I am a self-confessed introvert. I go to parties and, as soon the food has been eaten, I plan my exit strategy. I am racked with nerves when it's my time to speak in a meeting, and I usually prefer to be in my PJs watching the 'Living Room' on a Friday night than downing espresso martinis at yet another bar launch.
The hardest thing about being an introvert is that I'm not actually one. I'm loud, obnoxious and annoying -- three qualities that I'm quite sure a real introvert isn't.
'Gluten-free', 'Pescatarian', 'So Techy', 'Outdoorsy', 'Foodies'... Everyone needs a label these days. It seems being an introvert is on-trend and you're not cool if you're not one. I'm using my false identity to mask my laziness, and from what I can gather, most of the population are also.
You are probably not actually an introvert if you:
Don't like meeting new people.
I'm at a point in my life where I don't particularly want to be chatted up on the train, and I have no desire to spend my Tuesday nights playing mixed netball to meet new like-minded (or not) people. I don't care for small talk, and a stranger giving me the run-down of every time he has been to Sea World on a flight bores me to tears.
So, what's the polite way to ignore people? I'm too shy and introverted to engage.
Don't like change.
A stereotypical extrovert craves the unknown. They jump from country to country gathering experiences and knick knacks to pack in their bag. But do they really?
The funnest people I know have been in the same job, or at least the same industry for most of their lives. They have stable relationships and they still live in the city they were born.
How introverted are they? Well, I'll tell you a secret -- most of them weigh in at absolutely bonkers on the social scale.
Spending time alone has countless benefits. It slows the mind, provides focus, allows reflection and most of the time, you can do it in your underwear with a bottle of wine, judgement free!
Fear public speaking.
Public speaking is one of the most common fears alongside actual death. Introverts definitely don't enjoy it, but most extroverts don't either.
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Put a lot of effort in to your appearance.
The new thing is that introverts take immaculate care in their presentation because they are paranoid about what people think.
Overall the hundreds of hours I have spent on nightclub dance floors, I can safely assure you that fake eyelashes, perfect hair, movie star teeth and overpriced dresses do not equal introversion.
Ignore your phone.
Talking on the phone sucks, and the calls always come in when you're doing something. Whether it's making dinner, standing naked in the bathroom scrubbing cellulite, or when you're having 'you time' (see bottle of wine in underwear).
Text messages can be run on your time, whereas phone calls rarely achieve much, there's only so many times you can say, 'well, I better keep moving', before you remember you already told the person you weren't moving.
Screening calls is more common than answering them.
Just genuinely can't be bothered.
After work drinks, socialising, group exercising or putting pants on; it's okay to be lazy and it's okay to mask it under an umbrella cliché term sometimes, just don't try and claim to be an introvert.
For those like me, who aren't typically shy, love going out, but most of the time (particularly in winter) just really can't be bothered, it's time find some middle ground.
'Intro-icantbebothered-vert' will be on-trend this spring.