Have you ever wondered why that quiet, handsome guy in your office won't just do more than smile back at you? Or why that lovely girl would rather be found in a quiet corner in class humming to the music playing in her headphones than with her peers making snide remarks about the gaudy color of the new gown the female professor wore that morning? Or how that large-mouthed man manages to be friends with everyone? Well, if not for any peculiar reason, it could be due to their varying personality types. There are several personality types, among which are introverts, ambiverts, and extroverts.
Introverts tend to recharge by spending time alone. They lose energy from being around people for long periods of time, particularly large crowds. Extroverts, on the other hand, gain energy from other people. Extroverts actually find their energy is sapped when they spend too much time alone. They recharge by being social. An ambivert, meanwhile, is one who manages to balance both personalities. That is, they might share the gregariousness of an extrovert and also possess the calm and reservedness of an introvert.
This week's edition of Wednesday Thrills meanders through the experiences of a young man who has never loved the public blitz and would probably - don't quote me - fancy a vacation visit to the Sahara Desert than Paris' Eifel Tower.
Let's start with you telling me some features of an introvert, so I'll know my boundaries. Am I allowed to smile at you?
Lmao. Common! I'm not that gross. Well, an introvert is basically conservative. They feel like the most isolated people in a crowd even in small groups. An introvert is not quick to display emotions. They may be hurt or happy but find it difficult to express these emotions. An introvert is someone who lacks the communication skills to influence the behavior of their immediate audiences, such as family, friends or acquaintances. An introvert is...
Whoo. Whoo. Calm down and take it slowly. I'm still getting my jotter out.
Haha. Alright. Can I continue?
You can. But just so we're clear, this is not a therapeutic session.
Lmao. Got that! An introvert is a person who feels that socializing with other people would give them an avenue to prey on his or her emotions. Do you know the best part about being an introvert?
mopes and shakes head in lack of knowledge
We are highly secretive and have the ability to satisfy ourselves in our own unique ways.
Hmmm. I can't really think of many ways, you know?
Sorry, but I can't help you with that - introverts' code. Introverts aren't the most intelligent-minded people, and even if they, it's difficult to notice, but they are smart enough to retain and reproduce information when needed.
So basically as an introvert, you have thoughts where you're Chris Brown but in reality, you're only African China? is that how it works?
If I were African China, it'd have been better. The personae doesn't change. You can think of being Chris Brown but you are too scared to be him because you feel it won't sit right with people. Introverts are always scared about the outcome of their actions. For an extrovert, once he thinks up something, he acts on it and that's where the line of differences starts from.
When did you realize you're not the public-active type?
When I was a lot younger. Then it transcended into my teenage years and then my adult life. Though, it's something I'm working on now. The sound of my voice contributed to the reasons I feel uncomfortable speaking in public
Ehen. Should I be scared? How does your voice sound?
Like a baby. Other times, like a girl. I don't know if I'm struggling with a deficient hormone responsible for deepening the male voice. You know when you talk in public and people say, "who be this boy wey dey talk like girl?" It's very disheartening.
How was it like growing up?
I'm the last child of my parents and was a bit pampered in my tender years. I have a very large head which was often a subject of taunts.
Bro, you seem to have quite a number of taunt-worthy subjects.
Hahaha. I know right? Anyway, my mum would ward off those who made a jest about my big head telling them that my head fits my body. It gave me a lot of confidence knowing that my mum was there to help me with my self-esteem. It could have been worse without her because I was always so quiet, calm, cool, collected and really reserved.
I thought you were gonna give me all the adjectives for quiet.
Do you have friends?
Haba, I'm not a human eater nau. I do have friends, though I can count them on one hand. I categorize my friends as brothers and sisters because not so many people have got me.
People sometimes have this denigrating outlook towards overly quiet types. Have you ever been a victim of bullying?
Yeah, I have. And of all places, it was where I thought I could find solace - in church. When I was young, say 17 or so, we were asked by our youth leader to wear an all-black attire to church for the crossover service. But I didn't have any, so I wore what I had. Before then though, he had already been telling me how he didn't like my personality; how I was not sociable and easy-going despite my commitments. He always said hurtful things to me on a regular basis, but on this night, he went overboard.
