If you’ve been following along you will already know that I am a pretty intense introvert. So small talk, or conversations in general, makes me extremely anxious.
But people assume that introverts are all shy and quiet. I mean obviously – if we are uncomfortable talking to people and making small talk, then we certainly aren’t going to go out of our way to do so. That makes perfect sense and probably makes the lives of introverts with this trait that much easier. Kind of like the auditory version of resting bitch face.
But can I have the luck of being one of those people blessed with the no-talkie aspect of introvertism? (I’d like to point out that spell check tells me that is not a word but voice-to-text managed it just fine. I cry foul. You have revealed your true colors English language!!)
Of course not. I am one of those people for whom being introverted means that silence in the presence of other people makes me extremely anxious to the point of near nervous breakdown. Silence is a time where you can fill in the blanks of all the ways in which the person you are in the presence of is judging you, either because you’re not smart enough or interesting enough or pretty enough… or SOMETHING enough.
SO I BABBLE. I issue fourth sentences and information and non sequiturs at a pace which would astound NASCAR, and I cannot stop myself.
I must fill the void. In my professional life this has earned me a reputation for being someone who “only cares about what I think,” because when someone says “So what do you guys think?” AND THEN NO ONE RESPONDS AND THE SECONDS OF SILENCE STRETCH OUT, I simply cannot take it. It’s not even like I feel like I have something to say or that I need to say, it’s that I feel like someone has to say SOMETHING. I’m working on over coming this, but even just thinking about it gives me a stomachache.
I guess the morale of the story is: be kind to your over-talkers. They may be dying inside.