I’m an Introvert, Not a Recluse: On Joining the Quiet Revolution

Such Small Hands

Sometimes people are surprised to learn to that I consider myself strongly introverted. To many people, introvert is a synonym for anti-social, shy, or awkward.

I understand why people are surprised. After all, I do talk to people. I don’t seem especially shy.  Sometimes I’m even loud and boisterous. But what most people don’t see is how most of the time I have to fight my urge to back out of social commitments and just stay home. They don’t see how I get so anxious and nervous before a party, or meeting new people, or having an uncomfortable conversation, or hanging out with someone who feels out-of-my-league, that I sweat through my clothes and my whole body shakes so hard that my teeth chatter.

I’ve written here before about my (apparently well-hidden) social anxiety and how my classic remedy has often been to over-compensate, pushing myself to be overly cheerful…

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