovert or an introvert. The difference being that extroverts find it overwhelming to turn inward and reflect exactly like how introverts find it difficult to keep up with the crowd and noise. Even in relationships we look for ones where we can comfortably do two different things in silence and there’s a lot of space given and taken.
That explains why extroverts may seek exciting situations and social opportunities while introverts would rather stay home with a good book, soothing music, or even hang out with people who add meaning and not just noise. Me personally prefer writing as a way to express myself. that way I don’t have to live through the anxiety of talking to people but can express things inside my head. Which, in all honesty has worked pretty well for me. So, the next time you befriend an introvert, do them some favor and don’t laden them with overwhelming social interactions. Also don’t judge them for wanting to be alone for a while and give them their space. They do love you and they will come around when you need but just leave them alone!!