When I greeted him a happy new year, he shouted back at me, asking what's good about the new year when I could not obey simple instructions? He started venting and ranting and the next thing he told me to leave the department and never come back because I was too quiet. All these happened in public.
You were demoted at church for being 'too quiet'?
My brother... After that day, I took my bravest decision and stopped going to the church. I had had enough.
Oshey! So introverts get exasperated too?
How's your online presence?
Not very good and very good.
Looks in 3D
I'm not a chat freak, but then how can I be when I'm not good at sustaining conversations?
Am I supposed to answer?
Not really, it's a rhetorical question. The irony is, I can say lotta things online that I'll never have the courage to say in person. I'm sure most of my course mates back then would slit my throat if they could because I was quite active on the class WhatsApp page, but in class, I always hid in my shadows.
Would you change your personality if you had the chance to?
Not really. I've grown to love myself. But then, if I must change something, I would love to be more sociable.
What are your biggest struggles as an introvert?
I find it difficult to express myself among my peers, both males, and more painfully, females. Just imagine, I'm in my twenties and I've never had a girlfriend! Not girl lover o, that will be going overboard, a girl that is a friend.
Really? So, you have...
Erm... Don't ask that question.
Lmao. Which question?
I've never had sex?
Actually I was going to ask what introverts did in their free time?
Lol. You weren't, but anyway, I love watching T.V., playing video games and reading books. I'm a really wide reader.
Have you had occasions where you HAD to talk in public?
Should be in school, during class presentations; very scary something. I presented a few times and in my own evaluation, it wasn't good enough; in fact, they were disastrous. My voice would be shaky, almost like a stammerer's; my body would be trembling violently, I'm sure people thought I'd go into a convulsion, Perhaps, I was the reason my groups never had above 12 in any presentation.
Hahaha. Mad oo!
What would you call your most humiliating experience so far?
That was at the university as well. During my internship, I worked at a media organization where I met this girl who I really got along with. After a while, I realized I was in love with her. However, when she saw I was coming close, she turned me off and shut me out. For me, I thought I had finally broken my fears and won her heart but it turned out to be a waste of effort. It felt like deja vu again, and on one particular day when she publicly shunned me, I went to the toilet to cry. Only it wasn't the toilet, it was the reception, with everyone looking at me.
Ahh. I would end my internship that day.
Are you doing anything to change your introversion?
I'm going out more often. I have changed my city so I can meet new people. I try to read as much as I can and I'm losing my dependency on social media as a dominant means of communication.
Are there places where you feel free and alive and where you really express yourself?
I think it is in the gym. I have started building my physical appearance so I spend a lot of time then. People used to call me a big baby, so I reasoned that if I could not work on the baby, I might as well work on the big.
Then in church, cinemas and viewing centers. Though I rarely participate in the banters and discussions so my voice doesn't give me away. I feel assured and satisfied in the knowledge that people rever me because of my bulky build. You know nau?
I actually don't. (Throws a smirk)
I have this idea that introverts do a lot of afar crushing? Am I right?
You've never been any more right. If you know the number of girls I've crushed on in this my small years on earth ehn. There was one in Uni that I crushed on from year one to four. I'd always sit in class, on the same row of seats as her, though on another aisle, and observe her throughout the day's lectures. Seriously, now I think of it, that was pretty much infatuation mixed with stupidity. I even fantasized about giving her knacks from the back on that her round backside.
Hian! Introverts think about knacks too?
Lol. Maybe not every one of us.
So is there a thing like, introvert meets introvert, and they become besties forever?
Lol. They won't even get to the stage of friends, talk less of bestie. It would be more of, introvert meets introvert and they mope at themselves forever.
What about this one. Introvert is walking past a political campaign when the politician starts throwing sweet currency. There's an ensuing scramble for the scattered money. What will introvert do?
Ahh. Introvert will swear for the introversion and join in the struggle ooo. I no come life come dull.
Lmao. My guy! You're not an introvert, you're a tired Nigerian.
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