The Way Of The Introvert

Another night out with friends. Another day in the job that you have to comply with rules, socialise with peers and be nice. Meetings, friends, notifications, digital or not, running constantly around you buzzing like a fly in your ear. The moment you are tempted to snooze out, boom! Another message on your phone. It’s the endless loop of dealing with social expenditures and if it happens to be an introvert this all can easily resemble Dante’s hell.

Spending time socialising can be one of the biggest spendings of energy for some people. And why would that be? After all, mingling with other people is hard-wired deep into our DNA. In the words of Aristotle, “Man is a social animal”. We learned to work along with others codependently, since a long time ago and it turned out to be one of the most efficient and high return investments we made to our survival. Counter to the rest of the animal kingdom we are of the few species that spent a tremendous amount of energy into achieving a state of cooperative equilibrium with the rest and form large social groups. It feels like after so much effort and conscious discipline, this behaviour should be well ingrained and intrinsic to everybody, so much so that we wouldn’t have to strive for it.

Only that, being overly focused and tuned socially, isn’t the only successful strategy, evolutionary wise. One shouldn’t forget that exerting so much energy in communication is a costly business on its own. Figuring an alternative way, by means of a different phycological composition, was an evolutionary jackpot. And the idea of it was fully expressed by a simple motto. Keep your head down and mind your own business. At some point throughout our history, people realised that keeping a low profile was a much smoother attitude to adopt. You didn’t have to expose yourself. You didn’t have to come in contact with people you didn’t know or trusted. Amidst a disordered environment, coming out strong and unfiltered was dangerous. More like a high risk high reward approach. It could bring you success, or it could bring you detriment. Both with equal chances.

It’s not hard to see the introvert type emerging under these conditions. It was a more reflective type, more contemplative. Living within the boundaries of his mind. Focusing on his craft and various occupations. His doing was his art. His compass, was his inner world. Everything existed within that world. Everything was set out and placed diligently, passed through him, scrutinised and categorised. It had to make sense under his mental map. The story of the introvert is nothing but the story of the craftsman. The guy that tune in his work and finds beauty under aesthetic rules that only he understands. These people see the world differently. They account for it in ways not easily understood. And it’s time to shed some light into their inner workings..

The Introvert Hangover

So why is socialising so dreadful for introverts. Why do they get the famous ‘introvert hangover’ and what is it so hard to them in making small talk. It’s supposed to be fun right? Well, apparently not for everyone..

Introverts exist mostly in their minds. It’s their natural habitat. Everything needs to make sense in relation to what exists there. Any event that takes place, any feeling that arises, has to be correlated with past events and experiences. It gets analysed, compared and measured before it is released into the shelves of this inner world. If you think this work process is not even consious you are right. Most of it happens in hidden ways through daydreaming and unconscious parsing. Their minds are constantly looping their weals, trying to digest all the mental food that comes in through external stimulus. Once something gasps their attention, it gets ruthlessly ruminated till it is well thought and understood. Seeing this deeper meaning of things, is how introverts make sense of the world.

That’s why it is so distressing for introverts to socialise. It’s lots of work to be done. Any arousing trigger is stored in the back-end of the mind to be processed at later time once there is some free alone time. Feed the machine with too much input and you are gonna get an over-irritated, exasperated reaction.

It’s the standard way for an introvert to get a social hangover. It’s not that they don’t like other people. It’s not that they don’t enjoy hanging out with their friends, or having fun, or getting intrigued by novel situations, as is so commonly misstated. It’s just that every bit of that stimulus takes so much work. Every little occurrence needs to get heavily processed. It consumes so many resources from them one can barely ask the question, does it really worth it? Is there any real benefit in closing up to yourself, that compensates for the lost conveniences and group support? One can barely look into the sphere of human achievement in science and art to realise the magnitude of the introvert’s limits. The advantage they get through reserving all that cozy energy for themselves and their crafts can be quite compelling. It can boost them up like nitro oxide in high speed cars. Obviously it’s not that extroverts cannot be successful in all these areas. There are so many examples to prove otherwise, but still, they have to go against their natural inclinations to make this progress, in what comes so easily for introverts. From the angle of ideas and human achievement, social expenditures seem not only a waste but counter-productive.

Beside all the other differences, the way introverts go about their socialising, is quite different in its own way. They seek the inner world in others as they assume they have the same feelings and processes as them.

They make big questions on journeys and past experiences, trying to defer a bit of the rubric’s cube inside everyone.

This is what they see in themselves, this is what they seek in others. The outer shell has simply no importance to them. They need to see that inner puzzle to be in a position to relate to you. Vibing has no place in that mentality. What’s the reason you re telling me about the guy that said the X thing to you? Who cares about that new phone? You ate pasta yesterday? Cool stuff..

To an extrovert vibing is one of the most crucial components in their life. It’s exactly how they relate to others, create bonds and form alliances. For them it’s ok if talking has no particular purpose or targets. It’s ok to not try to solve any puzzles or problems. Talking is perceived as a tool for self expression, as cleansing out and validating emotions. One of the biggest misconceptions in introverts is how they always lean into giving advice every time they listen to such talks. They think that these conversations are made as a problem solving attempt. They suggest this or that doing the total opposite of what the other party expects from them. They invalidate their feelings by offering fixes. But this is the way introverts operate and their whole attitude is tuned in reality differently. Once we understand that, we are gonna be in a much better position to understand them.

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