For as long as I can remember, people have been telling me I’m “too quiet,” “not outgoing enough”, and that I often come across as a snob. I disagree with all of those things. Yes, I am extremely introverted, but nothing is wrong with that. Nothing is wrong with me for wanting to spend my lunches alone, reading, or enjoying a night at home, away from the outside noises of the world.
Yes, I am also shy. I turn red just at the thought of speaking in front of a group of people. I often flush in front of just one person. My heart races when I know I have to speak up in class. I can literally feel it pounding against my chest.
I recently got a job in retail because nowhere else would hire me, despite me having just graduated from college (a year early, mind you). As I’m sure you can imagine, the job is a nightmare. My boss constantly says to me, “Be more enthusiastic,” “be more outgoing,” “make a connection.” It’s exhausting.
I do try, really. I try to put on a happy face, seem excited about my job, “make a connection.” Hard as I try, though, I’ll never be good enough. I know that by the end of every shift, I’ll be so mentally strained that I can barely form a coherent “Have a nice day.” My shoulders will be more hunched than they were when I clocked in, and my entire body will ache. Some introverts can be situational extroverts, playing the part. But not me. And in a world that places so much value on extroversion, it’s really fucking hard to survive.