An Open Letter From An Introvert To All Extroverts

Dear Extroverts,

Today I write this letter addressing all of you in the hopes of giving you an insight into my world and with that justify how I am not wrong. Just because being sociable, chatty and extremely expressive is seen as desirable, attractive and appreciated, doesn’t mean that I am inferior to you. It also doesn’t mean that it is your duty from God to exterminate people who are not like you by converting them to be like you. It is not in my intention to start the war of personalities but to let you know that we are not soulless spirits who wander the Earth in misery.

1. Just because I don’t talk much, doesn’t mean I don’t like you

You are talkative, probably one of the chinks in your insecurity, but what can you do, you just blab on and on without realizing that it’s annoying for some people (*points at self*) To reduce the amount of decibels, I stay silent. Silence is intangible, invisible, but to you, it’s cold and stony, much like the ambiance of a graveyard you must have seen in those picture books for children.

I’m listening, until you stop and accuse me of treason. Why? Apparently, I’ve haven’t said a word. According to you, silence is dangerous, according to me, silence is ambiguous. My silence could be meditation, it could be me dreaming into space, it could be me who’s simply lost in deep thought or at war with myself; all of which have nothing to do with you. Just like yourself, you demand all the world’s attention on you. You see my silence as a threat and you convince everyone else that I’m unfriendly.

If I didn’t like you, I wouldn’t be an audience to your words.

An Open Letter From An Introvert To All Extroverts

2. Stop looking down on my private space

A friend once told me that I do nothing at home but drink tea, listen to music and talk to my cats. He put it forward as if it was weird, boring and tragic. But this is where the coin has two sides. I think standing by myself with a can of beer in a room full of people I don’t know and having awkward uncomfortable conversations with some of them is tragic for me. My room, my home, my desk, whatever it is, is sacred ground, it’s not suffocating and it’s not a sad story.

An Open Letter From An Introvert To All Extroverts

3. I’m not ill because I’m agoraphobic

Agoraphobia is a fear of public spaces which tend to be crowded. Sometimes it can be so severe that people refuse to leave their homes. I’m not saying that I can’t leave my home but crowded places me uncomfortable especially when there are people I don’t know or can’t relate to. Trying to cure this fear by dragging me to an overcrowded bar or club is like trying to cure homosexuality by locking up a gay man with someone of the opposite sex.

An Open Letter From An Introvert To All Extroverts

4. Stop using emotional blackmail to get me to hang out with you

When I put my foot down and say no, you use emotional blackmail to make me feel bad about myself. I value our friendship but not to the point where you take advantage of the emotional bonds that make it special. "Yeah I always knew you never liked me!", "Why don’t you trust me?", it’s words like these that make me my soul burn with guilt. 90% of the time I oblige even if the pain of facing my fears far exceeds the pain of my guilt.

An Open Letter From An Introvert To All Extroverts

5. My world is not mundane, it’s actually much more exciting than yours

You view my interests, my hobbies and my world as a dark shell. Believe me, it’s way more exciting than you actually thought. For you it’s something mellow and slow paced but before you judge me, get to know me, we might have so many other things in common.

An Open Letter From An Introvert To All Extroverts

6. Shut the $%^# up, once in a while. Believe me, it heals you from within

Venting your frustrations seems like a waste of time when in reality nobody cares. Some people act like they care, others are obliged to. Save your breath, deal with your pain on your own rather than fishing for other people’s empathy. Still wondering what was the relevance of this point? I’m a good listener but that doesn’t make me an agony aunt when you’re hurt. Stop asking me to solve your twisted problems.

An Open Letter From An Introvert To All Extroverts

7. If everyone tried to be an extrovert, the world would be a noisier place

Hence I try to be outgoing but I’m never going to be like you.

An Open Letter From An Introvert To All Extroverts

8. I don’t hide inside a shell, I’m not a snail

Everyone has their safe haven to where they can retreat. When I sense danger and discomfort, that’s the place I want to go to. I’m sure the same applies to you too, unless you like being the center of wars, street brawls and conflicts (I guess you would, after all, you do consider yourself the center of the universe)

An Open Letter From An Introvert To All Extroverts

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