Wednesday, October 29, 2014

For The Last Time, I'm NOT AN EXTROVERT

Me after being around people
I would just like to state this in case anyone was confused, because a lot of people seem to be, I am definitely not an extrovert. Sociable, yes. However I am definitely an introvert. Let me explain.

To really understand the difference between an introvert and an extrovert, it is important to know that the difference between the two is where energy is drawn from. Extroverts get energy from being around people, they feel invigorated when around large groups of people, they feed off the energy of those they are with. Introverts are exactly the opposite. Being around large groups of people often makes the introvert tired, and they feel much happier being alone or with small groups of people. Introverts rarely see the importance of small talk, and are often quite horrible at it. They tend to over think insignificant details of social interactions and can be awkward at times. But these things vary person to person.

I am not an extrovert. I do not like being in large crowds of people. It exhausts me. Please see the photo above. You know what was going on around me? Full-Cast director's notes. There were 50 people plus the techies and production staff surrounding me and it made me so tired I had to lie down. That's not a joke. I freak out if it gets too busy in Wal-Mart. I'm horrid at small talk, because talking about important, relevant issues seems more important than the weather. When I'm alone I'm really happy, because Netflix gets me. I'm full of energy at home, because there is no one else there (except for my housemates, who are great. But there are three of them, versus thirty). I am an extremely social human being. I make friends easily, I can be chatty with strangers, I'm a waitress, for goodness sake. But I will never be capable of being a "social butterfly" or extrovert, for the simple reason that I cannot handle that many people at once. I have a core friend group of about five people, and I'm content with that. Also, that many people doing that many things, its so overwhelming. Like, I can stay relatively busy, but I like to be busy in places that don't have a lot going on, because I get overstimulated so easily its almost akin to ADD. Then I get frustrated, because I'm overstimulated and can't focus, and it's a vicious cycle, that's all I'm saying. Also, being out for too long is just so exhausting. I know my fellow introverted friends will relate to me when I say being out and about for too long can cause a literal shut down. I have been reduced to tears after spending too much time in a mall before, and I LOVE the mall. Being out expends a lot of energy I normally don't use up at home watching Futurama.

Here's a really important thing to realize about me: yes, I do theatre. Yes, I was a cheerleader. Yes I work in customer service. But when I'm performing, I'm not mingling. The most stressful part of being Dorothy was the meet and greet afterwards. I'm not even joking. I always get nervous and tried to hang out in one spot and (this is hilarious) try not to attract too much attention. The amount of people in the lobby was crushing me, metaphorically, and while its easy to be caught up in the spirit of just finishing a show, the fear of mingling and saying something wrong can ruin it all. Also, when I'm at work, because I'm a waitress, I often feel like I'm performing. Everything I say is part of my job, it's all kind of like a script to me.

So pair all of these things with my resting bitch face, my ridiculously light eyes that force me to wear sunglasses on even the most overcast of days and what do you get? Alexis. A very textbook version of an introvert, who happens to be able to hold a conversation.

Not all introverts are shy, and not all extroverts are outgoing. Learn it, love it, live it. I'm now retreating back to my blanket fort until I build up enough energy to go to the store for a soda.

Alexis Olmstead is a 20something waitress who frequents senior centers looking for the ugliest sweaters she can find. She is currently prepping for Into The Woods auditions and trying to not overdose on crochet. For more rants, reviews, opinions, and useless facts about her life, check back often.


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