If you are talkative and have lots of friends, you are probably very in! Everybody likes chatty and boisterous people who love picnics and parties and enjoy the clatter and chatter so much so that the ones who are trying to live their lives in harmony and quiet are either misunderstood or completely ignored! The society in general perceives people who don’t talk or socialize much as arrogant or rude or plain boring! Moreover, people don’t really understand what is it with you and the thing you have for solitude. In fact, they don’t even know what solitude is. They simply think you are some unfortunate, lonesome soul with no life whatsoever!
With so much clamour and excitement surrounding the ever popular and accepted members of the society, people like me almost always find it hard to adjust. What makes it all the more challenging is the fact that I don’t have much in common with most people. So, all my attempts at making conversations with them often fail because I usually talk about books or poetry or something that I feel strongly about like injustice or unfairness of life or dreams and goals etc and there’s no way I can ever participate in small talks about that handsome guy next door or that unlucky, beautiful, rich girl who hasn’t found a husband yet! Furthermore, people don’t see me burst into peals of laughter. In fact, many even complain that I have no sense of humour!
Mostly people think that I have a mundane life and that I need to get out of my gloomy cave and start enjoying it. I remember one of my colleagues at my last workplace, many years ago, had actually given me quite a sermon on how short this life is, and how precious; and that I should be exuberant and join her and the others at a dance party they were having that night! I go through similar experiences at my present workplace too. Most of my co-workers say that I’m dreary and unexciting! What really disturbs me is that nobody ever tries to see the world through my eyes. I mean is it really all that hard to understand people who find happiness in sitting quietly, or who experience joy in writing poetry!
I know it’s not always easy to comprehend people or experiences that do not relate to your personal life but then being judgemental or jumping to conclusions is not fair! I know when you think of water parks or beaches, or recreational centres, you want to go wild and crazy, sing songs, jump like a clown, or scream and laugh till your throat becomes hoarse and dry! But don’t pity me or think I’m lonely when I take long walks on the beach all by myself, in silence and reflect upon life, collect some sea shells, and feel the cool water wash my feet, savour an ice cream and when I’m tired, rest on the soft sand and watch in delight the orange sunset all in my own company of course!
Enjoying my own company or not having a huge circle of friends or not participating in your laughter and chit-chats doesn’t mean I am suffering from social anxiety or I dislike people around me. It doesn’t mean I’m sad or depressed. It only means I prefer peace and tranquility. It also means I expect people to respect my boundaries. Having people around who insist that I join them or become social or open up a bit annoys me because it only shows they have a problem with who I am; that they are not accepting the person that I am! And believe me I haven’t chosen to be a loner. It’s how God has made me! Besides, being an introvert is not some kind of a personality disorder! So, repeatedly asking me why I didn’t show up at a party or lecturing me about the advantages of meeting new people will only create distance between us.
Sure I’m a loner and large crowds make me uncomfortable but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what fun is. Strange it may sound but my happiness lies in my own private bubble, in moments of quietude when I can indulge in books or contemplate upon the meaning of life! But that doesn’t make me pompous! But yes, if truth be told, I’m not really amicable! I can’t make friends easily or talk to everyone I come across. In order for me to open up with you, it’s important that I feel comfortable with you and that would only happen when I have something in common with you. As I said earlier, meaningless conversations don’t appeal to me much!
Written By Shumila Malik