And introverts are better at thinking in their heads than on their feet. However, even if you contribute to advances in the sciences, technology, the arts, and the humanities, just being an introvert comes with a stigma. You may be passed up for a promotion because you don’t speak up more, or seen as a snob because you don’t attend a social event, or assumed to be depressed because you want to reflect rather than talk.
Introversion and extraversion have long been seen as normal variations of personality, and there’s physiological evidence for these differences. Research shows that the brains of introverts are more active than those of extraverts. This explains why introverts limit how much comes in, while extraverts go where the action is.
I’ve been thought to be everything from rude to depressed to mentally retarded as a result of being introverted, but I’m glad to see that science has finally confirmed what I intuitively knew all along, that I’m just a goddamned genius, bored to tears by the banality of the chattering monkeys all around me.
Seriously, though, I’m also what I like to think of as the positive manifestation
of the omega male. I’ve done a lot of what society expects of you: maintained a long-term relationship, fulfilled responsibilities, achieved reasonable success, and so on, but I never deeply identified with that role, and consequently feel free to reject it now. I’m not competing with anyone for anything. I’m indifferent to status. I’m content with my little routine, and that’s all that matters. So I’m not really bothered by the fact that introverts don’t get their due; why would we want the attention and intrusion that would accompany acceptance?
The thing is, the majority of what constitutes relationships is simply companionship. Most people just want someone else around to share even the most ordinary experiences. Romance quickly loses its flash and euphoria and settles into sitting around taking each other for granted, and friends provide a way to be distracted from thinking about anything substantial. Me, I’m enough of a loner that I just really don’t need much companionship at all. I enjoy other people’s company, but only to the extent that it’s stimulating; otherwise, it doesn’t take long for me to get irritated by the imposition on my personal space. There’s enough cavernous space in my head for me to live there quite comfortably, thank you. Like Machiavelli, I’m content to be left alone with books and music:
When evening comes, I return to my home, and I go into my study; and on the threshold, I take off my everyday clothes, which are covered with mud and mire, and I put on regal and curial robes; and dressed in a more appropriate manner I enter into the ancient court, of ancient men and am welcomed by them kindly, and there I taste the food that alone is mine, and for which I was born and there I am not ashamed to speak to them, to ask them the reasons for their actions, and they, in their humanity, answer me; and for four hours I feel no boredom, I dismiss every affliction, I no longer fear poverty nor do I tremble at the thought of death; I become completely part of them.