Being pensive is a common thing in my life. I’ll get a thought in my head, which leads to another thought, and then another, all the while I am staring off into space. I get lost in these thoughts and forget that I am with other people.
For me, this is no big deal. I am comfortable with silence. I can be in the same room with someone, not saying anything, and not think anything of it. However not all people agree. Many people who thrive on conversation make take my pensive attitude as an indication that something is wrong.
In high school I dealt with this quite often with one of my best friends at the time. A big extrovert as it were. Usually it happened after a concert. We were big into music back then. Most of the time it was garage bands playing at some rundown venue. Sometimes we would actually be able to afford to go to a mainstream show. Hawthorne Heights and All-American Rejects opening for Fall Out Boy anyone? Sometimes it was just spending time at a large get together.
Whatever the situation it was always when we were leaving a big social event. For introverts, such activities are draining. It takes a lot of energy to be around so many people for so long. Especially in a small crowded room with no personal space. For my friend it was energizing. He was pumped. He wanted to play music and sing along. I was drained and just wanted to be alone so I would get lost in my thoughts.
I should have gotten used to it and expected it, but I didn’t. Without fail I would get the question.
“Are you alright?”
“You’re not talking.”
“That doesn’t mean I’m not alright.”
“You just look sad.”
“I’m not. I just don’t want to talk.”
“Are you mad?”
Which I wasn’t. I was just thinking about the concert. The ironic part was that I was reliving the show and my thoughts were very happy. But inevitably being asked if I was mad just because I wasn’t talking typically angered me.
Of course this was before my big revelation into my introversion so I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t accept that I didn’t want to talk which turned into self-doubt and wondering why I wasn’t like him.
Now I get it. Now I know I need to be conscience of that fact that my silence could be misinterpreted as a reflection of my attitude towards my companions. But also I can now help them realize that sometimes I just need to think.That I am overstimulated and need to unwind and I do that in alone and that it’s not a reflection of them.
What about you? Introverts, have you ever been bombarded with accusations just because you don’t feel like talking? Extroverts, have you ever been frustrated because you friend was ignoring you and didn’t want to talk to you? I would love to hear about it. Leave a comment or submit your own story.
Until we continue this journey, so long and farewell.