Every now and then, I’m getting a lot of invitation to attend weddings, baby showers, birthday celebration, engagement, and many other occasions. I get those invitations either through whatsapp, FB messenger, mailed to my house address and some of them come and give it personally to me. When I get it, I’ll be excited to go. But something else will happen on the actual day. Let me tell you what actually happens behind the scenes with a little bit of history.
How people look at me
Those who know me or have seen me will always label me as quiet, reserved, strict and not friendly until they actually start to talk to me. From young age, I was a quiet and shy person. I didn’t really have much self confidence. I will always hide behind the curtain. I prefer people not to see me. I used to follow my parents to go to weddings and engagements. They will be socializing and talking to their friends. I will be sitting there quietly, not knowing what to do. I will not be able to strike a conversation with total strangers. On the contrary, my sister is very good at communicating. Wherever she goes, she will easily find new friends. She can talk to total strangers. She has these friendly nature and will always smile to people. And I don’t even smile to people. People used to be scared at me though.
When I entered secondary school, my communication skill was being tested and I failed miserably. I didn’t really like to strike a conversation and approach a total stranger. On the first day, my mum was there to make sure everything is okay and I know what to do. After that, I was on my own. For the first year, I didn’t have any friends and I was going for lunch break alone. Yes, alone for one whole year! I did try to mingle around but at that time, I can’t even speak good English. Well, at home I speak Tamil and during primary school, we speak Malay. I didn’t really get opportunity to speak in English. Only in secondary school, I actually learned to speak English. So due to the lack of communication skills, I was all alone. You will not believe that I don’t even speak to the Malay girl sitting next to me in the class. Until one day she told me “Puspha, you cannot be like this. You have to talk. You can talk to me and the girls sitting in front of us at least.”
Then, we started to talk and I realised they are nice. “You only look not friendly but actually you are very friendly!” One fine day she told me. Well, till today I still get the same feedback. Many would agree I look not friendly. Especially when I don’t smile, I look scary. But don’t judge a book by its cover. You have no idea how I am, I can be crazy! 😅
Best friend found, at last!
On the second year of my secondary school, I found an Indian girl that I clicked with. We became best friends. We will spend time together, go everywhere together and curse each other if one of us are absent from school because we have to be alone. One thing I realized I depend a lot on the vibes I get when I’m with someone. These vibes are the deciding factor whether we will be good friends or not. I’m not saying other people are bad. It is just that I’m very selective. And I can’t fake it. I feel stress if I try to fake it. I just don’t go well with everybody. I would rather be alone than to be with wrong company.
Knowing that I have this weakness, I knew I have to do something about it. So what I did was to experiment. I had to go for National Service and it was a place of total strangers. I didn’t know anyone there. I told myself I have to speak this time. I don’t want to be alone. So I tried to be friendly so that I would have friends. I managed to get some friends (yeayy finally) but at my heart, we didn’t really click. Within just 2-3 weeks into the camp, I realized I’m with wrong company and I was feeling little bit stressed. I find that some just come to me because they have an agenda. Because they are needy. Once their need is fulfilled, there I am again alone on my own. I did find my type of people during the camp but it was a bit too late by then because I was exiting the camp earlier because of getting an admission for Form 6. But it was a good experiment that I did for myself. I knew what I can and what I cannot do or don’t like to do.
From this experience, I knew I need to select people that I have good vibes with. People that I’m comfortable with. That is why even in university, I will roam alone in the campus. I didn’t really have any close friends that I clicked with other than my spiritual friends. My inner circle of friends are those with whom I can have real and deep conversations with. Small talks bore me to death.
Why I disapppear?
