And a word to all you extroverts: There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert. We’re not broken, we don’t need fixed, we don’t need to change, we don’t need your help to socialize. We don’t WANT to socialize unless we choose to.
Here’s the deal. Introverts and extroverts are simply wired differently in the brain. Being around people fills an extrovert with energy, with an introvert it drains us of energy. You’re like a Duracell battery and we’re like the Chinese knockoffs I bought at a flea market once called Durracall that lasted for an hour.
With all this in mind here is what I really want to talk about. I was at Bethany Beach in Delaware a few weeks ago. It’s off season so the beach wasn’t full. I was able to find a spot to enjoy the ocean but still be an introvert-acceptable distance away from everyone else. About twenty minutes into my stay I hear newly arrived people walking behind me. Then I hear the snapping open of beach chairs. The ffflhhh of blankets being unfurled. All this is happening no more than twenty feet away from me.
Seriously? You have an entire beach to plop down on and you choose do it closely enough that I can hear you unwrap the tuna sandwiches you brought along while talking on your cell phone to Jan back home in Lancaster? I came to listen to the waves crashing not you describe every millisecond of your vacation to your friend who hasn’t left the house since 1972.
I am proposing the incorporation of Introvert Beach. This stretch of sand will be open only to introverts who will instinctively know:
How far away to construct their beach-day kingdom so we don’t interact with each other.
If you’re thinking about getting in the water but someone else makes their move first, you will know to stay seated until that person is finished frolicking in the waves.
There won’t be any forced small talk, shouting for no reason, or screaming children. The sounds of the waves will battle only with the sound of book pages turning.
More than one person will be permitted to look for sea shells at the same time because heads will be down so there won’t be any eye-contact.
I’m aware that the powers-that-be (in other words: extroverts) may fight this amazing idea because they want everyone to be like them; befouling the air with jibber-jabber, making phone calls to hear their own voices and gathering together in large groups for made-up days of meaning. “Hey, Dan finally cut his toe nails. We’re meeting at the pub after work to celebrate!”
“Mary and Dave replaced the water heater in their condo, time to party!” “I’m still breathing, come to my house for jalapeno poppers and wine!”
In this case, I have an alternate proposal.
Before entering the beach, all extroverts must put on a wrist band that will provide electrical shocks if they try to put up their tent or umbrella too close to an introvert. The shocks will continue until you have moved an appropriate distance away. An extrovert may say hello to an introvert but if they attempt unwarranted small talk, shocks will continue until they move along.
Hopefully by next summer on the eastern shore introverts will have their own private beach. Next I’m going to work on a restaurant, the Introvert Bar and Grill. There will be twenty tables but seating for only 8 at a time.