Musings from an Introvert

On most days, I’m just fine being an introvert. I enjoy spending time by myself, whether I’m lost in code or getting shit done around the house or just relaxing in my comfy recliner. But other days I wish there was an off switch for my introversion.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a textbook case for introversion. I prefer to spend time alone. After spending too much time with people I need to hibernate to recharge. Sometimes I only need a couple hours to recharge while others I need several days.

To compound my introversion, I have social anxiety. It is the worst when I need to go to some event or conference where I don’t really know anyone. I’m mostly okay when I go out with friends, but when they aren’t with me, I tend to hide in corners. LOL 

I also suffer from FOMO. While I’m hiding in those corners, I’m observing everything around me. While I might not be comfortable interacting, I still want to feel like I’m part of whatever event I’m at.

There are times where I get so pissed at myself for hiding on the sidelines. My internal monolog is screaming at me to go talk to people or to just let loose. 

There’s a conference in Minneapolis that I have gone to for the past 3 years. The people who attend (and put it on) are smart and friendly. I want so badly to just jump into conversations and hang out at the social gathering that is part of the conference. It is the perfect opportunity to make new friends with the same career that I have and to network for potential job opportunities. But no matter how much I’m [internally] screaming at myself, I always find myself hiding in proverbial corners (if not physical corners).

I said that I’m “mostly okay” when I go out with friends. I’m definitely more comfortable in those situations, but I still find myself wishing I could just let loose. Like last night. I went with my best friend to a street dance a little over an hour away because my favorite band was playing. We were in a town where nobody knew us (other than the band). Again, my inner monolog was telling me to dance like I do when I’m alone at home. Who’s gonna make fun of me if I look like an idiot? I’ll most likely never see these people again (other than my friend and the band). Why can’t I just let loose for a fucking change and stop worrying what people think about me?

Like I started out saying … most of the time I’m okay with being an introvert. But in situations like the two that I just described, I wish there was an off switch or a pill I could take for my introversion. I wish I could find some way to be comfortable enough in my own skin to actually enjoy myself without giving a damn what other people thought of me.