Friday, September 7, 2012

The tragedy of the introvert with extroverted friends

You know them. Extroverts, I mean. I am talking about fellows who will walk into a restaurant, and after collecting their cup of juice, will ignore all those empty and primly located tables and chairs in the lounge, and head to the one table that has one or even two occupants. The fellow will very unashamedly choose to distort a romantic conversation, all in the name of being social.

Chances are, about 6 out of 10 of the chances, that you, the dear reader of this very despicable gibberish, is an extrovert. So, yes, I am writing about people like you.

Extroverts thrive on energy. They seem to be so full of life. They seem to live life like a seedling in its sprouting season in the nursery bed. They are the focus of the party, focus of their cliques, the ones who talk and others listen. You know them.

They can be very weird. The guy, and yes, girl too, will walk into a taxi, and straight away, start conversing to whoever it may concern, about anything, even the colour of the tarmac road, even if you have your ears plugged in.

Every meeting is a chance to start a 30-minute or longer conversation. They have no respect for the peace. You know those times when you just want to sit there and reflect on this empty world that we live in. I am sorry to say you will not have the peace to reflect with an extrovert by your side. Just when you think they have finally shut up and it is now time to engage your mental faculties, the fellow comes up with this “very interesting” jazz about a friend of theirs who is going to get married and that it will be very interesting. And then they will come up with something else that is equally interesting for you to hear all over again.

Have you ever looked forward to watching a really good movie? You know what I mean, one of those intensely grabbing romance acts whose trailer you saw last month and have finally run into the DVD. You know what...run like hell if one of those overly extroverted friends of yours wants to come and watch it with you. The fellow will commentate the entire thing, from the Metro Goldwyn Mayer lion roar, to the closing act, making you feel like you have been watching enjogerere.

I tend to find all the above easy to deal with because, well, the extroverts are only acting like their nature drives them to.

Now, there are times when they are simply being sons of, for luck of a better word, a she dog.

The extrovert, very well knowing that you don’t very much fancy public functions and parties and dinners and luncheons and breakfasts and reunions and the entire kaleidoscope of  harres, will come, all hands and voices raised high, and scream. “Uhh, chiiiiillllllyyyyyyy, man, guess whattt! There is this party going down tonight at Cayenne!!! Cindy said she is coming too. I hear even Keko will come too. Man Chilllyyy it’s going to be hot. We will have so much fun. You have got to be there. You can’t miss this.”

Chances are you will have already heard this kind of thing. You know it will not be hot. You know there will not be fun. You know that you can miss it. But this fellow practically drags you to the event by the noose.

So you go. Being the more reserved, quiet and introverted type, you will enter the party and calmly sit by the edges, where there is probably a bit of fresh air, or where you can scan the horizons and catch the beauty of the hills, without grossly getting in the way of the merrymakers, who you don’t even know in the first place. The fellow who dragged you to the party will forget you as soon as you arrive there. He, or she, the very life of the party, will proceed to hi-5 with everybody that cares to raise his or her hands up. They will scream alongside the other people who are so high on life, they nearly infect you with their ‘happiness’.

All the while, you will endure the pain, and torture, and virtual terrorism of having to scream when you want to yawn. You will not get the chance to enjoy your beer in the deep refreshing serenity of quietness.

And at the end of the party, when the walk out of whichever bar you have been at feels like Nelson Mandela’s walk out of Robben Island, your extroverted companion will grab you by the hand and exclaim how they have had the time of their lives. You will think they are joking. But they won’t be joking. “Ahhh, Chiilllyyyyy, I can’t recall the last time I had so much fun! Lawwd have mercy! This was greaaattt!”

And if you are unfortunate enough to be dating such a person, the answer to the question of whether you will get some on the night, will depend on how you respond to these exclamations. So, you will say, “Yes, that was great. I had so much fun,” yet, if you could, you would delete the evening from your memory.

The other thing is that extroverts love to talk, even when they are supposed to shut the screaming hell, up. Extroverts should know that they are not the only ones with “shit” they have to share to a “close friend.”

You know those times when you are going through real shit and you need to just unload it onto a friend. Well, woe betide thee if all your friends are extroverts...because they won’t listen, even one small bit. Hell, they may not even hear you. This is because extroverts act like they are the only ones with stuff to talk about.

Every time you meet them, they will jazz you about how they woke up late that morning, or how they did not have good enough breakfast, or how their neighbour has malaria. They will tell you all about their plans, to build houses, buy cars, become CEOs, give birth to twins, become a member of parliament, learn how to drive, buy a new phone, join Twitter, everything and anything.

But they will never, not even once, give you the chance to say just one thing that is happening in your life...it is like your life is not happening. At all.

You will approach the fellow to let them know that you have been sacked from a job. But the fellow will instead go on talking about how they discovered a new way of loading airtime faster on the phone. You will not get a chance to talk. If you do, they may say sorry, and straight after that, go on about how the new method of loading airtime is also more efficient than anything you have ever seen.

You will feel cheated. You will feel like the fellow does not deserve your friendship. Extroverts will make you feel insignificant. Like you don’t matter. But you have got to understand them. They are only living as their nature drives them to. It is the tragedy of the introvert with extroverted friends.

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