• Dempris Gasque

Stop Asking People To Apologize For Being Introverted

I’m not rude. It just takes a lot of energy to engage in conversation. It’s not an excuse, but the innate ability that extroverts have to converse with everyone and command a room is not a trait that I easily developed. I get lost in my world, and as much as I sometimes want to speak, I don’t always know what perspective to offer, whether to be casual or thought-provoking, introduce myself or wait to be spoken to.

I’ll probably make awkward eye contact at least three times, but I’m most likely wondering what made you buy that shirt with that quote or those lyrics and if the symbolism was something that you related to since birth or if you wore the shirt because of the irony. I promise I’m not staring, I just get lost in my thoughts and after you speak, I’ll be quiet because I just met you, but my curiosity is of your deepest aspirations and your top five high-level goals not whether or not we’d be a good fit. All these thoughts in my head, a prism of questions and ideologies hoping to be entertained, I’d think all of this in 10 seconds, 11 different ways, and have answered for you going through various scenarios and responses in at least 12 different monologues.

I’m not easily intrigued, so I yearn for an intellectual stimulation beyond all else and I know that general conversation will not satisfy me, so I keep to myself. So, when you ask if I’d like to connect outside of this event or expo or ask wassup and I give a vague answer, it’s not to be rude. It’s just that I’d prefer a verbal exchange that wasn’t conditioned by society’s standards, that leaves me dumbfounded because I acquired new knowledge and understanding of someone other than myself. Entrepreneurship, especially networking teaches the masses that a business or elevator pitch, a 30-60 second automated response is the way to introduce one’s self, but we must be careful that we do not lose our authenticity. Some of the best, most awestriking connections and relations come from accidental coincidences.

The right place at the right time is more so divine timing and the whirlwind of required conversation may cause those of us dealing with anxiety to feel more anxious for although I’d much rather retreat to my shell, I promised myself I would network and gain intentional connections for my business. I must and I shall, but I have to remind myself to breathe while making direct eye-contact and hoping I won’t trip in front of a potential client or that when exchanging valuable information, that my pen will not magically run out of ink. Don’t you just hate when that happens? UGGHHHHHHH the frustration. Anywho, the point remains the same: It takes great effort for introverts to become entrepreneurs and speakers because we are our own worst critics, so even if you do not understand it, please respect it, because we may be introverted but that makes us more observant and oftentimes more intentional.

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