I am an introvert, just like pretty much everyone else is, to some degree. The difference with me is that I learned to hide it pretty well. I mean, some people always knew I was shy – they just never know how much. Some would say I’m not really shy or introverted at all. They would jut be wrong. Some even now already want to argue the veracity of my claim. It’s an argument that you just can’t win.
I’ve gotten too good at hiding.
I learned how to not drawn attention to myself – negative nor positive – and then I learned how to control the amount of attention I do receive. Because as soon as someone notices you trying to dissolve into the woodwork, they pounce. I’ve seen it happen over and over to other unfortunate souls. No one wants to be called out on their hiding spot, let alone the fact that they are hiding at all.
So I learned to hide in plain sight. I learned to guard the things that matter most to me – the things that make me who I am – while revealing just enough to keep pouncer-types off my scent. I taught myself to not react, or to control the reaction. I don’t volunteer any more information than necessary. And all that’s necessary is whatever it takes to not get called out.
Which is actually not much at all, especially these days. In today’s society, it’s easier than ever to exist almost entirely inside of one’s head. The Internet in particular is an introvert’s greatest dream; a playground wherein you can be anyone you want to be, and when you tire of one persona, it’s super simple to switch to the next. Everything exists at the surface level, and it’s not difficult at all to appear as though you are revealing something that resides below the surface, while not really revealing anything at all.
Guys, I really like bears. And beers.
See? I’ve put it in writing, so it must be true. And whether it is or isn’t doesn’t matter, because the statements themselves are superficial. There’s no depth, so they can be taken at face value or left behind. True success is in the possibility that it might make you respond with your opinion of bears and beers. Then I can avoid talking about myself completely.
Usually I don’t even voice an opinion unless I know what those around me already think about the subject. Though, to be fair, I also don’t often form opinions until having more information. Not hard and set ones, at least. My opinions are often fluid. I’ve become less absolutes and more gray area as I get older.
The things that matter most are closely guarded secrets. As are the ones you share with me, in point of fact. Sometimes it’s frustrating to not really be seen nor valued for any real quality about myself, but I’m not sure anyone else is that different.
We all like staying inside, to some extent.
A fri nod asked yesterday what else was going on with my life, beyond what I share online. I had no answer to that, and shrugged it off. Not because there was nothing to say, but because I’ve become so accustomed to only talking about whichever carefully chosen items I’ve shared on the interwebs that it never really occurred to me to have an answer ready should someone happen to ask for more. Most people don’t ask for more. We all exist inside our minds, and it can be pretty exhausting. Having to dig deeper into our own psyche, let alone someone else’s, is more effort than most of us want to put in!