empathy

WE, THE INTROVERTS!

Illustration by Elia Fernández

Illustration by Elia Fernández

NOTE: This article is dedicated to the guy who coined the term ‘Introversion’ without whose vision of restoring the balance of the universe, I would just be a geeky guy sitting on his laptop in a lonely corner of the world (I know the world is round), procrastinating his life away (Oh, I still am. That’s sad.). We’re the introverts, the wallflowers, the batmans, the backstage-heroes that make the actors shine, the Leibnitzes that give the Newtons the limelight. We’re the pew-sitters in the church who just watch the preachers go about their business.

Every year, I get invited to a series of get-together parties, weddings, family functions and a horde of other such gatherings. It’s fun and enjoyment, fine. One tiddly problem: such gatherings scare the bejesus out of me.

It’s not just these small parties but rather, any large gathering of people I don’t know very well. It’s true that I summon the courage to go every time. But let me make it straight: there is not a single time that I don’t fear I might run out of polite comments about the things I probably have nothing to do with and maybe at some threshold, I might as well activate my sarcastic resonance. That’s it. We’re done here. That’s how I find myself at these parties sitting in a corner, talking to, well, myself.

We are the introverts, proud of our personality traits. It’s fairly easy to locate us in our natural habitats: in our rooms, at the book store, at museums or places of art and lastly in our brains. Sometimes it fares us well to be a pretend-extrovert.

There’s always time to be with yourself and your thoughts later. We are like wolves; after the entire struggle with the outside world, we have to return to our dens. We need our fortress of solitude. We self-recharge. We don’t need any external influence for that process. We restore the balance of the universe. In a world where people just can’t stop blabbering, the quality of being able to listen calmly pays off in the long run. As ‘Introvert Specialist’ Susan Cain puts it: The Power of the introverts is a world that can’t stop talking. A ‘Quiet Enjoyment’ does not need to be the Gordian Knot. Our Bucket List does not have goals like ‘going to a picnic in Barbados’ or going to a party in Vegas. It has goals like watch the complete Ingmar Bergman collection, read the whole Bernard Shaw collection, listen to newer and better music (Yes, we love music, not the party type though).

We might be socially awkward but we make pretty faithful companions, astute listeners, keen observers and interesting conversationalists.

We always choose harmony over conflict, substance over flair, thinking over talking and intimacy over notoriety. We might not be ‘social butterflies’ but we love to have proper meaningful conversations. All the introverts, unite, separately in your own homes.

Parth Jawale, a staunch proponent of Camus’ philosophy of Absurdism, is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Engineering. A music aficionado and a movie buff, he occasionally summons the metaphorical ‘pen’ and vents it all out.