What It Feels Like To Be Introverted

By Lena Slater // As Told to Chloe Moritz

People always say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but people still judge me before they even know me. Many may like to think that they know the type of person I am. I understand why people commonly see me and think of me in this way. They think I just keep to myself and to the people I already know. They think that I am afraid to try different things, talk to new people and put myself out there. They assume they know everything about me, but in reality, they know nothing about me at all. They see what they want to see, put labels on me, and file me away without even looking to see what information I hold. They like to define me as a shy, reserved person. In more specific terms, people describe me as an introvert.

What they do not see is that I’m usually very vocal, or at least I try to be. I try to throw myself out there and talk to new people all the time. In my free time, I love talking in chat rooms. It helps me converse and relate to those who are interested in the same things that I am. We talk about many things ranging from a new episode of a show we recently watched, to what each of us had to eat for breakfast that morning. Some believe that the only people out there are those you see every day. What they do not realize is that there are people online that I talk to all the time from all over the country, and even all over the world.

While I do talk to many people online, I really prefer to have conversations face to face. For instance, when it comes to my friends from camp, we end up talking to each other through Skype instead of through text or instant messaging. I feel that it is much easier, along with the fact that there tends to be more of a connection that way. This connection is also the reason as to why I love introducing myself to new people. It helps me reach out from my typical comfort zone and causes me to experience new things.

People also get the wrong idea that working by myself is me displaying that I choose to shut myself off from the people around me. In a way, that is true, but not for the reason people presume. I feel that when I work alone, I get my work done more efficiently. My independence is what keeps me from being distracted from the task at hand, as it is the same for many others. It has nothing to do with me not wanting to talk with other people. Though if I had the choice to work with my friends, I would definitely say that working with my friends would be my first choice.

Most of the time when I am by myself, I like to stay home where things are familiar. Though when it comes to hanging out with my friends, I do not really have a preference as to whether we hang out at someone’s house or just out. When we do hang out at home, most of the time we tend to bake. One of my favorite things to bake are cookies, my mom’s sugar cookie recipe being one of my favorites. Either way I never feel like I am missing out on anything. If I do not go to certain events, it is because I just felt that I was not interested in what was happening.

Would I consider myself as an introvert? I would say probably not. There may be some characteristics about me that make me seem like I am introverted, but my friends typically know me as one of the most talkative and outgoing people there is. If I were to describe myself as either an introvert or an extrovert, I would sort of consider myself to be more of an extrovert. I talk to more people than some might realize, and I participate in many things that I find appealing to me. While I agree that I do keep to myself most of the time, especially when it comes to my schoolwork, I do not feel that is what should be used as my defining point. People say not to “judge a book by its cover,” but there are still those who continue to do just that never taking the chance to read what it is about inside.