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Thread: Expression and Introversion

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    Default Expression and Introversion

    I'm a rather introverted person with a longing to express myself. Although there are some exceptions, I'm generally not a very vibrant person. As far as expressing emotions, I'm not very dynamic. I generally can only take a few hours of social interaction before I become mentally exhausted, and in some cases, I can become mentally drained in what seems like no time at all.

    While introversion vs extroversion is often painted as a mere difference in personality, I sometimes wonder if introversion is more of a disadvantage then people are led to believe. Perhaps I'm not alone in this, but I haven't really encountered this belief. I've come across the term "extrovert-biased culture" before, and there seems to be a lot of truth to that, although that's quite a big issue. It just seems like so many positive latent functions come as a result of being an extrovert. In general, it seems as though an extrovert is sort of "putting himself out there" more...inviting the good things in life to come in, while the introvert's behavior limits these opportunities. I also tend to think that it is easier for an extrovert to sort of compensate for the disadvantages of extroversion. For example, it seems much easier for an extrovert to pick up a book that features introspective thoughts than it is for an introvert to somehow gain the experience of having had many conversations with people from many different walks of life.

    I also have the perception that while there are some ways that introverts can express themselves, such as art or writing, it's quite difficult to get to a point of success or recognition in such pursuits that is fulfilling. And beyond difficulties in expression, making connections with other people is much harder, for obvious reasons. You HAVE to find a way to distinguish yourself when you meet people, and if you aren't saying much, it's very difficult. The disadvantage that creates seems enormous. I suppose "expression" is just as big of a concern of mine as making connections with others.

    Well, someone just pissed me off and I don't feel like writing anymore. So I'm just gonna post what I have...
    When they said "sit down", I stood up.

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    There was a TED talk about introverts. I'm introverted too.
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    I generally agree. Particularly regarding how exhausting social interactions can be. I think part of why I've always enjoyed internet forums as a means of social interaction is because I can completely control the situation. I can take as long as I want to reply or just not reply at all if I don't feel like it. And I can just walk away at any moment.

    It's rather funny that people often seem to think I'm a natural "people person". They say I'm charming, make friends easily, and that everyone who meets me likes me. They don't notice how much effort that actually requires for me, or that I can't actually maintain more than a tiny handful of personal relationships for long. I sort of hide my introverted nature by pretending to be something else but ultimately that doesn't get me much. And I've become something of a recluse in recent years.

    It all basically adds up to me being quite desperately lonely most of the time but not really knowing how to connect to people on a deep, satisfying level, or perhaps just not having the energy to put myself in situations where it could happen. Add in crippling depression and physical health problems and I am, quite honestly, a fucking train-wreck of a human being these days.

    Shit, maybe I'm not even naturally introverted. Maybe it's just the lifetime of depression and low self-esteem. I don't know. Whatever I am is not a good thing to be and pretending to be in any way normal is so utterly exhausting.
    Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Bill Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paint_It_Black View Post
    Whatever I am is not a good thing to be and pretending to be in any way normal is so utterly exhausting.
    Leaves the question what is normal?
    Turn the lights on.

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    Wow, I agree more than I ever thought I would on any forum such as this, except I have far more of a bleak outlook on us introverts. I don't just think extroverts are at an advantage; I think they're BETTER than us introverts. I mean, there's no point in beating around the bush. I find social interaction exhausting as well, but I believe that is a weakness.

    Extroverts are better than introverts.

    I hate to admit it, because pretending like we had an identity seemed cool and all, but I'm totally ready to throw the word "introvert" in the trash and just admit that I'm wrong, and that I should just learn to be an extrovert. All of this Myers-Briggs crap is big right now, but how can anything really encapsulate a personality? Just stop being a little bitch and be an extrovert. It pains me to write those words. It really, really, pains me to write them, and I still disagree with them in my heart, but my head fully tells me to believe them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by XYlophonetreeZ View Post
    Wow, I agree more than I ever thought I would on any forum such as this, except I have far more of a bleak outlook on us introverts. I don't just think extroverts are at an advantage; I think they're BETTER than us introverts. I mean, there's no point in beating around the bush. I find social interaction exhausting as well, but I believe that is a weakness.

    Extroverts are better than introverts.

