I am an analytical introvert – you may not know this but it apparently causes problems when people don’t know – so I will tell you.
If you invite me out, and I say no, it’s not because I don’t love you.
If you turn up on my doorstep, and I look uncomfortable, it’s not because you’re not welcome.
If you tell me something and I don’t know what to say, it’s not because I don’t care.
If you are waiting for me to call you, and I don’t, it’s not because I don’t want you around.
I love you, you are always welcome, I care intensely, I do want you around. I will tell you straight out if it were otherwise.
I won’t make apologies for acting in a way that makes me feel comfortable, but I can promise you that what you see as negative qualities all harbour silver linings – that may only be apparent when you most need help, or love, or care, or compassion.
There are reasons people identify as being introverted, usually they are sensitive, analytical or somewhat empathic, and as they grow they learn more and more that their sensitivity doesn’t fit in this world, and they learn to hide it. This is why social situations create a problem for introverts, having to hide those parts of ourselves so that we don’t “wear our heart on our sleeve” is exhausting. It takes a toll on our strength until eventually we need to hide in a pillow fort with someone who loves us until our little flashing life bar is full again and we are stronger. (I think in Minecraft you only need to eat apples for that to happen – if only it were that easy!)
Our analytical superpowers often emerge at a time when we are unsure of where we stand. In the beginning of a relationship for example, we will timeline ourselves, make graphs in our head, create an internal monologue, or just talk to our dogs (who agree with everything that is said, of course) and we will guess at your feelings and why things are going the way they are – the best way to combat this? Be honest, and don’t expect that telling us something one day necessarily makes it true for another day a week down the track. Being analytical and sensitive means we have been exposed to enough feelings to understand the protean nature of a heart or mind.
Our empathic side strikes when you tell us something that incites some kind of feeling (which, lets face it, happens nearly every day for an introvert) and we say NOTHING. At the time. This doesn’t mean we don’t care about your situation. Most times it means you have evoked in us such a feeling of empathy or awe that we are unable to find the words that express what we want to say, and instead say silent. How to deal with this?? Understand that us saying nothing means that we are feeling BIG THINGS for you. Accept that.
I think these are the issues that have become the most prevalent in my relationships so far, both with friends and lovers. As I said, I won’t apologise for things I can’t change… but enough of my friends understand and have the same issues for me to know that this is not the weirdest part of me.
The good part is there have been recent studies linking us sensitive people to higher IQ’s, and our analytical minds give us a one up on intuitiveness (see below) – if we were a pack animal, we would be prized and protected for our ability to predict danger, avoid threats and intrinsically know when someone is hurt… One day, we may even be the heroes of the story. One day, when enough people recognise that working as one energy will save our future – we will rise and very quietly, save the entire human race from extinction (I dream big.)
But for now, we are humans, and for the majority that means we are in it for ourselves. Unless you want to join me? Just don’t expect me to be able to make it to all the meetings.