Sunday, April 09, 2017

Socialization

I hate socializing.

Whenever I tell people that I'm an introvert, they scoff or tell me, "No way, you're too much of a people person!" Well, guess what. I really hate socializing. I hate leaving my house, I hate small talk, I hate listening to boring stories, I hate not wearing pajamas and playing mobile games in bed.

Because of my line of work, I spend the majority of my day talking to people. This is fine. I'm really fucking good at it. At least once a day, someone tells me that I have an incredible phone voice, some of them suggesting I go into radio advertising or confessing they thought I was a professional recording. Every once in a while, they insist on being transferred to my superior to compliment me on my fabulously enthusiastic greeting, my warm personality and wealth of information.

I do absolutely love WORKING with people. The challenge of having a very short window of time to figure out what this person wants, how they want it delivered and doing so in a manner that absolutely exceeds their expectation is fun to me. But at the end of the day when I clock out and walk out the door? I don't want to talk to anybody. I barely want to talk to the people I live with. I just want to sit in silence and turn off my brain.

Once, I used the phrase "introverted extrovert". Labels are necessary in order to efficiently communication with one another but the whole introvert vs. extrovert thing is a little silly to me. As with most things in life, it's a spectrum. I can turn on the charm and if a conversation is actually engaging, I find myself recharged by it. However, most commonly I'm horrifically uninterested in what other people have to say - maybe I'm a narcissist or just a vapid, hipster piece of human waste - and it absolutely drains me.

It's not even that I dislike the people I'm talking to; usually to the contrary I think they are sweet, intelligent, fun people. Even the people I don't like, on my good days, I still see as human and therefore flawed yet important. But goddamnit, I don't want to talk to them. I sit at a bar. Please don't talk to me. Please don't talk to me. Please don't talk to me.

I value honesty so highly yet I haven't been able to reconcile my pursuit of the truth with my social anxiety and interaction exhaustion. Recently I've thought of writing letters that explain my true feelings towards going out. It's fucking crazy (and flattering), how often people ask me to come out with them. But the reality of the situation is, I really don't want to. It's not you, it's me. I want to Netflix and Chill with my husband. I don't want to hang out with anyone other than the like, four friends I've had since high school. That's okay with me. That makes me happy. You're sweet and maybe on a weird day that I suddenly feel like hitting the town, I'll let you know.

I guess the one thing to really take away from the recent surge in "10 Things Introverts Relate To" Buzzfeed subculture that's popping up is this - maybe it really is okay to say, "You know what? I don't really like going to the bar. I'm just going to stay in."

So the next time you think of inviting me out, I'm done coming up with garbage excuses for why I'm busy. I'm done going to sleep when I hear my phone chime because I'd literally rather be unconscious than face another social invitation. I'm just going to tell you the truth. And as I've always said, if you can't be honest with people, then what's the point?

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