What is it to be careless or to care too much? I am often blamed for not calling people and asking how they are, be it my relatives, or friends, or colleagues. However, small talk has never been my thing. Yes, I want to be nice and my way of doing that would be to be there for someone when they need me.
Since I usually don’t call people, I sometimes surprise them with my name on their blinking phones. Sometimes, my small talk begins and it ends cold with a “bye-bye” in five minutes. While, other times the small talks lead to conversations so intense that I end up interfering in people’s lives, further being asked to mind my own business. It takes a lot for me to make that phone call in the first place. So, when it does not result in something positive or fruitful, I would not do it again and end my relationship with people (allegedly for not caring enough). One of the reasons for it – I am an Introvert. Even after twenty-six years of existence, it has been difficult for me to differentiate between being careless and being carefree.
I like being around people sometimes. I am not socially awkward or anxious. However, I would skip parties or big get-togethers. I do not like meeting new people. At the same time, during my postgraduate studies, I have been so active in class discussions that if I told one of my colleagues that I am an introvert, they would laugh to my face. For me, socialising is definitely tiring though. I have never come to understand how people need other people for good vibes. After being so active for only three hours in a classroom (majorly because I was highly interested in the study topics), it would take me a good relaxing bath and a nap to rejuvenate.
Sarah Newman calls it social introversion (Source). That mixed with thinking introversion, I often like to self-reflect. I believe it is important for us to get better every day and I have realised I need to improve my situational behavior. Hence, I have started doing this a lot recently, possibly because I had to step out a lot in the last few years.
I can have a small conversation with someone that could make me go smiling for the next three days. So, you must know, that if we had a very good conversation a few days ago and I haven’t called you back, I am probably still thinking and feeling good about the same. I will not realise that I am supposed to get back to you (until I feel the need for small talk, which I usually don’t) because according to me, we have already connected. You would feel I don’t care. But, my next step of conversation with you now would be when you call me because I have made a promise in my heart to be there for you forever. All this, because you made me smile. So, when you call me next, I would want to know everything about your life and guide you on stuff. Too much care?
I know, I can be silly.
I have, however, become aware of this fact that I must care less for people, but care a little more at the same time. I know its complicated, but it's all about the timing.
I envy my fiancé since he gets this so naturally. I never analyse timings when saying or doing something, while he goes into everything with a process. Setting limits for every person he gets to know, he can control how much someone says would affect him. Not everyone is important and not everyone is unimportant, but he will listen to what everyone has to say. He gets his vibes from the outside world. Unlike me, who requires some time alone every day to stay a little sane, not in need of social approvals. He spends quite a lot of time asking to make more friends because that is what happiness looks like to him and he definitely will continue. However, to me, a wholesome circle is as small as a couple of friends and our fam jams.
On the other side is my brother, who too seems to be an introvert to me. Quite similar to my behavior he keeps away from parties, get-togethers, and meeting new people too. However, once introduced and comfortable, he can impress people in about 120 seconds. He is more of a restrained introvert and takes his time to warm up, mostly over beer or coffee.
Larry G. Maguire says we live in a world led by extroverts [Source]. It has become necessary to be in social circles to chase success. After all, why would someone have you working for them instead of others unless they know you? At first, I used to hate the concept of reference. Solely because I felt what has knowing people got to do with a job if I can prove I have talents and work hard? I then realised that it takes a lot of strength in today’s world to put one’s trust in someone else and it is always easier if you know them beforehand. Thus, making introverts like me having to step out of our zones and become situational extroverts. I could go out at events and mingle up or be a wallflower. I would then choose to shine. This could be linked to me having to spend hours in the classroom that I mentioned before.
I like praises. Yet, I never care for social validations when doing something. Studies state I am an authentic introvert, but without anxieties and I feel I am doing well with my life so far.
My fam tells me I am not antisocial but unsocial. I feel I am social but upto an extent. I do maybe the minimized version of socialising and when I get along with someone, they become a part of my life forever. For me, it is either all of me or not at all. Unable to pretend to be attached, I like to keep my circle extremely small. I might be careless according to many, but I love them all as I will be there for them even if they are not in that circle. I think it is very important to learn to live with yourself the way you are. Self-acceptance is highly necessary for a happy life, especially if you are an introvert, or have anxiety issues, or are socially uncomfortable in this extroverted world. Yet, I would love to see the world from an extrovert’s eyes one day. Specifically, how they feel about the introverts around them.
Tell me if you relate.