We are introverts. And we have a few things we need to get off of our chests. I'd apologize for appointing myself as a spokesperson for all introverts, but most of them won't mind ... and quite frankly, those who do mind won't say anything about it because, well, they're introverts. If you're not one of us, don't worry. I'm not here to give you shit or make you feel bad. There are just some misconceptions about who we are as people, and I think it's important that you understand a few things about us before we finally snap and stab your face off.
Once every couple of years, some deranged psychopath steals a tank, drives into a mall, and starts leveling the food court, screaming out the names of random family members as each fast food booth disintegrates in a cloud of dust, flames, and overpriced pizza. For the next month, every dumbfuck, ratings-hungry news channel turns the guy into a god by interviewing everyone he ever made eye contact with.
Sources say psychopaths drink water regularly, which can't be ruled out as a catalyst.
In interviewing these people, we get two consistent descriptions that always show up in every single catastrophe. They'll either say that they couldn't believe that he did it because he was such an outgoing, friendly guy -- you'd never expect that he was secretly a ticking time bomb of taco-stand annihilation. Or they'll talk endlessly about how he was a quiet loner. Always kept to himself, obviously plotting the demise of coffee shops and cellphone cover booths.
It's always bothered me that the news devotes so much time to their social status. I mean, I understand why they do it. We want an explanation so we can understand what made Chad Angrytank finally pop and whip out his tank fury. And for some reason, it's just not enough for us to settle on, "He had obvious mental problems. Sane people don't go on murder rampages." It's just always been weird to me that they choose that specific area of his life to examine, barely branching out to other possibilities or clues.
Can you spot the ticking time bomb?
But over time, we've seen so many of these "He was a loner time bomb" stories that we've started to associate completely normal introverts with an inevitable madman demise. That dude isn't a human. He's an eventual headline. Even from a non-murder viewpoint, it's still hard to not be creeped out by introverts because our personalities and mental conditions are an unknown to people outside of our bubble.
We are biologically predisposed to fear the unknown. It's why little kids are afraid of the dark and won't hang their feet over the edge of the bed, for fear that whatever is down there, just out of their sight, is going to suddenly pop out and spank their ass with a chainsaw. It was nature's way of keeping us out of the woods after dark so our species didn't end up as nocturnal predator turds. And even though we may not need it as much today as we did when we all had full-body fur, it's still embedded in our genetic infrastructure.
It's why all the scariest horror movies are the ones where not much is shown of the killer/monster. It's 10 times more frightening when you don't know where they're at. He's somewhere out there. Lurking. Hiding. Waiting to jump out and Freddy Krueger my dick off.
That unknown factor freaks us out, and in not knowing the personality quirks of an introvert, we assume that it must be bad, just to be on the safe side.
People seem to think that because we're not out at the club or taking part in the neighborhood "Oppress Minorities" meetings, we're sitting at home, alone in the dark, softly crying into a printed-out stock photo of a random crowd. Scatter-shooting prayers at a Red Rover line of gods, begging for someone -- anyone -- to come over and save us from our loneliness.
Warning: Do not attempt. Indulging a "white knight" fantasy may result in regret and extreme discomfort.
Now before we go any further, understand that there are some people out there who have genuine fears of social activity. But for the purposes of this article, I'm not talking about people who are introverts against their will. I'm talking about the millions of us out there who are introverts because we simply prefer our nice, quiet houses over the jaw-clinching idiocy of public functions.
I see parents (and have been one of them) get intensely concerned over their kids' computer or phone use, saying things like, "She needs to get off of that thing and go meet actual people." As a parent and a functioning human, I understand the need and benefits of "real life" social interaction for growing kids. I know that reading facial expressions, tones of voice, and body language is a highly valuable skill, and their hopes of finding a good job (let alone making it through the interview) banks on them being familiar with it. And the more people they sharpen that skill on, the better they will become.
Also don't pee anywhere to "make your mark" on the company.
On the other side of that coin, as a full-grown adult, I also understand that once you've learned those skills, your life doesn't malfunction or cease to carry meaning if you decide that the whole "face-to-face" interactions suck big ol' floppy horse balls.
Personally, I have an exponentially easier time opening up and sharing myself when I'm not staring into someone's confused, horrified eyes while I'm telling stories about my dad measuring my brother's shit in front of my first date (that actually happened, by the way). In many ways I'm more human in that setting, and our relationship is much more intimate without the setbacks of a person being physically in my presence.
I think many introverts are like that. I'd even go as far as saying we are a big reason that social media sites became the juggernauts that they are. Well, besides giving us the ability and access to occasionally trash talk Rob Thomas for no reason at all over the stupidest, non-trash-talk-worthy reasons:
The statistics might show something different for all I know (a rudimentary Google search shows stats going both directions, so there's a lot of bias to sift through), but in my real world experience, introverts go through depression about as often as extroverts. I guess it's just easier to assume that we're all brooding emo twats because, to the outside eye, we appear to be hiding in isolation.
Oh, speaking of that ...