There are common misconceptions about introverts, like the belief that we are shy. Yes, some of us may be shy all the time and some of us may be shy some of the time, but no, introverts can’t automatically be equated to shy people, especially considering people vary in degrees of introversion. Some of these stereotypes are perpetuated by extroverts who don’t particularly care to get to know the frustrating species of introverts (fine, we get it, since we don’t always get you, either). But some of the stereotypes are also perpetuated by introverts who gather on the internet and have fun poking fun at themselves and bonding over similarities, myself included. And it’s from fellow introverts I keep seeing one remark that I don’t particularly agree with as a rule of thumb for our kind: introverts love canceled plans.
Now to be completely honest, I had canceled plans just today. I was supposed to meet friends at a cafe, but one messaged us saying that he was feeling too unwell to attend and wanting to postpone–and I was ecstatic. Because it was so gloomy outside and I had a tiring week, I didn’t particularly enjoy the thought of going out today. However, this isn’t usually the case for me, believe it or not.
I spend a lot of time mentally preparing myself for things, whether it’s something of heavier weight like a job interview or something more casual like hanging out with friends. I usually think about what I’m going to wear, how I’m going to get there, and more, anticipating the entire event beforehand to make sure things go smoothly. It derives from mild social anxiety, most likely, which many people these days can understand. Because I put so much emotional investment in something, and sometimes get really excited for it, I can get pretty disappointed when things are canceled. I probably planned something mild anyway, like dinner with friends at our favorite restaurant, so it’s nothing to be particularly stressed about in the first place (and to be frank, the disappointment probably also comes from me really looking forward to the food), so why did it have to be canceled???
I do like going out at times, as rare as that may be, so if I decide on a plan, that means I am putting my all into that plan because it’s likely the only thing I will do for a while–my battery is at full capacity and needs to be drained a bit, and this outing will suffice for the next few days or weeks or months or years or decades or so. (Wait, I might be a robot.) When the plan is canceled, my energy has nowhere to go–all I can do is continue charging an already fed up battery. And again, I put so much thought into gracing the outside world once again with my glorious presence, and all of that was for naught! The world lifted a rock and told me, “Please return to your home.”
As a result, when I keep seeing comics about introverts rejoicing at canceled plans, I can’t help wondering if none of them mentally prepare and psych themselves up for something only to be disappointed like I do. Perhaps this is my extroverted side speaking? I guess being happy over canceled plans definitely applies if it’s something I’m not looking forward to, but then that applies to most people, really. An introvert might be excited that her friends had to cancel their plans to drag her to the club that night, but an extrovert might be excited that plans to stay in got canceled.
In the end, oh well…Canceled plans are canceled plans! No use crying over coffee with a dead fly in it. What are your thoughts? I would love to hear stances on canceled plans from others!