The Introvert’s Lament

Prepare for a great number of generalizations to follow…  I only half mean them.

I don’t like extroverts.

They assume everyone in the room is interested in what they have to say.  They don’t pay attention to how other people are reacting.  They dominate conversations and don’t once wonder if they know what they are talking about.  Like morning people, they believe there is something innately superior about what comes naturally: being the first to put up their hand in a meeting, the first opinion to be voiced, the one that’s eager to get out and press the flesh.

No listening, no subtly, no prodding at themselves to dig a little deeper.  None of the things that I value: self examination, thoughtfulness, awareness of others, observation, consideration.  Taking your time.  Just a bunch of tromp and stumble and bombast all over everyone, like they’re the only ones in the room that count.

I admit it, I avoid extrovert-heavy arenas: that lady at the makeup counter that is so effing cheerful you wonder if the products are laced with crack.  I stay away from all salespeople whenever possible.  They always catch you at the front of the store with an aggressive “welcome to wherever, what can I help you find?”  What makes them think that I actually want to talk to them?  Don’t they know I’m turning something over in my head like a radioactive Rubik’s cube?

Once upon a time, I was a waitress.  It was a tragedy.  I hung out by the door to the kitchen, watching my tables for a break in conversation.  I felt like interrupting two people in the middle of a conversation was rude, so I waited.

That wasn’t exactly what the term “waiter” means.  I know that now.

I wouldn’t be quite so aggressive in my annoyance at the world’s extroverts if they weren’t so damn aggressive about there being something wrong with me.  Being an introvert doesn’t mean I don’t need people in my life.  I’d just like to limit those people to the ones that I like.  Being quiet doesn’t mean that I don’t have anything to say; it  means that I’m going to be considered before I say it.  Using a soft tone to converse doesn’t mean I lack confidence; it means that I don’t have to overcompensate with volume.  Not being a drama-mamma doesn’t mean that I lack passion; it means that I don’t want to make a point that requires thrown dishes and a loss of dignity.

In my real life, I know and love a handful of extroverts.  I recognize that they can’t help themselves; that their exuberant approach isn’t intended rudely…  I just wish that more extroverts (like more morning people) would stop assuming that the way they are composed is an improvement over the way I’m composed: not fully awake before 10 am and acutely defensive of other people’s right to their space.

If only they would return the favor.

I’ll end the rant now and go back to my introverted corner.

The Introvert’s Lament

7 thoughts on “The Introvert’s Lament

  1. I think you’re confusing extroverts with narcissists. The definition I learned long ago was that extroverts get energized by being with people, where introverts get energized by being alone. I know several extroverts who are considerate, attentive and mindful of their enthusiasm. Or maybe what you’re dealing with are just butt-heads.


  2. The “Like” won’t let me “Like” — but I did like this post. Very much so. (Probably because I’m an introvert, and can relate. I wonder – inside, where it matters – what the extraverts think. Oh, wait. They’ll probably tell you.)


  3. Well, I did warn that I was grossly overgeneralizing. I do know some extroverts that aren’t overwhelming. But even they seem to carry a secret certainty that there is something superior to being an extrovert.


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