It’s one of those things that you never asked for, yet it was bestowed upon you. Yet, unlike Spiderman’s powers which lead to kickassery (like who wouldn’t want to swing from buildings across Mumbai’s traffic?) , being an introvert pretty much turns you into that awkward person who spends most of his time standing in the corner of a room full of strangers.
Being an introvert is something I have fought with pretty much all my life. Next time, I tell myself, I will be outspoken, social, the one who talks to everyone. And next time comes and goes, and the corner and cellphone become dearer than ever. Someone I know says a person can’t really change who they are intrinsically, try as they might, and I’m pretty much starting to believe them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no soft spoken girl who barely talks. Put me in a small group of people, old friends or one-to-one interactions, and I would probably fill in all the awkward gaps with everything from talks about the weather, leaving babies in Big Bazaar to the incredibly smelly pigeons of Andheri. But put me in a large group of people I don’t know, and chances are I’ll be looking at the clock more often than not. It isn’t as much about not enjoying the company, but more about being painfully aware of how unfriendly you’re looking to the others.
Over the years, I’ve realized there are certain things most introverts do or have faced to get through this uber social world. Maybe it’s just in my head. But then, maybe not.
- Cellphones are your knights in shining armour. Keep them charged people! They’re your access to Facebook and Instagram and all that awesomeness that’s just so much easier to get to without having to go through actual interactions with other human beings in the room. And when faced with a life-or-death situation, where you realize everyone is actually looking at you to say or do something, pretend to get a call and walk away with your head held high.
- You will be called a stuck up bitch at some point of time. When you’re too shy to go up to people and start conversations, even if you’d really like to, people assume you think you’re too good for them. You can try explaining to them to change their mind, but then for that, you would have to talk to them first. So just get used to it. Revel in it. There really isn’t much choice.
- Getting into Sales would pretty much be the death of your career. Unless you’re one of those gifted people who can suddenly transform into a kickass salesperson the moment you see a potential customer, stay away from it! No one is going to buy from you just because you look pretty. Actually, who knows.
- Keep your fridge and laptop hard disc stocked. Nothing beats curling up in bed with comfort food and a movie or show you haven’t seen instead of going out into unchartered territory. Pssttt… new seasons for Greys Anatomy, Orange is the New Black, GoT, Suits & House of Cards are just around the corner! Gear up!
- Love yourself. Whoever you are, whoever you want to be. If you don’t mind being an introvert, just be. If you hate it, change what you want. Leave your cellphone strictly in your bag, identify the few people you do know at a party, ask them to introduce you to others. Sit with new people in the cafeteria each day. Go try a sales pitch. Say hi. If nothing else, smile.
Nine out of ten times, I don’t manage any of these things. But that one time I do manage to go out of my way and be social, it feels like an accomplishment. And for the most part, I’m alright with that statistic. The few days I’m not, I remind myself to try harder the next time. And then I switch on the show for the day, and curl up in bed with A, and bombard him with the stories of the day until he tunes out and turns up the volume of American Horror Story. And life's good, just the way it is.