I imagine being an extrovert can be a pretty bitter and exhaustingly hard job. You are always on the offensive, trying to hunt down people to interact with, to way overtalk with; like a mosquito trying for its next human arm fix. Though somehow I’m sure even the hunt for other people is energizing to an extrovert. An introvert on the other hand, is on the hunt for the 15 minute break, that next big bank deposit of quiet, the search for the alone time that makes all that running through the maze of people worth it. An introvert needs to bring some weapons to the battle, to make it through the labyrinth of people. For the most part, introverts are on the defensive and they need all kinds of shields and other defensive weapons to make it through this battlefield. Here are some weapons of war I like to use:
Mirrors – Mirrors are an amazing weapon that allows an introvert to know when someone is coming so they can avoid them. And an introvert can find them in creative ways, that an extrovert never will. Yesterday I saw someone that I did not like(ie most people) in the lunch room, but I needed to grab a cup to get some ice and water. So I approached the counter and looked up to see a microwave. A genius tactic popped into my head and I used the microwave door as a mirror to know when the person left. Don’t just limit yourself to actual mirror’s. An introvert can use almost any shiny surface to get intel on when people leave, or when they approach, so you plan your exit strategy.
Locks – Locks are a pretty amazing way to keep people out, but use them sparingly. Use them too much and people think you have something to hide, and not just keep people away. But if you have a lock it can be a temporary escape for the bitterness of other people. Some even use them creatively by performing the magic trick where you lock yourself in a tank of water and you have to escape. It may be extreme, but at least you have a few seconds of not talking to other people.
Hidden Doors – It’s always been a dream of mine, but literally and figuratively to have a hidden door with a hidden room in my house. In addition to literally dreaming about having a hidden room in my house dozens of times, I also have dreamed about having one in a real house of mine. In fact, when touring a house in the Street of Dreams (an annual opportunity you have to tour a neighborhood of 5 or so dream houses that were for sale for prices way above anyone but Bill Gate’s and a few NBA players budgets) they showed off a room under a staircase and I almost put our lives savings on a down payment for the house right there.
Desks/Cubicles – Not everyone sees a desk or a cubicle as a means of defense against other people, but introverts sure do. The moment they see their desk at work or office at home, they start plotting ways to keep people out. They set it up similarly to a castle. They see every obstacle as one more way to keep people out. I have a beam in my desk area that actually is against code, but for me it is a defense, so I embrace it. If at all possible, I’m arranging file cabinets in certain ways, bookshelves in an inconvenient way, even break signs provide a little defense. My favorite of all time was when my boss was out of town for a week once and I had a stack of 4 reams of paper that I put on the ledge of my cubicle that provided just the right amount of coverage of my face and people just avoided my more. It was an amazing week.
Television – When in a social situation with a lot of new people, the use of a television can be one’s greatest ally, especially when it is a bunch of bros. Two guys that would normally have nothing to say to each other suddenly can become best friends when the great mediator of subjects, and the filler in of awkward silences, The TELEVISION, beams its magical HD 1080p or above resolution into the situation. Without it, the evil nemesis of introverts, Awkwardness, would bust his way in and punch you and these people in the faces. But television is there welcoming your introvert self with a ready made barrier that pushes Awkwardness to the sidelines for a moment until the other people leave and you can continue your precious moments of turning your brain off until you can go to sleep and dream of hidden doors and rooms.
The weapons of war are many for the introvert, but creativity is needed to use them properly. So get out there and practice. Sharpen your blades. Shine those shields. Practice your remote control and desk arrangement skills. Because the Extroverts are coming, The Extroverts are coming and you need your defensive weapons more than ever.
ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH is our battle cry!
Bitter Introvert Weapons Ben