Introvert Dilemma

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The toilet, for me, is a peaceful place. 

Yeah yeah yeah, I know. The toilet is a shitty place... literally & figuratively. But it's also a place of solitude for introvert me. I'm not sure whether other fellow introverts feel the same but I think we all have that one quiet lonely place to hide. 

Sometimes when socializing is too much of a burden for me, I hide in a toilet cubicle. 

I started hiding in toilets when I started my teaching practicum a few years ago. I just couldn't stand being in the teacher's room because all of the senior teachers looked at me condescendingly... or maybe it was just me. There was no other place for me to be in order to escape those people, therefore I hid myself in a toilet. Since then, I keep hiding and hiding in toilets. Sometimes I hide for more than an hour. 

When hiding, I will sleep if I can, play games on my phone, read eBooks. I think I finished a quarter of A Storm of Swords in a toilet.

It's pathetic, I know. I'm not proud of it but it's a place where nobody will interact and bug me. 

Definitely, I don't just choose any toilet. I hide only in clean ones. I can't stand foul smells. 

The social anxiety that I have in me is pretty hard to explain. Meeting a person whom I'm not close with gives me an adrenaline rush. Having small talks with strangers is so stressful. Having to respond to remarks and sentences tenses me up.

Of course, the toilet is not the only place I hide. The toilet is like the last place I would go to avoid people. I also feel comfortable being in my car. My places of solitude are the places that I know people won't breach into. 

Being an introvert sucks. 

When it's lunch time at work, instead of contemplating on what to eat, I think hard on where to eat. I always choose restaurants with the most strangers. I often eat alone. Going to a restaurant where there are many people I barely know would 'force' me to join their table because I don't want to be considered as rude or 'kera sumbang'. Joining their table would mean I have to join in with their conversation and that could be stressful for me. 

Sometimes, when I got to a restaurant, I turn back because I see people I know inside. I turn back and go to other restaurants or just go back to the office and starve myself. Yeah, I prefer being starved than socializing with people.

Bare in mind that I only don't like to interact with people I barely know. If it's a person I like or I'm used to, then there'll be no problem. But the problem is, in order to get close to a person, you have to befriend him/her when he/she is still a stranger. You can't automatically be close to someone. Have to interact and spend some time together. 

Shamefully, I have to admit that even after almost three years working at my current workplace now, I still don't have a person who I can call a friend. I only have colleagues here. 

Most of my colleagues are nice to me but when it's lunch time, I don't have anyone that I can say, "Hey, jom makan."

It's easier for me to make friends when I was in school and university because I would be interacting with peers of the same interests and level of maturity. My friends then were scarce but I still had friends. However, now, at this workplace, I'm still searching for a buddy. 

I blame myself for that. Too many excuses... too little effort. Socializing is fuckin' scary! I also blame the age factor. At my office, I'm the youngest. While I prefer to talk about comic books and movies, other colleagues talk about politics, lucah lucah, sons, daughters, parenting wargh wargh. 

I could go to other departments to look for friends. I know there are young ones at other departments. But just thinking about entering a building full of strangers just to get to one person fill my stomach with various insects. Wargh warghh

Fuhhh... It's so hard to be me. 

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