Saturday, July 20, 2024

The Introvert’s Guide to Surviving School When F2F Classes Return

by John Ryan Alojado | March 23, 2022

Good day, reader. If you are reading this then you must see yourself as an introvert on some level. If not, perhaps you are just curious about this article.

Whatever the case may be, here’s a bit of context before we begin. An introvert, as most people would generalize or describe, are people who are reclusive towards others on some level. They are people who are comfortable just by themselves and their thoughts and as such, people tend to label themselves as “shy” or “lonely”. While this is a stereotype of introverted people, it still rings true in some regard in the sense that they generally don’t find it necessary to talk to anyone unless they need to or are feeling moody. 

Now, ever since the pandemic started, amongst many problems we are facing, a lot of people felt quite sad that they could not go out and spend time with their friends and loved ones. The introverts however silently smiled in glee at the thought that they had an excuse to stay at home and be with their thoughts for a prolonged period of time.

You, dear reader, are perhaps one of these introverted individuals who reveled in the silence of your homestead — not having to deal with the other people in the world since this pandemic began. However, it has been more than two years now and things are finally getting better. Some schools have even begun allowing students to have face-to-face interactions — and while that’s all nice and good for everyone, you may have come to the realization that you’ve spent way too much time by yourself indulging in your introversion and isolation that you have forgotten how to deal with people in the real world. Fear not though, dear reader, for here are some steps you can take to not potentially embarrass yourself when finally talking to another person after such a long time.

Step 0: Just Bring Your Friends

Introverts to society are kind of regarded as quirky. As such, you may have been fortunate enough to be “adopted” by your peers. And as their obligation to you as your adoptive guardian, they have to do all the talking in every conversation. So, just bring them along everywhere you go. They won’t mind.

Step 1: Start Charging Up Energy

The introvert’s lack of desire for conversation stems from their lack of what I shall refer to as “Conversational Energy”. Think of it like a game character’s mana pool. You’ve played video games, right? If everyone else in the world has a mana pool of 100 points to do tasks like talking to people, working, doing chores, etc., the common introvert only has a mana pool of around 25 points to maybe 50 points. In this sense, they get “tired” easily. To avoid or supplement this, the introverted individual can artificially raise their energy by eating good food, listening to good music, and getting hyped, inspired, or drunk, along with other remedies exclusive per individual.

Step 2: Rehearse

You, dear reader, are an introvert, which means you like to think. Take some of that spare time to rehearse possible conversations. Eight out of ten times, they won’t go the way it went in your head but hey, at least you’ll have a 20% increased chance of getting it right.

Step 3: Fake It

In the scenario wherein you do have to speak, you can feign a conversation by just nodding, smiling, and doing body gestures, as well as grunts like “hmm”, “ahh”, “oh” and simple words like “yeah”, “no”, etc. Don’t do it half-heartedly though or your conversation partner might catch on. On the same topic, if the conversation persists for longer than you’d like, you can end it on your terms by saying something smart or intriguing while weaving in a respectful goodbye somewhere in that sentence. If you must engage in a long conversation with no way out then go all out. The individuals on the other side of that conversation will fear and respect you… probably… and hopefully, leave you alone.

Step 4: Do None of the Above or Do All of the Above; Just Be You

It has been years since the pandemic started and we’ve all had our hardships to deal with. And we’ve all had way too much spare time to think about those sorts of things. So what if you’re a little weird to talk to? You’d be surprised to see how many people wouldn’t be too bothered by that. The world in its years of isolation has walked a mile in your shoes. It won’t judge you… too harshly. Well, it still will, duh, but maybe that’s good enough.


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