Selectively social

Deep conversations with the right people are priceless!

I am a social introvert. This means (among other things) small talk bores me. I struggle with people who stick to the basics; chatting about their children, or asking me about mine. Or the quintessential (I can’t believe I’m even including such a cliche), opener – the weather. This is problematic for me and other social introverts because that is how most people initially engage with each other. They start small. Tediously small. So we (the social introvert), suffer small. Then we take a deep breath and we go deep.

For the social introvert, depth is everything so we always go deep… Going deep, however, is quite alarming for some. Most people don’t like deep (unless you are very well known to them, or they are drunk, or they are a perfect stranger on a bus who has no vested interest in a relationship  with you so therefore they have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and they can resonate with your discourse because it mirrors their own experience, and they are relieved someone else feels the same or at least understands them, and you have articulated the emotion/thought/event/ect in a way they never could). Deep scares the chat right out of most folk.

We social introverts have a dilemma at times. People want to force us to work/study/live with people we just don’t connect with. For some folk connecting with others is essential to their journey but not to a social introvert. Forcing a connection makes us tired. Tired because we can already feel the heavy weight that this connection will bring us. Tired because we instinctively know that to resist will make us seem the aggressor. Tired because we have traveled this journey before and the journey is always a struggle.

Social introverts are healthier and happier when doing it alone. Unless we invite you in. And you are cool with us. And you think we are unique and that excites you. And you embrace that. And you let it be.

One of the risks of being a social introvert (to paraphrase Sophia Dembling, The Introverts Way) is that other people will tell our story with their own interpretation. When other people can’t read us they write their own story. It’s not who we are and it’s not a story we would choose.

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