HUMOR – I like you very much, now please go

BY DOROTHY ROSBY

For those of us who’ve been craving a little silent night since Thanksgiving, there was World Introvert Day on January 2. And I missed it. Introverts being introverts, I guess no one was out there promoting it.

World Introvert Day has been around for more than a decade, and I’ve just learned about it myself. Apparently, it was the brainchild of psychologist and author, Felicitas Heyne who decided rightly that introverts needed a day to go dormant after the holiday season. Had I known about it sooner I would have holed up at home on January 2. Oh wait. That’s what I did.

I’m an introvert myself, which comes as a surprise to some people who know me. That’s because they don’t understand introverts. Extroverts sometimes confuse introversion with shyness. They think all introverts blush when we talk to other people and hide in the bathroom during our own birthday parties. I’ve never done that. That’s no place to eat birthday cake.

Some extroverts think introverts are unfriendly, even rude. They think we keep our blinds closed all day and grouse at the neighborhood children to stay off our lawns. I’ll have you know the three young boys who live next door to me regularly play on my lawn. And I’m hardly ever rude, except in traffic.

Introversion is simply a difference in our brains which I won’t go into because I’m an introvert not a scientist. But I can tell you this: Introverts are renewed from within through solitude and reflection, while extroverts recharge by being around people and other outside stimuli, much of which introverts find appalling—the stimuli, not the people. We like people, just not when they run in packs or come to our door unexpectedly. 

An introvert would rather email than call someone, and when we do call, we’re not disappointed when we have to leave a message.

We like to shop in stores where there aren’t very many other customers. Unfortunately, our favorite stores don’t stay in business long.

We’d rather go to lunch with one or two friends than go to a dinner party or, heaven forbid, a mixer. Introverts are afraid mixers are how we’ll spend all eternity if we die and go to hell.

Some experts estimate that up to 50 percent of the population are introverted, though no one knows for sure because introverts tend to avoid surveyors.

According to my research, some really successful people are introverts, including Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and J.K. Rowling. Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln were all supposedly introverts too. None of them could have accomplished all they did if they’d been out partying every night.

Most billionaires including Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Dorothy Rosby are introverts too. I was just seeing if you were paying attention.

You extroverts who’ve read this far may be wondering why there isn’t a special holiday for you. Listen to yourself. Every holiday is for you. Name one major holiday where the tradition is to stay home and read a good book.

I’d go so far as to say, we live in an extrovert’s world. Why do you think there are stadiums, bus tours, shopping malls and open office spaces? If I worked in one of those, I’d get even less work done than I do now.

You may also be wondering how the introverts in your life will observe World Introvert Day next year and will there be a party. No there will not. That doesn’t mean we won’t be celebrating the day though. We’ll just be doing it quietly and separately. 

Dorothy Rosby is the author of several humor books, including I Used to Think I Was Not That Bad and Then I Got to Know Me Better. Contact drosby@rushmore.com.