I am a shy person; I have been like that since my childhood days. Although with time, I did change a little but still I do not fall in the category of an outgoing person, which often creates problems for me.
I hate attending parties, gatherings, picnics or any other events just because it’s the norm or because I have to please the person organizing it. As a result I often end up skipping them. Not just parties, even official meetings which do not add value to me, I tend to skip. Something as small as going out for lunch with colleagues too makes me uncomfortable except when it is a small group not exceeding 4-5 members out of which at least 2 of them should be my good friends.
I am pretty sure half the people around me think that I am rude or that I think their events are not important. But really, is following the social norm that important? Do we have to please everyone just to get their acceptance? The world is filled with extroverts and people who are social. But there are a few of us who are introverts – Who do not like attending events or be in the presence of others just for the sake of it. Who feel they can do a better job being alone in their place rather than attending a meeting or a lecture. Who also feel that they can show their value by their actions and not by their words.
I know a majority of people will not agree with me and probably feel that it is abnormal but there are a significant percentage of such people around us who are introverts. Extrovert parents often consider their introvert child as abnormal. I know a few of my colleagues who think there is something wrong with their introvert child since they are different than their other siblings or themselves. They do not understand that it is okay for a child to play with himself or to not like being in groups. It is completely normal.
More details on understanding the introvert is given on my other blog post on a similar topic. And no matter how much I say, there are still a large number of people out there who think that introverts are snobbish and rude.
In fact a lot of my relatives consider me as rude just because I do not call them often. Little do they know that I do not call anyone, let aside relatives. But people who really know me like my parents, my close friends, etc know that I hate phone calls and if they need to contact me, they figure out a way to do that.
After a point, you ignore such people. It doesn’t matter what others think as long as the people important to you understand you. And with time and patience others learn it too. What really matters is that you as a person do not feel bad about being an introvert and make changes to your life just because it is not acceptable to others.