“Extrovert” is the preferred spelling but I prefer “extravert” because it makes more sense to me. It is an accepted spelling. I don’t seem to have anything else to say tonight. I wrote this comic 3 weeks ago and I don’t really remember writing it. It’s kind of funny, in context.
Those of us who have never felt quite human can only utilize the great social equalizing power of the Internet to a certain degree. After a while, you have to venture out into the world of realtime flesh interaction, where, if you screw up, you can’t just delete your profile and start over. If you’re fairly young, maybe you can move to another city and try again, but after a certain age, you probably own too much stuff, including real property, to make that a feasible option, and you must, instead learn how to pass yourself off as a normal person who can periodically attend crowded events and make conversation with unfamiliar people.
I would not attend as many parties if not for The Man, so I usually have the option of hiding behind him, although I sense that he would prefer not to have to drag his wife around like a leaden shadow when he wants to socialize (which is all the time).
Other strategies include offering to help the host/hostess with their duties, scrupulously reading the titles of all the books on the shelf, and making friends with the household pets. Or, you could just be a bit more aware and a little more confident. If you have access to someone’s social media profile, you could browse it in advance in order to prepare yourself with topics of mutual interest. Or, you could simply be well-informed or opinionated, which will also give you many things to talk about.
Just remember, no one else can see inside your head. If you sound confident, everyone is going to perceive you as such. If you act like you’re OK, the world will respond as if that’s the case.
The Internet is pretty much the greatest thing that ever happened to bookish, socially awkward, and otherwise introverted nerds. Now we can interact with other human beings! On their level, even! Sometimes even above their level! Minus all that uncomfortable physical proximity and weird self-consciousness, and without the need to constantly decompress afterward.
In fact, people who know me as an adult often have difficulty believing what an introvert I am. I’m not shy, and I’ve overcome most of the social handicaps that really perplexed people when I was a little dragon. I’m perfectly capable of going to a party and enjoying myself, even being the center of attention, although I’ll never master or comprehend the art of small talk. But when I’m done, I’m done. Too many people frazzles my circuits. It probably doesn’t help that many of my friends are significantly younger than I am. The Man and I are both 40, while the Fox and Mrs. White Kitty are in their early 30s and the Otter and Mrs. Black Kitty are actually in their 20s. We probably enjoy a wilder nightlife than most people in our cohort. We get invited to a lot of sweet parties thrown by really cool people. But sometimes, I can’t handle it.
Sometimes, all you want is to sit quietly and read, and no amount of funnel cake, legal intoxicant, or whimsical diversion can entice you.
The Man is an extravert himself, and would happily immerse himself in group dynamics every night of the week. Personally, I have weeks (this one for example) where I’d be perfectly delighted never leaving the house. It’s draining, and it cuts into my creative time.
Of course, the Internet cuts into my creative time too. It’s a delicate balancing act.