Before the pandemic, extroverts and introverts were like parallel branches on the human evolutionary tree. For intros, the social distancing rules of CV19 were a delightful holiday segregated from the lowing herd. For extros, stamping their hooves, it was a form of bovine FOMO hell.
But it seems every extrovert (extravert, if you prefer) kept a list. A big-ass list of of things they just couldn’t let go, and fully intend unleashing upon the world “When things go back to normal!” All because every time an extrovert passes wind, they want a gold star and everybody has to notice.
Impatient extroverts, whose thoughts bustle via the shortest synaptic routes, have made big plans to party-hearty in 2021. But they’ve also made a big mistake: Because there is no return to normal. If you want to see normal, look out the window. Go party in that, you idiot.
Which (sigh) is what they’re doing. Crowding public spaces, all that oxygen wasted on inane chatter and fake laughter, everybody competing for attention, all of them gorging like gross energy-vampires. You know what I’m talking about. Garlic just doesn’t cut it.
It may be churlish to point out that 3647 people died of COVID in India today, but until it’s trending on IG, twenty-something extros busy smearing on the lippy and perfecting their cat eye won’t give a honey-badger fuck about India, not until Kylie 🤍 starts #SaveIndia.
So what’s an introvert to do? Surrender tranquility to the mob? We want COVID to end as much as anyone, but 2019-20 opened our eyes to a world we scarce dreamed could exist. A world where you can breathe and think and read and stay home without feeling guilty.
One thing introverts can do right now is call-out the doppelgangers. The sexy frat girl’s false melancholia and “I’m a socially-awkward, self-loathing tortured artist” bullshit got old really quick. But it’s typical of extroverts, innit, trying to muscle-in on absolutely everything.
Luckily, introverts won prizes which we’ll never give up. Working from home, for example. Forcing unlikeminded people together into tall buildings far from their homes turns out not to be the best way to work. This win for introverts is absolute poison for extroverts.
Let me explain why.
Examine almost any ‘party’ photograph closely, and what do you see? That’s right, an introvert who doesn’t want to be there. We are the unwilling wallflowers, photo fillers, human shields, or (more importantly) audiences for extroverts who are desperate to have their egos stroked.
But we can fight back.
Rather than be used as a ego-prop, just say no. Don’t be afraid to say no. Don’t feel embarrassed, awkward, ashamed or guilty for saying no. If the extrovert demands an explanation, just tell the truth: “I don’t like
you parties.” So easy not to be pawnd.
This hurts extroverts because they’re such attention-whores — Oooh look at me! I’m so funny / attractive / sexy / outrageous! Look at ME! — so by depriving them of an audience weakens their power. When introverts say no, the infernal apparatus of extroversia shudders to a halt. Despite what extroverts say, we are in charge.
If extroverts think the’re the gears, then by their own analogy introverts are the grease. Without our subtle lubrication, gears grind each other to useless nubs. Extroverts would be wise to remember this, and assume nothing. Having tasted solitude, we won’t give it up without a fight.
Introverts will lose a hundred minor battles to win the war, because they’re strategic, ruthless, and fight dirty. That’ battleground is the only ‘normal’ extroverts are going to get. Or we can all live happily ever after, if extros just lower the volume a little, and stop asking us if we’re okay.