I’m finally learning to love myself. It’s been a long journey. At first, I wouldn’t give myself the time of day. Gradually, though, I loosened up and gave me a chance.
It began with a magical night to remember. After months of gathering my strength, I stared at my reflection in the mirror and popped the question: “Would I care to have dinner with me?” How could I refuse? Looking back, I realize I should have asked sooner. The answer would have always been yes.
I didn’t play easy, though. It was my third date before I gave me a goodnight hug – after asking for permission, of course. I and I have been together ever since.
And what a difference loving myself has made! No longer do I sit alone on Friday nights wishing I was with someone else. I’m with me now, that special one who’s always up for a movie, dinner or just a quiet evening at home watching TV – and if the mood is right, shadow dancing to my favorite songs.
To think, I have spent most of my life feeling alone and depressed, when the one person who knows me better than anyone has always been right here inside of me – and has never complained I keep the thermostat too low.
I love me. No explanations needed, except for our wedding invitations.
Google the word “introvert” and you’ll find countless websites waxing poetic about these moody wonders. Are they quiet spiritual souls or personality-deficient party poopers? The truth lies somewhere in between. The following clarifies a few introvert myths.
Introverts are quiet because they always think about deep and spiritual things.
Some introverts need a lot of time thinking about whether to have pepperoni or sausage pizza.
Introverts hate small talk because it bores them.
Some introverts love discussing how much the hosts paid for their house.
Introverts are great writers.
Some introverts are great at writing home for money.
Introverts hate being in crowds.
Some introverts like to rub gently against passengers on crowded subways.
Human interaction exhausts introverts.
Some introverts don’t want you to know they love watching TV for hours while eating junk food.
Introverts are good at seeing the big picture.
Some introverts think the big picture involves government control of our tooth paste reserves.
Introverts have a constant, rich and fascinating inner monologue.
Some introverts can bore even themselves.
Introverts are very sensitive people.
Some introverts will ask you to pass the ketchup while you’re telling them your dog passed away.
Introverts intrigue people.
Some introverts scare people.
Introverts have the most interesting friends.
Some introverts can’t distinguish between fascinating and certifiably insane.
Being introverted used to bother me. As the years pass, however, I’ve grown more comfortable in my reclusive skin – even when my eczema flares up.
I used to think, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I so averse to social interaction?” Then I realized the one person who can make me happy has been in my head all the time. I may seem like a quiet soul, but put me in a room with my own thoughts and you can’t shut us up.
I love sitting all day in a chair while contemplating back support and Barcaloungers. The fire department occasionally breaks down my door to see if I’m alive. That’s enough social stimulation for me.
There was a time I tried to fit in with the rest of the world. I even belonged to a sorority in college. My sisters meant well, but there’s a name for that kind of non-stop friendliness, affection and emotional support: hazing.
Relationships have always been challenging. I dated one woman for three years. We were inseparable until she returned from her job overseas. She was a great gal but I felt lost without our long periods of separation, plus I missed the mind-blowing long-distance sexting.
My parents are extroverts and have never understood me. How else can you explain them fixing me up with Frank Sinatra Jr.? (Nice guy, though. When it became obvious we weren’t hitting it off, he sent me Nancy’s phone number.) It’s only been recently I’ve been able to look at them indirectly in the eye and say, “Mom, Dad, I love you.”
A wise man – okay, a pretty bright lyricist – once said, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” For some people maybe, but not if you don’t mind a fireman’s ax crashing through your door now and then.
Cecile Singular wrote the best-selling book, Become a Millionaire without Leaving Your Closet.
For many introverts, home is where the heart is sitting behind the other hearts.
When introverts enter a classroom – or any room – many look for that one special seat in the back. It beckons: “Come, sit, relax, away from the maddening class.”
Contrary to popular opinion, observing the world from the rearmost view isn’t so bad. Are you really concerned that your dying words will be, “Why wasn’t I friendlier with that girl in sophomore geometry class who always sat in the front row and did her homework on time?”
If you choose to be a back sitter, here are some tips to make your stay more enjoyable.
Sit behind a large person. They’re great shields and provide effective soundproofing.
