With Love, Your Introverted Friends

I don't smoke cigarettes, but I imagine the thrill I get whenever I cancel plans is something akin to nicotine intake. Seriously, I get high at the thought of an evening to myself. Sending a "Sorry, I can't *dragon emoji*" text literally brings the hills alive with the sound of music. 

I'ts not that I don't like my friends. I am not being passive agressive. I'm not addicted to TV or swimming in a vat of depression. It's just a little introversion. Maybe a lot, who's counting? For those of you creatures who don't find this normal, or get upset when your introverted friend chooses a night in over being your wing-woman at a party. Here are some things that you should know:

Rule 1: It's not you, it's me.

I'm kidding, but honestly; choosing to hang out by myself or on my computer with the cast of Firefly has nothing to do with something you, my lovely extroverted friend, did. I'm not mad. When I recognize that I need space, it usually has to do with a need to recharge from my myriad need of social encounters and not specific people. Don't take it personally. 

Rule 2: You can be both an introvert and an extrovert. WHOAH.

Introverts are internal processors. Sometimes that means quiet, sometimes that means loud, sociable, outgoing. Whatever kind of introvert, we still need to get away from people. I have a friend who is all of those things, as well as sassy and beautiful, but she likes to retreat to her room and spend time with Queer as Folk and her friends on the internet, rather than her multitudes of admirers in person. 

Rule 3: I'm not just shy.

As my close personal friend, Audrey Hepburn, once said, "I don't want to be alone. I want to be left alone." While this might sound less than kind, it's extremely true. Sometimes I'll be talking to a friend, someone I genuinely like, and I realize that I am exhausted. No, not socially awkward or shy. Even so, do you really think telling someone to be more outgoing is something that they haven't heard before? I enjoy being on my own, being thoughtful, and occasionally disliking human interaction. We don't need help out of some temporary funk.

Rule 4: Getting mad that we don't want to socialize is totally going to help your case.

C'mon, laugh. That was funny. Jokes--I'm great at those. Anyway, extroverted friends, this is where you need to exercise that patience and compassion. Pushing someone out of their comfort zone is one thing--frequently a healthy thing--but there is a difference between nerves and not wanting to be around people. Gettimg mad might make your friend want to be left alone even more. Please, please remember that it is valid for someone to want alone time. More than valid. Liz Lemon says so.