This post is inspired by the one and only Cami the Supreme Banana on YouTube.
Being alone is okay. Being an introvert is okay. We all need some time alone and it is okay to do so.
Some people do not understand how introverts work. They measure everyone with their own yardstick hence their distorted judgement of how a person should look like. They feel that people should socialize everyday, talk with people face-to-face or through social media or other messengers simply because they do it. And this is not how introverts work. They need the time to quiet down, be with themselves and ‘de-socialize’ to come back refreshed and ready to socialize again. So if you are an extravert, please understand that and do not demand your introverted friends to socialize when they do not want to because they will have no fun and sometimes they can ruin your fun too. And if you are an introvert, maybe try sometimes to socialize more and see how you feel?
Being and introvert, especially with social anxiety, is not easy. People often demand certain behaviours from you that you do not want or are unable to do. But you know what? It is not that hard to overcome them. I know that, I’ve been there myself. I used to not believe in myself at all and be extremely shy, actually incapable of making friendships and scared of everything. I was scared of:
- calling people so that I do not interrupt them (both friends and institutions)
- texting people
- asking them for any favours unless they were my very close friends or family
- coming up to people and talking to them face-to-face, even to those who were there to help me like sales-persons
- social gatherings
- new experiences that were out of my comfort zone
- meeting new people
- making people unhappy with my presence even when they invited me somewhere
All of this combined made my shy and resulted in me having absolutely no friends unless they were nice enough to call me, text me or talk to me. I was not going to any parties or meet-ups or anything like that for fear of too many people and me not knowing what to do, how to behave. But it all changed.
At first, I started with the easiest part that is talking to people who where there to help me and whose job was to answer my questions such as sales-persons or people in call centres. This showed me that it is not as scary as I thought at the beginning because… most of these fears are… exaggerated. When you are scared of the unknown clearly you imagine it in your head creating this unreal vision of something 10 times worse than it really is. After that I started to believe in myself a bit more and expanded my comfort zone as well. From then on I tried to overcome the fear of meeting new people. I went to new school and I had no choice but to make some friends. I made some of course, but it threw me in at the deep end. From one day to another I had a whole group of ‘best friends’, when before I had only 2 best friends and 1 or 2 other friends, and a boyfriend. This got me mixed up quite a lot. I did not know what was happening and I did not know how to behave in certain situations which led to many many many problems with our whole relationship. That’s why it all broke down. First the group of ‘best friends’, only after one year, and after 2.5 years the relationship with my boyfriend. But this experience had taught me a lot:
- be more open
- do not be scared to write to people
- do not be scared to talk to people
- do not be scared to call people
- enquire about their lives when you’re talking to them – this makes you appear as interested in their lives making it more probable that you become friends one day
- do things that are out of your comfort zone or else you’re going to sit on your ass at home regretting all the things that you could’ve done but you didn’t
Being alone is amazing. But being lonely is not that good. Being alone means that you have people that you care about and that care about you but you just need some time to yourself and, what is most important, you choose to spend time alone, with yourself. Being lonely means that you do not have people that you care about and that care about you. After the time we spend with ourselves we want to socialize. That is 100% natural. But if you have no one to socialize with? That is a problem. That is why I decided to apply all these things into my life and start living not existing! I finally am not afraid of talking to people because you will never know if they like you unless you try to spend time with them. If they do not enjoy your company you will clearly see it. And if they do enjoy it, then that’s amazing and get some use out of it!
Seriously, being an introvert is alright and there is many many many introverts in this world, but you can let it rule your life. It is very important to socialize i.e. to stay sane. Contact with more than one person is crucial to your sanity. Hanging out with one person can be fun, I agree, but after some time you become sick of each other and instead of having an amazing friendship for ages you only have it for a few months.Trust me, it is a first-hand experience.
And social anxiety? It is something that is hard to fight with, I know, but how else you want to live on this planet? Without socializing? Do you think you’ll be able to stay in your home forever? Well… I have to disappoint you then. You won’t. You have to go out to school, to work, to shops and whatnot. If you do not have problem with that, fine. Then you might have problems with regretting things you could have done but you didn’t? This is the time to take the bull by the horns and do them. Do them and enjoy them. I always wanted to go to a concert so I did. It was a bit unfortunate because it was a band I have not heard about before, I did not know any songs, I went there with people I was not comfortable around, but I did it. Next time I go to a concert I will be prepared and I will enjoy it like nothing else. Overcome your fears, step out of your comfort zone because only there great things happen, only from there you will have amazing memories and unforgettable experiences. Go ahead. Do things you always wanted to do because the only person that stops you is YOU.
Peace and love to you all, remember to be kind to every living being and to spread compassion and happiness wherever you go.