Those who seek people, those who avoid people

I’m a writer and an introvert. A very non-volatile combination if there ever was one. If you can’t figure me out, you’re not alone.

I’m one of those terrible “avoiders.” I purposefully go out of my way to avoid people I know. I have no idea why I do it. Often times when I see someone coming, I get this sudden anxiety in the pit of my stomach that makes me want to pretend I didn’t see the person.

That’s the introvert in me coming out.

But please don’t get the impression that I don’t want to talk with you. My avoidance is not related to what I think of you or my attitude towards you, it is, I think, just the reality that if I don’t have to say anything, then I won’t.

I’ve known lots of people who are opposite of me – who seek out others. I admire that, really. It’s quite a wonderfully social trait that is lacking in this world. Social connection is so important for people to feel wanted and special. I, on the other hand, would be perfectly content to sit at a table by the beach and blissfully write all afternoon without saying a word. Even with hours of isolation under my belt, if I see you coming at me, I still might duck the other way and pretend I’m busy with something else. Again, don’t be offended. I mean none.

I’m really not as reclusive as I am making myself out to be. I’m just content to be alone, but I don’t mind being with others.

There’s a small outdoor eating stall I go to frequently for lunch. When some colleagues approach, I almost never wave them down for them to sit with me. But, if they approach and ask if they can sit, I wholeheartedly welcome them and I am truly happy to interact with them. I just don’t want to presume on them that they might want to sit with me.

When we have large parties at work, I detest the large group dynamics where those people who seek others dominate with laughter and silly antics. But if there is a casual get-together where I can sit quietly with a couple other people, I am most happy to do so.

Have I gotten worse at avoiding people – or better depending on your point of view. Yes, I think I have, and part of it has to do with writing. Since I’ve become a full-blown writer in my mind, I am constantly thinking of this or that, using this stimuli to relate back to that project I’m working on. I can get so caught up in what I’m thinking that I may miss a “hello” or walk right past someone without even seeing them. I really irritate my family sometimes because of this.

So if you have any interactions with me, don’t be offended if I ignore you. I’m probably engrossed in my next plot-line. Go ahead and jolt me out of it if you like. If you see me sitting alone, feel free to sit down and chat. But the absolute best way of getting my attention is to send me a note digitally. I will always get back with you. I never avoid email. You will not be sent to an automatic spam folder.

So if I’ve ever gave you the impression that I didn’t want to talk with you, I do apologize. It’s simply not true. I’m just a writer.

2 responses to “Those who seek people, those who avoid people”

  1. Oh don’t even worry. I’m the same way – it’s because social interactions require energy when you’d rather be putting it to different use. Embrace it!

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