Michael Battalio

Friday, June 14, 2013

Serious conversations (part 50):

        This series is a continuation of my conversations with an atheist friend of mine. These are my edited responses from that conversation. The forty-sixth through fiftieth entries deal with introversion/extroversion, social interaction and popularity.

        Before we talked about what makes someone popular, and I entertained everyone with how I view myself in social interactions. In this closing chapter of the popularity series I take one last look at how I view myself in social situations, specifically how I view myself as an introvert.

        I am definitely a introvert when it comes to spontaneous functions. I must know in advance that something is going to happen or I just won’t go to it. Impromptu events make me nervous and uneasy, which is classic introvert behavior. I can’t just have people over; it must be planned at least multiple hours in advance and preferably days. If it is 11:30 and I’m invited to lunch I usually decline, even if I might want to go otherwise. Being confined by my personality is somewhat annoying, but it means decisions are sometimes already made before I’m even confronted with them. It makes life much easier, and I’m all about that.

        I’ve written on this before, but I’ll say it again. When I first meet a group of people I’m very shy. I hate meeting new people, not because I don’t like people, but because I don’t know how to act. It takes me some amount of time to get used to the group so that I know that they accept my level of awkwardness. After the initial trial period I go through I open up pretty quickly. As a consequence of my delayed release extroversion I hate interacting with strangers or making small talk with acquaintances. Of all the social interactions I dread it is being thrown into an icebreaker type of situation with people that I’m never going to interact with again; that fills me with the most dread. I’d rather sit in a corner and people watch than be forced to get to know people with whom I’ll never have a relationship. Unfortunately people watching has become associated with being a creeper or being just plain weird. That’s a darn shame. People I don’t know are interesting when I don’t have to talk to them. (Rereading that, that sounds terrible, but I’m not going to delete it.)

        Closing this chapter of the series I have to say that people are interesting to me but I certainly don’t completely understand how to act around them.

        Next time we begin a whole new chapter on overpopulation.

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