    I hate to admit it, because pretending like we had an identity seemed cool and all, but I'm totally ready to throw the word "introvert" in the trash and just admit that I'm wrong, and that I should just learn to be an extrovert. All of this Myers-Briggs crap is big right now, but how can anything really encapsulate a personality? Just stop being a little bitch and be an extrovert. It pains me to write those words. It really, really, pains me to write them, and I still disagree with them in my heart, but my head fully tells me to believe them.
    I can't quite tell if you're mocking the idea of introversion being a legitimate disadvantage or not. "Just stop being a little bitch and be an extrovert"? One might be able to alter their introverted tendencies to include some extroverted behaviors, but to suggest to just "be an extrovert" seems a little oversimplified. If you're serious, I'm kind of curious on what experiences and such led to this belief.

    PIB, I identify with much of what you said. I'm not sure what answers there other than for people like us to put ourselves out there as much as possible and hope we encounter people and inspirations that makes us feel better about things.
    When they said "sit down", I stood up.

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    That post was meant to be kind of provocative, I guess. I was sort of summarizing my darkest thoughts about my own personal introversion. I do frequently think along those lines, but I only half believe all of that. On my better days I believe that introversion has plenty of advantages.
    "LIVE OR DIE, MAN??"

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    First of all, I've never talked about my level of introvertism with anyone, not online and not IRL. Many times I try to talk to people on a deeper level but few truly understand, so I give up on them and revert to the typical shallow and boring subjects that they can relate to. Don't get me wrong though, I can still enjoy a shallow conversation but it just can't compare to a meaningful one. Since I have so few people to have good conversations with, I usually end up having endless conversations in my own head instead but since I'm an introvert, it suits me just fine.

    I can think of things I want to say to people for days, I'll play out the scenarios in my mind so much that I eventually feel that the actual, real conversation with that person would be redundant.

    The thing about social interaction has been mentioned several times in this thread and I very much agree with what's been said so far. I used to party quite a bit and I was usually more drunk than the average person. There's been countless occasions in my life where I've felt this need to be drunk or I wouldn't be able to relax and enjoy myself. I've been to places I didn't really want to be, with people I didn't even knew or liked, and for what? To fit in? To pretend to be extroverted and social because that's what people expected from me?

    Hanging out with friends for a movie night or playing video games or whatever is nice and all but I'm definitely the first to leave because it drains me like crazy. I still haven't figured out how to connect with people in situations like that, I much more prefer to be one-on-one where you can actually get to know something interesting about someone.

    For four years I had a soul-sucking job that consumed all of my energy, both physical and mental. I was very good at it and I partly enjoyed it at the time but it drove me nuts. Not rarely, I'd scream out my frustrations at the top of my lungs. Seriously. In May 2013 I lost that job (in a extremely unusual fashion actually) and my world kinda got turned upside down. On one hand, I was very relieved and happy because I was finally free but on the other hand I could feel the "social pressure", the need for a new job, a new identity.

    The next six months were very hectic and even though I started working at my father's company, I still couldn't shake those negative emotions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paint_It_Black View Post
    It all basically adds up to me being quite desperately lonely most of the time but not really knowing how to connect to people on a deep, satisfying level, or perhaps just not having the energy to put myself in situations where it could happen. Add in crippling depression and physical health problems and I am, quite honestly, a fucking train-wreck of a human being these days.

    Shit, maybe I'm not even naturally introverted. Maybe it's just the lifetime of depression and low self-esteem. I don't know. Whatever I am is not a good thing to be and pretending to be in any way normal is so utterly exhausting.
    This reminds me a lot of how I felt during that time and other times in the last 4 years. I remember trying to figure out why I functioned the way I did, I thought it was social phobia or maybe even some mental disease. My introverted persona had been pushed aside my entire life and when it finally started to surface I had no fucking clue what was going on.

    Anyway, December 17 last year, I had some kind of revelation, it was like this inner voice told me to start working out again. So at January 1st, not only did I decide to start feeling better in every possible way, I simply demanded it from myself, I had to do something. And I did. In the beginning of the year I kinda forced myself to think positive thoughts and I kept that up until it became a natural occurance and I've been working out harder than ever before and I still love it.

    Last time I was drunk was the 24th of May, I eventually got so sick of alcohol and dishonesty. I've learned that I don't need alcohol to fit in anymore, if I'm at someplace with people that I'm not comfortable with, I'll just leave, as simple as that. People will drain your energy but you don't have to allow it, you can be yourself and leave. What they think of you has nothing to do with you.

    I also started meditating this year, it wasn't really intentional, it just happened. Listening to that inner voice and to allow every thought, whether it's positive or negative, is very peaceful.

    Basically, what I'm trying to say is this: Embrace your introvertism! I have learned so much this last year by doing just that and you know what? I wouldn't trade my introvertism for extrovertism, no way!

    Believe it or not but this was the short version!

