Ever since I could remember, I’ve always disliked being around a large crowd. I never liked being with people. It’s not that I’m socially awkward or what, I don’t really mind talking in front of a crowd (so long as I know what I’m talking about) or having casual conversations with strangers when I need to, it’s just that –I don’t like the feeling of meeting new people. It’s uncomfortable, I feel awkward and self-conscious. What I hate even more is when I’ve got a mutual friend, and the new person and him/her keep talking about stuff (or people) I know nothing about. I feel left out, unable to follow their thoughts.
I am always misjudged for being “shy” whenever stuff like this happen, and believe it or not, stuff like this always happen to me. I’m not even sure why. Sometimes I think that the universe is subjecting me to so much uncomfortable social interactions. I feel like I could write a book for every awkward moment I had where I was just left in the corner sitting while listening to other’s conversations; if people do not know me at all they’d mistake me for being a mute. Truth is, I find it hard to keep up with small talks because first, these talks always demand for basic information like “where do you live”, “what kinds of things are you busy about”, “how many are you in the family” and stuff like that. There’s nothing wrong about that but to me, it feels like prying into my personal life. I mean, those conversations could lead to serious family dilemmas if you’re not very careful (which I am apparently rich of given how complicated my own family are) and that’s the last thing I want to discuss with people I barely know. Second, I’m not particularly fond of listening to other people’s lives especially when I don’t know them. I mean, what do I have to do with what happened to Emma last month? I don’t even know her. And the thing about meeting new people especially when you don’t know their points of interest are is that, you will be left with nothing to talk about except other people’s lives. Worse, these other people’s lives may be people you know nothing about. To me, it feels like answering an oral recitation question when I didn’t even study at all.
Hence, the most comfortable time for me is when I’m already sprawled in my bed at night –relaxing. It just doesn’t help that the past events keep replaying inside my head like a broken cassette. I always comfort myself with –it’s alright, at least now it’s over. But the feeling that I feel like a complete idiot do not go easily away until I fall asleep. Believe it or not, it’s physically, mentally, and more importantly, emotionally tiring for me. I feel drained all the time. I always have to have a quiet time with myself to regain my energy or else, I won’t function well. And the truth is, being like this is way harder than what other people could imagine –especially extroverts. To tell honestly, I’m not very into extroverted people who always seemed to know a lot of people and could nonstop talk about their experiences or other people’s experiences. I mean, I don’t have anything against them but I just find them tiring to interact with. Maybe because they’re my total opposite. I’m just saddened by the fact that they are always categorized as friendly when they’re just talkative and then those who are quiet like me are always branded as shy or worse, unsociable.
To tell you, I’ve been through a lot of emotional torments because of this especially when I’m still starting college at about the age of 16 or 17. It didn’t help that I have a naturally strict-looking face. But I don’t hate that I’m like this. Even when there were nights when my gut (and anxiety) keeps telling me that I looked like a complete idiot awhile back. You couldn’t guess how many times I’ve swallowed the dread and distress and apprehension about being around people. It feels like I’m always going into some dreaded oral recitation, my stomach would flip at the idea. That is until I realized that I don’t anymore want to mind their opinions and first impressions.
Today, at 20, I can say that I’ve grown tired of that. I’m not saying that I’ve already overcome this because I did not and probably will not as I do accept that this is among of my many attributes that identify me from others. But still, now, I feel more comfortable in my own skin than I was when I was 16. And for my own sanity’s sake, I’m not going to change and force myself to become less of a “selective social introverted” girl (or lady) because this is who I am. And this decision, I’m sure, is going to take me to a lot of uncomfortable situations still. But the me that isn’t like this feels like not me at all. I guess I just have to remind myself always that perhaps this is how I was just designed by my Creator. And my personality helps Him identify me from others.