an introvert's lament

i was just beat after work today. i had a meeting a 9 a.m. followed by pictures with some very energetic athletes from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., after which i promptly went to a meeting for another hour and a little bit. i got home and was just exhausted. 

no doubt; i am an introvert through and through. 

over the years, i’ve become more acutely aware of how difficult it is to be an introvert, especially in the workplace, but one thing that’s been a huge positive boon for the average introvert: the internet. finally, there is a public method of communication just tailored for the common introvert.

tumblr_n1txzp4Rge1sl17bdo1_400like fellow introverts*, i much prefer the written word to the spoken word when it comes to communicating with others i’m not 100% comfortable with. when i ‘m writing an email or forum post or facebook post, it’s much easier for me to put into words what’s in my head than it is for those words to make their way out of my mouth. this is not to say i can’t form a coherent sentence; i am more than capable. but in any sort of confrontational situation, i am more likely to spout out facts and figures rather than my opinion on a matter.

i have STRONG opinions, but if i’m talking with someone in some sort of position of power of me, i’m not going to rock the boat; i’m not going to risk stumbling over my words and thoughts and having an incoherent mess come out of my mouth (my family, friends, and close coworkers have heard their fair share of mouthmess at this point!). i don’t like confrontation to begin with, and to have to stand in front of someone with opposing views and try to get my brain to organize my flying, rapidfire thoughts into words? terrifying.

but, you put me in front of a keyboard or piece of paper? i have time to gather, formulate, and articulate exactly what my brain wants me to say. i can handle confrontation in this way. i prefer communication this way. so you can see why the surge of written-word communication methods that are available on the internet is such a huge leap for the common introvert. unlike before, now we have an EASY way of bringing thoughts, concerns, issues, and complaints to others in a medium with which we are comfortable. FINALLY, sighed every introvert ever. 

what’s distressing, however, is that often the way we prefer to communicate is seen as the coward’s way out. we are told we’re hiding behind the internet – behind our avatars. if we really want to effect any sort of change, why are we communicating this way? just go to the source in person and talk to them. face to face.

i have confronted extroverted bosses before in my life, and it’s terrifying and beyond exhausting. i would rather have written them an email, but they prefer face to face. extroverts may have no problem with this, and it’s really a shame that extroverts don’t understand how difficult it is for an introvert to just show up for an unplanned debate where anything might be said without forethought. it’s scary. and we are probably not going to do it unless it’s going to save our cats from being kidnapped and held for ransom. 

we finally found an easy way to express ourselves, and we’re dismissed. we’re trying to be heard, yet our preferred way to opine is seen as trivial. a section of our society finally feels like it has a voice, yet it’s told it’s not important because it’s on the internet. 

this has to change. i’m ready to write my strongly worded letter. 

*i realize some introverts may prefer face to face. disclaimer here for that.

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