    One more thing, I do remember this great thread: http://offspring.com/community/showt...-sex-and-aging.
    Last edited by nightvision; 3 Days Ago at 03:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XYlophonetreeZ View Post
    That post was meant to be kind of provocative, I guess. I was sort of summarizing my darkest thoughts about my own personal introversion. I do frequently think along those lines, but I only half believe all of that. On my better days I believe that introversion has plenty of advantages.
    I'm still very curious as to the specifics of why you feel this way, even if you only sort of partially believe it. If you feel like it, you should try to explain it a little better. As I've said, I have some thoughts similar to this, but perhaps not quite as extreme as what you're saying.

    Also, my fellow introverts: Ever had to compete for the romantic attention of someone with an extrovert or even in non-serious flirting? I find that to be one of the WORST things imaginable, and I usually end up feeling abnormally insecure for a few weeks after such experiences. In situations like this, even if you DID manage to make a better impression than your competition, you might not even know it since you'll likely be paid attention to less just for being quiet.

    A LOT of stuff coming to my head on this subject but this is all I got right now.
    When they said "sit down", I stood up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bighead384 View Post
    Ever had to compete for the romantic attention of someone with an extrovert or even in non-serious flirting?
    Dude, you are able to actually COMPETE for a love interest? So you're, like, just posing at this whole introverted thing, right? Just kidding, but seriously though, I cannot imagine myself ever actually competing for someone's attention/affection. For a myriad of reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by nightvision View Post
    One more thing, I do remember this great thread: http://offspring.com/community/showt...-sex-and-aging.
    Yeah, every few years I start a cool thread. It's kind of a tradition, I guess.

    I'm loving the casual honesty running rampant through this thread. It seems very grown-up. Always good to conduct yourself with maturity if you're going to whine like teenagers.

    No, of course I'm not really saying anybody is whining. This is just my way of showing support for what Xylo said. I get his whole "just stop being a little bitch" thing. Basically, you can get angry with yourself sometimes. It's frustrating, being broken, and sometimes you get angry and start asking yourself why you can't just get the fuck over it. Because sometimes it's either get angry at yourself or feel sorry for yourself, and feeling sorry for yourself can't lead to anything good while getting angry at yourself can at least be a motivator. Plus, wallowing in self-pity feels like wading dangerously close to incel territory sometimes and seriously, fuck that. I feel like a rather pathetic person sometimes but I will not be pathetic enough to blame the world for my shortcomings. Hence, "just stop being a little bitch" can be a powerful mantra, one that I wish people like Elliot Rodger had. As Dr. Melfi once said on The Sopranos, depression is rage turned inwards. I quite liked that. It's not all-encompassing, but it's good. I think "just stop being a little bitch" keeps the rage turned inwards.

    I know I keep expanding this beyond just introverted/extroverted but for me the comorbidity factor of depression and low self-esteem makes it all inseparable. It's a chicken/egg situation in that I don't know which came first but I suspect I wouldn't have one without the other.

    So I don't think we should generally tell others to "just stop being a little bitch", and I'm certain that was not Xylo's intent. It's just something some of us need to tell ourselves sometimes. Because life is unfair and you will face disadvantages but you don't want to fall into the trap of blaming the world for that. Again, I'm not saying any of you do this. I'm just saying it can happen.

    Nightvision, I would say I do embrace my introversion in the way you describe. I've always listened to that inner voice and analysed myself endlessly. I think of what you are describing as honest self-awareness. I do enjoy feeling like I don't delude myself and I'm pleased that my own thoughts don't terrify me as they do for some. My ex, for example, can't bear to be left alone with her own thoughts for even a moment. She's a socially-awkward introvert who has to spend all her time around other people (even though she doesn't quite possess the prerequisite social skills) because she has not found any measure of peace with who she is or the things she has done. Being alone with her thoughts literally causes her to panic. So yeah, I'm glad I'm not like that. And I suppose I would rather be introverted and aware than extroverted and vacuous*, if that were my only choice. But none of this actually helps with the loneliness. I'm comfortable in my own head but the need for companionship is literally written into our DNA. So as for that, I know the whole putting yourself out there thing is the way forward, but feeling lonely in a room full of people is even worse, far worse sometimes, than feeling lonely at home on my own. People who aren't this way don't seem to realize that surrounding yourself with people doesn't automatically make you not lonely and doing fun things doesn't automatically make you not depressed. You can go through the motions but it doesn't always pay off. And since going through the motions is hard it's easier just to not even try. And this is where "just stop being a little bitch" comes in before I go too far down the darkside.



    *Not saying extroverted people have to be vacuous.
    Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Bill Hicks

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