Sunday, May 13, 2007

Confession: So I am a Recluse

If you think I am 'too serious' or regard me as aloof, arrogant, rude. Well, here is one truth: I dont like you either.

I know. My name is Daljeet, and I am a Recluse.

Oh, for years this was something only I knew, and considering the number of people that read this blog, I am still the only one who knows this, but i have to get this off my chest. After all, I believe I have good social skills. I am not morose or misanthropic. Usually, I love long conversations that explore intimate thoughts or passionate interests.

Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. They often seem bored by themselves, in both senses of the expression. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially "on," we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly one hour alone for every hour of socializing. This isn't antisocial. It isn't a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating.

I asked a friend of mine who has masters degree in psycology and human physics, and also happens to be very good looking. Beauty with brains, now thats one helluva combination. Ah! we are deviating from the topic. So, I asked her as to how many people are recluse or introverts, and kinda marvel at her answer. She replied -"a minority in the regular population but a majority in the gifted population."

Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluble, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. They are as inscrutable as puppy dogs. But the street does not run both ways. Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion. They assume that company, especially their own, is always welcome. They cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take umbrage at the suggestion. As often as I have tried to explain the matter to extroverts, I have never sensed that any of them really understood. They listen for a moment and then go back to barking and yipping.

Extroverts therefore dominate public life. This is a pity. If we introverts ran the world, it would no doubt be a calmer, saner, more peaceful sort of place. As Coolidge is supposed to have said, "Don't you know that four fifths of all our troubles in this life would disappear if we would just sit down and keep still?" (He is also supposed to have said, "If you don't say anything, you won't be called on to repeat it.")

The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Still, we endure it all, because the etiquette books—written, no doubt, by extroverts—regard declining to banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts' Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say "I'm an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush."

It is not that I dont like to talk to people, I love meeting new persons, talking to them, knowing them, letting them know me, making new friends. I just love it all, but there is a limit, I love meeting people but I simply adore quiet time with myself, cuddled up reading a book, or just sitting in the verandah doing nothing.

I like eating, but one thing that I like more than eating is..... eating alone. Not that I dont go to dinners, almost every weekend I am out with frnds or cousins or someone else. Rather I would like to do it everyday. But as I said earlier for every hour out i need one hour by myself. So, my time with myself is the most important thing. The next time you call me and ask what am I doing and I reply back saying 'I am doing NOTHING'. Remember thats the most important thing I can ever do.

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