and I can inspire so don’t insinuate I am an idiot,
my intelligence indicates otherwise.
I like to draw and doodle, I like to make words rhyme, I like to stare into and read weighty books at long lengths, I like to reminisce while flipping through photo albums, and I like doing this often being left alone in peace and quiet.* *Please Allah protect this, for it is He who made me what’s good in me today.
Growing up a secret introvert was tough given the fact that it appeared as if every other family we were friendly with had kids that were gifted and comfortable with public displays of their talents. I despised the encounters we had with some of these families because each time we met or communicated something else would crop up which shadowed my achievements. I find it a reoccurring occurrence with immigrated Indian families, when at the parents' relentless behest the children have to do something they aren't prepared to do, and I believe this often times has to do with adults wanting to live vicariously through their kids. My own parents have pushed me oft times to participate or get involved with activities that don’t take into consideration my interests or my preferences.
It can be very discouraging when your parents can’t accept the fact that you’re an introvert and don’t understand that it’s not a problem or an excuse to live a more secluded life. It’s an orientation sometimes not of our choosing (studies show the brain and genes can be born with these inclinations), a lifestyle of which we get accustomed to and are comfortable with, not us simply being or becoming complacent with a simpler standard of life like some may believe. We introverts aren’t asocial or anti-social as my mom puts it, and we aren’t morose or miserable loners. Understand that we have different needs and preferences from extroverts; our mental maintenance is an altogether different undertaking that is usually resolved in an independent state away from crowds and people. Our contributions to society may be more subtle and very likely overlooked but recognize this, we are as ambitious as anyone else. Don’t disregard us because our ambitions lead us elsewhere or to less elevated designations.
1. Don’t expect me to be very receptive to you or bubbly before 11 a.m., especially because I don’t drink coffee. Actually the best thing would be to confront or approach me only after lunch, once I’ve had my home packed lunch with a side of chocolate milk.
2. Don’t try to surprise me and then put me on the spot to potentially embarrass me; I will frame you in a murder case and then pay someone in prison to maim you. No I’m kidding; I’m too passive so instead the best hurt I could inflict on you is I get an overdue charge on your library card - assuming you have one.
3. Don’t ask me “Why are you being so serious?” or “Why do you look worried about something?” simply because I chose to stay quiet for more than 15 minutes in your presence. Just because I‘m having a casual silent and minute existentialist moment on the subway while I sport a quizzical look on my face, doesn’t mean you need to rescue me from my aloofness and engage me in vain conversation.
4. Don’t tell me to speak on something simply to interrupt me or speak over me; it’ll take me hours to recover my thoughts so I can express them fluently. I in particular have very fragile moments of coherence, like for instance I only understand my existence at 4:25 a.m. in the morning. What? It’s so quiet and serene.
5. Don’t give me gift cards for use at a mall, chances are I hate shopping at that place, I avoid being around or in big crowds, and I’m somewhat repulsed by ceaseless-rubbish-chattering individuals. Put those together and you have given me a reason to show up uninvited to your get-together(s) with a petting zoo. And I will have fed the elephant I hire a laxative beforehand so tread carefully!
6. Don’t attempt to match your conversational speed to that of this guys texting speed or this guys clapping speed when we speak to one another; slow down or I’ll pay your dentist to put pop-rock fillings in your mouth (???). Either way I won’t be able to tell the difference in our conversations.
7. Don’t negotiate an answer with me; the first time I say no to an event at which I know I will feel like an outsider, I really mean it. You will try to sweeten the deal by telling me how others like me will be there, and then I will likely relent. But I will not enjoy myself for one half of the program, either the first half (when I haven’t found anyone like me) or the second half (I’ve bored of talking to the same person/people). You will not like me for my stubbornness but would I subject you to hours at the library with me?
8. Don’t ask me to explain why I’m irritated by cheery cashiers, co-workers, bus drivers, neighbours, etc...Some of your corniness makes me cringe and I feel awkward if I have to fake respond to your cheeriness. I acknowledge and admire you for your kindness but just turn it down a bit, particularly when it’s a weekday like Monday.
9. Don’t ask me about why I hold on to old things and don’t update my gear i.e. my clothes, car, cell phone, etc. I simply don’t have the desire and patience to follow frivolous trends. My possessions carry a lot of sentimental value and weight and as long as they get the job done for me I am content!
10. Don’t tell me I’m strange and the way I carry myself is no way to live. 25% of the world’s population is introverted, also we make up 60% of the worlds gifted population. If you’d look past the misconceptions, you will find that I’m not the dull person you expect me to be.
I was missing out on something.
Not every introvert might feel this way, but I desperately wanted to put a grip on my hopeless public speaking skills. Even small talk was a challenge for me when I met new folks. I have joined my fair share of public speaking courses including the Christopher Leadership Course and Toastmasters, in that order specifically. Fortunately my Abbu/Father/Dad accompanied and gave me the encouragement I needed for this self improvement. I had regressed (or devolved) to being an extreme introvert soon after my family and I immigrated to Canada partly because of culture shock. I now have better control over my extrovert behavior and can channel it at fitting times but my introvert nature and tendencies are still prominent in my personality.
or who submit their work to this site,
introvert, extroverts, and those that be ambivalent.
Recognize that the introverted population amongst you are responsible for the majority of creativity, ha!
Here's some encouragement for introverts. (See below)