Now done with the history. Let’s come to the present situation. Every time I get an invitation, trust me I’m dying to come. To congratulate you on your wedding, for your newborn or birthday celebration. Then in my mind, I will picture how the situation gonna be. I don’t know anyone else apart from the inviter. Maybe I will see some friends that I’m not close with. Will I talk to them or just ignore them? What will I talk to them? How if I know many of them but none talk to me? It might be awkward! Should I smile or not? I haven’t even see the inviter for ages, how the meeting will be? Happy? Excited? Anxious? Who will accompany me to go there? The only friend I have is always caught up with her work. My sister loves to accompany me to go to weddings. Remember I told you she is friendly. It’s a piece of cake for her. But it’s like a big assessment for me. Will I pass the assessment? The problem is I don’t like to fake myself. I don’t like to pretend. If I like you, I like you. If I don’t like you, I really don’t like you. It will be very obvious.
The feeling of anxious will be so great that at the end of the day, I would just decide not to go. I would just disappear. You have no idea how many times I get scolding from my mum. “Why are you not going? You should go. Your friends have sent you invitation!” I will just tell her plainly I don’t have the mood to go.
Sometimes even my own family gatherings, I don’t go. I know them very well, I meet them during different occasion in a year. There are number of times, I didn’t feel like going and I didn’t turn up to my own family gatherings. If I’m not happy inside my heart, I don’t want to go out and spread my unhappiness. I can’t fake it. I will be so unhappy that I will make other people unhappy too. Some people are very good with hiding their emotions. I’m just bad at it. Sometimes I ended up hurting people because I’m hurt myself. All they can see is anger and irritation from outside. My family members don’t know what I go through internally and will be very upset with me. I will be like I’m not okay, don’t disturb me and just leave me alone. I don’t know why I’m so weird. I don’t know if any of you can relate to me. I simply don’t like to please people by sacrificing my own happiness and peace of mind. Maybe I’m just selfish for my own sake.
Guys, I’m an introvert. I’m not an extrovert. The way I think, the way I see things, the way I feel and the way I approach to things are different. I don’t know how many of you are able to relate to me. Whenever I read post on introvert, I can relate to it so much. It is like 100% true about my personality. I really value my alone time rather than be in social gathering and ended being so exhausted.
I love to be on my own company. And I also love to be with people but it has to be the right click. So how to deal with an introverted person like me? I will give you some suggestions:
1. Please approach me and strike a conversation. You have no idea how good I am in talking.
2. Allow me to talk. Most introverted person will be a good listeners. If you just keep talking without a break, of course I will listen. But in my head, I’ll be thinking “Oh God, please help me to cut this conversation. I need a break!” To connect to me, you have to keep your mouth shut and listen to what I have to say.
3. Have heart to heart conversation with me. Tell me what you really are. Be real. Just asking what I had for lunch, what did I do during the day is boring. Talk something meaningful. Talk about something that I’m passionate about.
4. It is best to talk to me alone. If I’m with a group of friends, you will see me not talking. I will be the quietest in the group. Best to sit and talk in a cafe setting. Please avoid crowd. I don’t like crowded and noisy area.
5. My sense of intuition is very strong. I will know what is your intention even before you open your mouth. Your vibes is communicating with me. Whatever your intention is, I will know. If I sense something is not right or don’t feel good, I will normally back off. It is like an alarm for me with a red light. “Danger! Danger!” 😂
6. Always keep in touch with an introverted person from time to time. Do spend some time together with me, so it makes it easier for me to communicate with you and don’t feel awkward.
7. Give me a lot of space. I will run if you constantly bug me with phone calls and messages. I need that break.
8. Don’t always come and talk about negative stuff to me. I don’t like too much talking bad about people. I feel my energy getting drained due to this. Normally I will avoid this kind of people.
9. I decide things in a moment. If I have nothing to do at the moment and feeling good and you happened to invite me to go out somewhere or to do some activity, most likely I will say yes!
10. If I happened to go to an event with you, never leave me alone for too long. I won’t know what to do. So, don’t be surprised if I decline your request in future.
This is my personality as an introvert. Because of this, I tend to avoid meeting large group of people. It is very exhausting for me. I’m trying to change it slowly. If you can relate to me and find that you have similar traits like me, do leave some comments here. I would love to know your thoughts. Thank you for reading. 😊
Source of Image : https://www.riskology.co/what-is-an-introvert/