The name of my blog defines me as an introvert and for a long time, essentially since I learnt what the word meant, I have aligned myself with that word and all that comes with it. But yesterday, as I longed for friends and people to socialise with, felt lonely in my own company, I started to wonder if I could truthfully call myself an introvert.
I guess it depends on how you define an introvert. To me, an introvert is someone who is shy – tick – and quiet – tick – with only a few friends – tick – and is happy with their own company – erm…
The fact is, contrary to what I used to think, I like being with people. When I’m alone, when no one texts me, when I begin to wonder if anyone actually cares about me, I feel lonely. I am no longer happy with my own company. I can’t just settle down with a book and read for hours on end without the need to check my phone in the hope that someone needs something from me (the only reason that some people text me). I need people. I want more than I realised to be the kind of person who doesn’t have a problem with talking to more than two people at a time, and I know that that person is inside me, clawing to get out. Once, I got so passionate in my A Level English class that I essentially shouted at the teacher in front of the whole class about how Heathcliff is so terrible and that it’s not fair to blame Macbeth for Duncan’s murder. That person didn’t care that there were 15 pairs of eyes and ears all focused on me, and someone who didn’t know me might take that moment and even call me an extrovert.
And so, I guess, maybe calling myself an introvert isn’t entirely accurate. There are certainly extroverted parts of me, parts of me that crave attention and want to be let loose. But the deathly shy side of me, who is deeply embarrassed by any attention and will replay moments that aren’t even that embarrassing over and over in my head until it drives me even further into my shell, is in control.
So I guess I’m an introverted extrovert: I want to socialise, but I just can’t.