Stream of Consciousness — An Insight to an Introvert's Struggles

Sunday, March 08

By Hafsa Ahmed

The questions people ask me ever since I got old enough to socialize on my own – rather than my mom dragging my kiddy self to every place I never wanted to go – are pretty ridiculous and I assume they will continue asking me till I breathe my last. I’m constantly being asked “Are you okay? Is anything wrong?”, “Why are you so quiet and why is your expression always so serious and blank?”, “Hey, um, I don’t but I think you hate me because you don’t talk to me, do you?”, “Do you talk? Do you even have a tongue? Or are you dumb?”.

People assume all the absurd things they can when it comes to my barely there socializing habit. More often than not, they assume; I hate them. How can I hate someone when we don’t even talk enough to have personal grudges against each other? Being an introvert is frustrating, the second I speak, people are like “She talks!” – Yes, I do talk, I have a well-functioning tongue which helps me make out all the weird voices a human is capable of making. It’s a struggle coming out of my room every day and meet everyone (or just see their faces), you know how cranky a person is when he wakes up and doesn’t want any sort of interaction before his daily dose of morning tea or coffee? Yeah, I don’t feel like interacting all day at times when my energy drains as quickly as the water in my sink after I pull the cord when I have had too much human interaction in a few hours, they are enough to last me a week.

No, I don’t have any personal grudges against anyone – it’s hard to make me hate you when I don’t care about your mere existence in the first place, please don’t waste your energy wondering that. Yes, I do talk when my tongue gets weighed down with words and they are impatient to spill out of my mouth – you can’t shut me up once I get started – and yes, I have a tongue, can’t you see it? It’s as big as yours and sharp as a scissor – and yes dear, I have other expressions besides my signature “discouraging-people-to-come-closer-to-me” expression only when I’m not plugged into my charger i.e. my bedroom. I smile too you know and laugh – I know, surprising.

It’s such a struggle when you have to hide in the bathroom after every few minutes when there’s a party at your house or someone else’s. You just can’t wait to go and lock yourself in your room as soon as it gets empty. You rush to recharge your battery because it’s 1% and you freak out the way you do when your phone’s 1% too and you’re desperately searching for a charger, running around like your bladder will burst when you need to go to the bathroom.

In short, I get drained quickly and due to being socially awkward and anxious, I don’t interact much. So please, I beg you, I’m not Ebenezer Scrooge who abhors people, I just can’t live with them all the time.

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