My mother’s side of the family is huge and this is not an exaggeration. My grandmother has 7 siblings and all got their own sons & daughters which then got married and produced another set of family. So every Christmas we all got together and have a reunion, sounds fun right? Well not for me. See, with that number of people you’d expect to see 1 or 2 teenagers my age but no, my parents just had to do it in the year 1995 when nobody else did. So now you get the picture, there’s me and a whole bunch of people who is either at least 20 years older than me or 10 years younger than me.
Which then lead to me on hating Christmas holidays. Don’t get me wrong, when I was a kid I get excited because of the gifts but even then, the gatherings, those you-have-to-talk-to-your-relatives situations, I’m not so gung-ho about it. Every reunion I sat there alone just watching them enjoying their time, and I get so jealous because they are having fun and to be honest I still am. And you know how parents are, they force you to talk to your relatives even if you don’t want to, but I can’t say that now can I? So I really tried my best just to greet them and force a smile but I can only hold it for a short period of time and then I’m off.
Maybe it’s because they are not my age that’s why I can’t really relate or hangout with them, that’s what I always thought. But as I grew older same habits occur without me realizing it. I enjoy being in my room most of the time with locked doors not socializing even with my own family here at home. They sometimes joked about that if a fire occurred I’ll be the first one to die or that they wouldn’t actually know if I’m still alive because I rarely come out of my room. You know how teenagers have that “rebel” stage where they won’t listen to their parents, come home late at night and all those stuff? Yes, I had that stage and yes I did all those things, but me locking myself and not talking to anybody, for me that is not an act of rebellion that is just me being in my most comfortable state.
Now you probably get that I hate socializing and yes you are right, and you know what I also hate? Group-works. God I hate them with a passion, group-works in high-school are hard but when I got to college group-works went from hard to absolute hell. Not to mention when you have to go and report your work in front of the class, fucking hell whenever there is a reporting I suddenly want to be ill so that I have a reason not to go but unfortunately life does not work that way. I always have this absurd amount of shyness that I can’t really control nor can I handle, when I’m in front of an audience or just talking in front of a crowd, my hands starts to feel cold, my knees about to give up and I can’t speak, I just can’t seem to let my voice out. People pointed it out to me hundreds of times to make my voice louder, to speak up, but in my head I’m already shouting goddammit. They always thought that I’m not really serious about it or I’m just half-ass-ing my way through it but I’m really giving it my all with the best of my abilities unfortunately I just can’t meet their ideals.
Last year I stumbled upon this TED talk about introverts. Basically what the speaker said was there is a bias on the system where they only encourage activities that extroverts benefit from so introverts tend to shy away, looked down upon and be labeled as people with problems, and this speaks true whether it is at school or at an office. And that’s where I’ve realized there is nothing wrong with me, fuck, she’s right, everything she said is right, all these years I’ve always hated myself for being me and not being someone else. Did I change? No I did not, did societies views change? No they did not. You see, it’s not that easy to change something that’s been there for a really long time, and also not many people realize it. Plus, they’re introverts so they can’t really speak up in a world where extroverts are considered mighty and top of the hierarchy even if they wanted to now, can they?
People that feel uncomfortable around large crowds that they think that they’re being anti-social,
People that can’t look someone in the eye when they are speaking so they get offended,
People that speak so soft that they can’t hear them and they are being hassled because of them,
People that only enjoy the company of their closest friends so they to tend to label them as picky or just them being an ass.
They’re trying their best, they really are, it’s not easy for them as it is for other people but still they are trying.