Always have at least 10 excuses handy for when you’re caught staring out the window. For example: a) I think I just figured out a cure for cancer. b) That’s exactly how the sky looked on the day I was placed in an orphanage.
Never sit behind a student who participates enthusiastically in class. Watching an arm continually rise for attention causes severe exhaustion.
If your lifelong dream is be a ventriloquist, never use students sitting more than 10-feet away as practice dummies.
As a courtesy, always share your seat with other introverts. Simply get up, point to the chair, and of course, avoid eye contact.
All introverts have been there. You go to a party. After a short time, you’ve had enough socialization and agonizing small talk. You’re ready to leave, but your extrovert friend and ride for the evening is having the time of her life. Here are some lines guaranteed to get her out the door pronto.
Your friend’s grandfather wants to know if you’re up for a game of Spin the Bottle.
I bet your boss would be interested in my multi-level marketing plan.
I think I’ll check out the host’s medicine cabinet.
I know she’s a nun but I think she really wants me.
Here’s something you’ve never seen anybody do with a stuffed shrimp.
I’m going to punch the next person who asks what I do for a living.
Tonight’s the night I finally open up about my painful rectal itch.
I’ve narrowed the guests down to three potential sperm donors.
I think I’m going to lie down under that pile of coats.
We invited the new guy at work to Karaoke Night. He did a spot-on version of “Alone Again Naturally.” We asked him to join us in “Macho Man” but he politely declined and went home to feed his cat. We’ve also asked him to Kazakhstan Folk Dancing Night and Greco Roman Jell-O Wrestling Night. Each time he said no. He’s a nice guy and we want him to be part of our gang. Does he hate us?
He’s just not that into all of you. He’s an introvert. If you want to spend more time with him suggest something he might enjoy; for example, contemplating climate change.
We had a wonderful orgy last week. Everything was perfect, from the buffet to the complimentary Moist Towelettes. However, there was one woman who just sat by herself and didn’t want to join us (literally). We suspect she’s seeing other orgies. Why doesn’t she want to join our evening of debauchery?
She’s just not that into all of you. She’s an introvert. Quiet threesomes are probably more her thing.
For 17 years I’ve had a long-distance relationship with a Tibetan monk. For the past eight years he’s promised to join me on the road with my three sisters. We’re professional groupies for a Spinal Tap tribute band. But he always cancels with some lame excuse like “I’ve never traveled outside my village” or “The loudest noise I can tolerate is the sound of a rain drop touching a leaf.” Why won’t he meet me and my sisters? Could he be gay?
He’s just not that into all of you. He’s an introvert. Tibetan monk life-of-the-parties are uncommon. Try a lapsed evangelical Christian.
We had a new volunteer at our food bank. Everyone loved her. She was friendly and really knew her expiration dates. After a while, though, she became distant. She appeared lost in her thoughts, her high-fives lacked enthusiasm, and would only mouth the Tuna Can Sort Song. Eventually she stopped volunteering. We think she has non-profit organization commitment issues. How do we convince her she needs us?
She’s just not that into all of you. She’s an introvert. Have you considered letting her distribute pallets of bread from her apartment?
Do you think being an introvert prevents you from being a successful leader? Think again.
Just because large groups of people aren’t your cup of tea doesn’t mean you can’t boss them around.
Over a lifetime, you’ve mastered countless valuble skills: avoiding people, ducking out of parties unnoticed, and pretending to listen when your mind is in another universe. If you can do all that, managing a multi-national corporation should be a piece of cake.
Follow these simple business management rules. In no time, employees with whom you never make eye contact will be kissing up to you.
Be yourself – unless you can impersonate other famous successful introverts like Bill Gates, Eleanor Roosevelt, or Abraham Lincoln.
Inspire others. Your employees may think you’re aloof and standoffish. They’ll forget quickly after you tell them you saw Jesus in a toner cartridge.
Project an air of quiet confidence – if possible without whistling nervously through your nose.
Delegate more. Just because the janitor is a whiz at cleaning toilets doesn’t mean he can’t negotiate a multimillion dollar contract with IBM.
Avoid people burnout. Interacting with countless folks all day is exhausting for introverts. If possible, hire a body double and teach him/her to continually say, “Let’s run it up the flag pole and see what happens.”