It's Okay to Depend on People

Okay, I’ll say it.  I depend on people. I depend on people a lot.  But I don’t depend on anyone to pick up my slack or cross oceans for me.  I simply depend on people to be decent. Allow me to elaborate.

Recently, I have realized that the way people act towards me greatly impacts my mood.  If someone is rude to me in line at the dining hall, the next 20 minutes of my life are consumed by anger or negativity.  Sometimes an unpleasant cashier can affect my mood for the whole day. An argument with a friend or a less than kind comment from a professor or family member can send me into a spiral of negative thoughts.

It’s not because I’m sensitive (though, it would still be acceptable if I was just being sensitive), my feelings are rarely hurt when these things happen.  It is simply because I thrive in social situations that make me comfortable. I look forward to encountering people throughout my day and it is so disappointing when people, especially strangers, take the stress of their day out on me. I get it, shit happens and I can’t expect everyone to be perfect all the time, but this is just who I am, okay?  I appreciate a positive, happy, lively stranger more than the average person and an encounter with someone can make my day go 0-100 real quick.

Now, if you know me personally you may be surprised to hear me say I enjoy being around people.  Yes, I am shy and quiet in public when I’m alone. Yes, when you look at me you can easily tell I’m an introvert.  However, there are actually several different aspects of being an introvert. (If you’re interested in learning the complexities of introversion, Quiet by Susan Cain is a great read.)  Technically, the main thing separating introverts and extroverts is how we “recharge.”  Introverts need alone time to relax and recollect and de-stress. Extroverts get energy and relaxation from being around others.  So, believe it or not, I am an extrovert. Of course, there are still many aspects that make me an introvert, so I guess I will settle on calling myself an ambivert.

Anyways, I am totally comfortable being alone, but I always prefer to be with people.  I love living in a dorm because someone is always 5 feet away and ready to chat. After a long day, all I want to do is rant to my friends or even just be in the company of people I love.  A lot of the time, simply being around people who are fun is enough.

Depending on people to decompress can be difficult to deal with sometimes because, of course, people are not always available to listen.  I am also quite the over-sharer and have to tell someone what’s on my mind at all times. Sometimes I know my friends don’t want or need the information I’m giving them.  Sometimes I know it’s information I should keep to myself. Sometimes I know they won’t be able to say anything to help or even to keep the conversation going. But it doesn’t matter.  I always have to talk.  I have to talk, and talk, and talk - about the good and the bad, and the big things and meaningless.  The only way I can feel better is by getting it out of my system - whether it be through a phone call, a text, a tweet, or a Finsta post.

Sometimes I feel annoying, and I’m sure I actually am annoying at times, but I have always been this way and I think it’s okay.  I think it’s okay to cope however you need to. I think it’s okay to build a mutual understanding with a person or a few people, like “hey, sometimes I need you to just listen to me.”  Sometimes I might need you to meet me at lunch or let me blow up your Snapchat with video rants, and I’ll do the same for you.

I depend on people and I am not ashamed.