‘I was born in a forest but the trees overwhelm me.’
The aforementioned quote aptly defines who an introvert is or what he feels like. So who exactly is an introvert? The nearest dictionary will state : A shy, a quiet person who does not find it easy to talk to other people. Basically, a wall flower.
How do you react when you get invited to a certain party with about 4 dozen people attending it? Do you experience a rush of excitement about meeting new people and getting to know them? Or do you feel like melting away or want the earth to open its mouth and swallow you in when faced with such a situation? If you go with the latter, you most definitely are an introvert.
On entering a room bustling with people, you’ll find that one person, sitting in some corner immersed in a book or listening to music or just suavely observing and taking in the tumult. Being the excellent listeners that most of them are, they have sharp senses and pay close attention to minute details. They know more than they say, think more than they speak and observe more than you realize. Speaking out often takes a backseat but introverts find their voice in writing or other forms of art. Going to a party can easily be one of the top 5 fears for them. They might also be perceived as oddballs or eccentric at social gatherings but honestly, they couldn’t care less.
Happy and complacent in their own little bubble and often lost in their web of thoughts, introverts feel like their personal space is being encroached upon when suddenly transported to a room brimming with people. The unsettling, I-don’t-belong-here feeling is bound to engulf them. Here’s how it goes: introverts or the ‘quiet ones’ are often asked to be more social. They try to come out of their shell, try to mingle with the ones around them, try to indulge themselves in their discussions, feel completely lost and utterly out of place and ultimately fall back to square one.
But snubbing introverts by labeling them as boring or insipid souls would be incorrect. They open up to a small circle, usually family or a bunch of close friends and could actually blow you away by turning out to be distinctly interesting people unlike the dull picture one paints of them. Snob is one term that is ordinarily used for them. Some might even go a step further and assume that the person is depressed. Introverts are neither snobs nor depressed. They just like their space and feel more at peace and energised when left alone.
The only way you can help out an introvert is by letting him be. They’ll take their time to break free. Trying to make small talk will only make matters worse. You may even add small talk to their top 5 fears. Involving them in conversations and at the same time giving them their space and making sure that the awkwardness does not creep in will definitely give them a kick-start. Having said that, introverts never shy away from long,deep talks and that is something that might help you break the wall gradually and peep into an introvert’s life.
Remember, introverts are quiet beings, not indifferent, not anti-social, just quiet.