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The Woes of Being an Introvert and Other Shenanigans

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10/10/2013

The Woes of Being an Introvert and Other Shenanigans photo

I used to think I was shy. Turns out I’m not. Hi, my name is Adam and I’m an introvert. Now, could you please go away? It’s not that I don’t like being around people; it’s more that I don’t like people.

Okay, that’s not true. You’re alright. You came here to read this, which makes you fantastic so you should stay. See, what I crave is introversion and when I consume it, I digest the world at my best. And in my rapidly aging age, I could do well with an increased metabolism.

I used to mistake my introversion as me being shy, but this is hardly the case. Okay, maybe it’s partly the case but more accurately, it’s not my lack of desire to be social; it’s my full non-lack of undesire to always be experiencing every moment to the fullest. If that sentence is confusing just understand it’s a double negative which tends to prove positive.

What I yearn for is interactions with others that are always meaningful and not just trying to pass the time. Seriously, the idea of small talk scares the crap out of me. It’s why I wear adult diapers when I mingle. When I have exchanges with others, I find nothing more stimulating than deep, thought-provoking conversation. Being challenged mentally and exchanging true ideas and views while respecting others differing opinions is an experience that is too few and far between for most of us. Yes, I love talking about movies. Yes, I love griping about the love/hate relationship I have with the CTA. And yes, I love talking about other mindless shenanigans (title tie-in here – I’m clever), but when push comes to shove, I shove to push the conversation to places we rarely tread but often desire.

Being an introvert, sometimes I simply need time to myself. I having nothing against anyone – well, except that one person. You know who you are. But you, my attractive reader, again, you’re alright. Anyway, time with myself, when it’s by choice, are some of the greatest times of my life. I recently had the extremely rare pleasure of having a full 48 hours entirely to myself. It was incredible. I didn’t leave the apartment. I didn’t see anyone. And most importantly, I didn’t wear pants for two days straight. So what did I do in these two days you ask? Go ahead. Ask.

Well, since you asked….nothing. I did nothing. And it was glorious – marvelous even. Odd how marvelous it even was. And it was helped immensely by my fridge being chock full of Rosh Hashanah leftovers, but that was just a tiny, gargantuan perk.

When I’m a man about town (though I’m usually a man about SpaghettiOs, I like to wear headphones to deter people from interacting with me. I like my privacy while in public, so if you must know, I don’t necessarily have my headphones plugged into anything. I just want the illusion that I’m socially unavailable while out in public. Although sometimes I will plug them into an apple, just so I can show off my new Apple product. It’s called the “idont,” as in “idont want to talk to you.”

Wow. That was terrible. That was like a horrendous tweet with an even more horrendous hashtag serving as the punch line. Please excuse me while I go make a horrendous tweet with an even more horrendous hashtag serving as the punch line.

I have no good segue here.

I love mirrors. If you know me, or are around me from anywhere between now and 30 seconds from now, you will know this to be oh so true. I will always, always, stop in front of a mirror. Sometimes to give myself a hello, a compliment or a short chat. But mostly just to make silly faces and funny voices, though sometimes I like to get a little flirty with myself because those blue eyes – my God, those blue eyes.

I also enjoy talking to myself. Not in the crazy “yelling out loud on the bus” kind of way, which sometimes just happens, but more in the honest self-reflection kind of way. It all goes back to my Birthright trip and my experience at the Western Wall. I openly and truly talked to myself that day in a way in which I’ve never been able to properly replicate. Being by myself and having my alone time allows for as similar experience as possible. Sure, I also do funny voices and make silly faces, but that’s only because I find myself highly entertaining. I’m very funny – and popular. And attractive. And narcissistic.

But although I enjoy talking to myself, when I’m around people I’m not terribly acquainted with, I am terrible at initiating small talk, which usually turns out to be terrible. Hence, I prefer huge talk. With small talk, it feels very phony to me. More so that I feel like I’m forcing conversation that isn’t exhilarating for either of us. I’m not interesting to begin with, so if you make me participate in small talk, you’re liable to be pummeled with a nap attack.

Because I travel a bunch for work and I am often by myself (not by choice), this happens a lot in restaurants. I get what I like to call “All By Myself Restaurant Anxiety.” I really like talking to the waiters, waitresses, bartenders, bartendresses, bus boys and bus girltresses, but I suck at initiating conversations and conversationesses. If the server wanted to chat a moment, I’d be more than happy to strike up conversation. But when it comes down to it, I’d rather sit there naked than be the one that initiates it. I’ve been kicked out of a lot of restaurants.

What all this comes down to is I love being by myself. I do actually enjoy being social and outgoing but sometimes that introversion kicks in and then I very much enjoy hanging out with just me. If I could find a female version of me, I’d be set. I’d call her … Adamantha. Kind of just flops off the tongue there. See, it’s not that I’m socially awkward. It’s that I’m awkward socially. Fine. I’m just awkward.

Oh, and could you please not tell anyone about this blog post? I don’t want to draw attention to myself. I apprecia—just caught myself in a mirror. Excuse me.

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