Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Introvert Roll Call.

May 21, 2019 by  
Filed under Health, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( I’ve heard it said that an extrovert thrives on social situations while an introvert is drained by them.

Like many other communities, the Black community is a social, vocal one. We have our festivals, almost universal family gatherings, events, shows we watch and live tweet, dedication to institutions and so on. Just like many other communities, we have those among us who might not feel moved to participate. There are Black Introverts.

I’m one of them. While I can be an extrovert in online groups and social media, in person I try to keep my social interactions very controlled and timed. That last part is down to me being very concerned about time and making sure everything is planned and moves according to schedule. Fact that in with dealing with people in social situations then you have someone who might be able to do parties and gatherings.

Reasons For Introversion

Oddly, being an introvert is something that seems to warrant “traits.” Things associated with wanting or being introvert. These same “traits” often end up as symptoms for a disease. While that’s true in stances such as mental illness for everyone else, there’s a reason to this.

Some Black Introverts had traumatic childhoods or high school experiences and become an introvert. Anxiety can cause people to establish a space that limits social interaction. To degree, it’s a layer of protection: if you don’t deal with people, they can’t hurt you.

Hell, you might not even know they existed. A degree of clarity comes over you, you’re now able to do things that don’t on exhaust you. Things you enjoy. That’s big thing with us: controlling our time and our space.

Leaving our space to deal with others or handle business strips that. For the rest of us, the reasons differ. For me personally, I have a particularly low “social battery.” Within my space or around close friends and immediate family it’s longer and I’m glad to be around those people so I don’t say I tolerate them.

I also don’t like to be in settings where things don’t run as they’re supposed to. When I’m out and doing all of that, the social battery drops and I might end up walking out of a conversation while someone else is talking.

All Black Introverts Are Different

Not all of us do that but that isn’t unique to me. While many would rather not end up trapped in a conversation with a random, there are others who can be very social when needed. This is especially true for those in business settings or any occupation that requires that you deal with public. It’s essential that you turn it on to do your job.

There are some like myself, who become surprisingly social—to the point of not being able to pipe down—when it’s discussing something we’re interested in. Or when we drink, obviously. The term “ambivert” is sometimes used for people who are both an introvert and an extrovert. It’s not even a gray line, some people are simply able to navigate the world in social situations but really value that alone time.

One of the perceptions of being an introvert is that we’re unapproachable or mean. It’s not that we’re mean people who will snap at you, sometimes we won’t say anything. It’s just that some—or maybe even most—of us just aren’t big on being social the same way as extroverts. We don’t necessarily run up on people, coming out of blind spots or approaching at various speeds all to introduce ourselves. Pass.

That isn’t to say we’re not welcoming of a conversation. We just go about it differently in some cases. Again, there are some Black introverts who can be very social and are able to work with that approach. They apply what they have to at work into everyday situations.

Another is that we might all be depressed. That’s certainly the case with some of us—just like how there are depressed extroverts—but it comes with the very nature of wanting to not be bothers. At times it can backfire for a portion of us and loneliness sets in.

You also have those of us who wish they were more outgoing and others who would rather be unbothered entirely. I’m in the middle of that. Again, I love my alone time and being in a space where I’m not drained by people around me but I’d love to experience things happening in the city or restaurants I haven’t been to.

It’s not soul-crushingly difficult being an introvert. The difficulty comes in navigating different social situations and expectations to participate in everything when everything isn’t worth the time.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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