Being introverted can be hard especially because my brain seems to react to most social situations in only one of two ways – Everything that’s on my mind comes flowing out in one go or I just go completely quiet. When I do the former, people mistakenly believe that I’m not actually an introvert.
When I do the latter, they think that something is bothering me or they are boring me. They enquire about my health and I don’t have anything to say because I really am okay. Or they make an observation about my silence which only makes me more conscious. So I’m writing this now to tell people what is actually happening in my head when I’m in the second state.
I just cannot come up with a suitable response to whatever you’re saying to me. And the quiet between us is only making this worse because the awkwardness makes me freeze up even more. I can’t even figure out if I’m thinking about something or if I’m not thinking about anything. Everything becomes a jumble that I can’t comprehend enough to put in a coherent sentence.
Does this text make me look like an idiot? Should I get Chinese or Indian for tonight? If something is going on in my head, I can’t simultaneously make conversation. I concentrate on whatever is going on inside. I can’t keep up with two flows of thought at the same time because I tend to throw myself completely into one task. If you wait for a while, I’ll think things through and soon enough, I’ll be ready to join the conversation again.
There is just so much noise! When so many people are trying to talk over each other at the same time, it can get really confusing. I don’t know when it’s alright for me to speak or even who to respond to first. I don’t want to offend anyone and I don’t want to say anything dumb. Topic change very quickly and I can’t get a break to collect my thoughts. Conversations end before they even begin and nobody is actually making valid contributions that make you think. I hate meaningless chatter and I can’t take part if it’s not a discussion that matter.
I’m a quiet person and this helps me better observe everything that is going on around me. I pay a lot of attention to whoever is around me, the way they all interact with each other, what kind of vibe is there in the room, pretty much anything you can think of. I tend to get lost in thought just analyzing all the details I’ve managed to pick up on. Others might say I’m thinking too much but it’s something I’m good at and I love doing it. There are times when I get fixated on something that is not positive but this doesn’t happen very often. I just cannot make conversation while my mind is occupied.