So, I am an introvert and a blog by Crystal Kona (A-letter-from-an-introvert-to-other-introverts/) got me thinking. What was originally meant as a comment on the post turned out a bit lengthier..:-P Here it is:
1. Self preservation is one of the strongest and deepest human instincts.
2. There are degrees of introversion.
3. There are degrees of friendship.
If there is a choice between hurting others or self (by talking to people/going for an outing or a party), most of the times I choose others because whenever I hurt myself, I go into deeper ‘social’ seclusion and that helps no one. Rather, it hurts and alienates more people than originally intended. Also, there are degrees of friendship: the acquaintances, the good friends and lastly, the best ones. The social time one spends with one’s friends/acquaintances depends on the degree of friendship between the concerned parties. It is true for all the people and nothing short of gospel truth when it comes to introverts. So, sometimes it is a trade-off between not going out with the acquaintances/good friends and spending quality time with the best friends one feels most comfortable with. Eminently logical. Obviously, one has to spend at least some time with one’s friends and acquaintances so as to maintain the relationship. But majority of the time can be spent with the best friends because that’s what one really wants to do and it makes one happy.
Now the problem arises when an introvert needs a break from even the closest of friends (this depends on how introverted one is). Making your closest friends understand that you need a break from talking/spending time with them for a while is tough especially when you don’t know how long it will take for you to recharge your ‘social’ batteries. They will understand you if they are introverts. But if they are not, then they can only try without any guarantee of success since trying to comprehend something that is completely alien to one’s own nature is very, very tough! It’s like explaining light to a blind person or music to a deaf one…. Never truly understandable! I have a few extrovert friends who make valiant efforts to understand but never really do and that’s perfectly fine as I too cannot, for the life of me, ever understand their need to talk/chat and meet/party and live in each other’s pockets as frequently as they want to.
So does it hurt your friend/acquaintance when you say ‘no’ to an outing or don’t reply? Yes it does. But in the end, it’s all about self-preservation and the choices one makes and has to live with. So long as you are perfectly comfortable with the ones you have made, it’s fine! No individual is responsible for other individual’s happiness. First, one has to learn the art of making oneself happy. Only then can one make the people who really matter to one happy! Only a mind at peace with itself can think about others, be generous to them and bring a semblance of happiness in their lives…
Mind you I am not saying that you can be rude to people around you as and when you want to or make introversion your excuse for doing so. All I am saying is think carefully before taking any action as that’s the way to happiness and peace…:-)