I always get reactions of mild shock and surprise, or even disbelief, whenever I mention to people that I am an introverted person. People who read my tweets and status updates find it difficult to believe that I am not an extrovert.
Well, I am not. I am the man who walks into a room full of people and find a seat in a corner where I have a good view of the rest of the room without doing much interacting with anyone.
I have attended several cocktail events in my life. A typical one is like the last one I attended. I walked in, found a strategic spot where I could scan for a familiar face that I could glue myself to, and finding none, rooted myself in that one spot till one found me. Eventually, I spent the evening having conversations with not more than two other guests, both of whom found the event just as uncomfortable as I did. Introverted persons anonymous were we.
People laugh when I tell these stories. Then they go, “But you post a lot on social media! You also dance!”
If you pay attention to my social media activities, you will immediately notice that I generally just say what I have to say and respond to those who interact with my updates. Once in a while, I get in other people’s mentions for mild banter. But for the most part, I am by myself.
For example, I would be classified as one of those who belong to “On Your Lane Twitter”.
No; it isn’t snobbery. I respond to people who interact with me. And trust me, I hold very great conversations. The thing there is that the conversation is not likely to happen at all if you are depending on me to initiate it.
One thing is clear, it is easy to develop false impressions about people via social media. This is not even about deception. It is about your perception. Someone who is very comfortable being alone can sit in their home and so tweet a lot – and appear to be an extroverted person to the casual onlooker. And it isn’t their fault that they appear that way. Blame mobile phones perhaps.
Which reminds me: I was at the bank some days ago to resolve a mobile banking app issue. While seated quietly on my own and waiting for a confirmation, a pleasant, light-skinned, plump, middle-aged woman took the seat next to me and initiated a conversation almost immediately.
She proceeded to share with me what problems brought her to the bank that day, and why she was having to wait too. In no time, we were talking and laughing, and she would bump me mildly as she made a funny remark. Sitting there in the banking hall, we were like two old friends at a reunion.
But she was the extrovert. I, the introvert. Chances are that besides the Good morning that I greeted her when she sat beside me, we would have had no further exchanges if she had not been extroverted.
Oh! About dancing. That activity does not even require a partner or conversations for it to happen. Sometimes, I go dancing alone and have zero interactions with anyone else in the room. That’s right. My case is a bad one; right? LOL. And when I do have a dance partner, it is just me and her grooving away anyway. Everybody else is an onlooker.
Don’t let social media fool you. This article really isn’t about me. As you interact with people through the tiny screen of your mobile phone, endeavour to take a closer look before you make up your mind about them. You might just find that some are not what you made them out to be at first. First impressions can be bollocks.