Tag Archives: introvert

Talking to a stranger

We had a quick chat for the first time after living here for 3 months. One of my neighbour.

It used to be normal to live with 5 different people in the house without knowing their names or talked to them. But it’s something one will do here upon seeing someone. A quick, “Hi, how is it going”, or shorter “Hey mate” will do. But sometimes unexpected need for a conversation put me in a very awkward situation. It was nice, he asked a few questions, how was your day, and the sorts. But having not used to small talks, I was left with short answers to the point of “he seems kind of rude”, or unfriendly.

So here are 3 reasons why Introverts are not meant to be talking to random stranger.

It is Spontaneous

It’s just not a strength of an introvert to think spontaneously especially when it involves more than himself. I can talk to you given enough time to prepare. But bumping into you somewhere unexpected and being asked questions will end up with short uncertain answers, especially when I don’t know you that well. And to quickly think of questions to ask back is another huge tasks.

Should I ask if he has kids, will it be rude, how about the weather, it’s middle of the night for fuck sake, ok just stay cool and wait for his next question.

We process things slower and in more details, looking for patterns, meaningful pieces of information to be delivered, which bring me to the next point.

Lack of meaning

It has to be meaningful else it won’t be done. Even when the meaning is fake, it’s good enough.

I understand the reasons for small talks. The search for compatibilities, a simple rule that glued our society together. But it changes with every individuals. Introverts see individuals as unique as themselves, avoiding generalizations. So every new people have to register some level of meaning for the chat.

Fine, it’s totally expected to bump into your neighbour, which happen almost everyday. But I’ve registered that we’ve passed the need for a chat, but a simple thumbs up or “howdy” is good enough. So again, walking passed him and being asked questions bring me back to that zone of thinking “what do I want out of this conversation?”

Lack of commitments

Well, he said that we should have a beer someday. I agreed even though that felt like an empty invite. Where is the when, where and why parts?

Introverts, back to our complicated thought process, make little commitments. But once we’ve made one, we’ll make sure it’s delivered.

When it comes to small talks with a random stranger, it boiled down to the question of “where will this conversation lead into?”. Will he become my next best friend, or else, I won’t be investing too much thinking about what to talk to him.

We make few friends, but stronger ones. We don’t know many people, but all the people we know are close friends. And given that it’s very expensive and difficult to be just an acquaintance, it’s almost not worth doing at all.

Having said all that, I apologise that I didn’t give a very good first impression to many of the people I’ve met. And to my neighbour, I’ll prepare enough courage and enough meaning and commitments points so that I have a good enough reason to invite you to my kitchen for a beer or two.


In the middle, I waited

When I first discovered the concept of Introvert vs Extrovert, I immediately put myself in the Introverted end. I have all the quality for an Introvert. I’m quiet, stay home most of the time, don’t have many friends, nerdy, sensitive, etc.

However, when I try to live as an Introvert, I wasn’t happy. Later that I realized that extroversion and introversion is not a 1 vs 0 case, or on vs off, or black vs white. It’s a spectrum. And everybody is somewhere in this spectrum.

Once I open to that possibility, I search myself deeper and found that I’m right in the middle of the spectrum. I’m shy, but I’m active too. I hates crowds, but I feel save in the crowds. I hates parties that pretends to mean something. But I love pointless parties where you do it just for the sake of having fun.

Everybody is somewhere in the spectrum. You can be a super introverted to super extroverted. But, never uses them to label yourself. Don’t reject a party just because you are introverted or go to any party because you are extroverted though you don’t feels like to sometimes. It’s just a term, a tool. Don’t let it control you.

Nov 1: Lonely Crowd

Being the only boy, youngest of 7, and a huge gap between me and my youngest elder sister, I’m pretty much grew up alone. I love being alone. That probably proves that I’m an Introvert. Being alone is a routine that I grew up to love.

When I was a kid, I used to cry whenever my favourite cousin left after a few days visit. That feeling of being left alone again after a close but short relationship hurts. That’s when loneliness strikes. Then I realize that I feels lonely whenever I’m left alone after eventually used to having somebody around all the time.

However, the really, truly lonely situation is when I’m put in a crowd. I’m normally left with nobody to talk to, don’t know what to talk to, awkward.

Inspired by: The Daily Post