I rant a bit. If you’re scandalized by a little foul language best to skip this one.
I don’t know how to talk about this without getting into too much personal details. Let’s just say that I have been sick and that the doctor has no idea what is wrong so she has had the brilliant idea that… it’s all in my head! I just have an anxiety problem. Take some antidepressants and come back in a couple weeks.
Why does she think that I have an anxiety problem? (Beside her just being too retarded to figure what’s wrong.) She said I’m very quiet and don’t elaborate or express myself.
Oh, lady, you don’t want me to express myself because I’m gonna tell you to fuck yourself six ways to next Sunday.
I didn’t say that. I haven’t gotten to the point where things like that get said. You see, I am an introvert. And unlike the introverts who go around whining about how not all introverts are shy, I am very shy. It takes me a while open up and I will only do this if I decide I like you. Why the hell should I bother with people I don’t like? This, coupled with the fact that I am a melancholic, means that I’m more likely to decide to never talk to you again long before I get to the fuck you expressive stage. (If you don’t know what melancholic means, look at this and scroll down where it’s got the basic outline of the four temperments.)
The doctor’s implication is that since I am not being open and bubbly with her then there is something wrong with me. One might be inclined to dismiss this as one stupid female doctor, but I’ve run into this attitude from quite a few people–she’s just the first to try to get me to drug myself.
If you have anxiety or depression so crippling that you cannot function, then maybe you do need drugs. If you think that your wife has turned into a giant raccoon, then your brain is no longer in touch with reality and you need drugs. That’s the important thing though: being in touch with reality. If you’re incapable of talking to other human beings due to some irrational fear, you’ve lost the touch. And I mean incapable. Having to work up to it is not the same thing.
People used to talk about doing difficult or painful things as “building character.” Now, if you have a hard time doing something, we can just give you chemicals and you can get a character that way! The idea that my actions would depend on an external chemical messing with how my brain works is abhorrent. It would be different if I thought my roommates were raccoons, but I am a fully functional human being. Despite being shy, despite having an embarrassing tendency to stutter, I have worked in mostly customer service jobs. I’ve hated every minute of it but I highly recommend it at the same time.
Terrified or uncomfortable with talking to other people? Get a job where you have to all the time. It takes less willpower to make yourself do something when you have no choice about it. And once you’ve done it enough, then you can do it without coercion. It might be unpleasant, it might be painful, but you’ve accomplished something once you’ve gotten to that point. You have a choice in how you want to build your character.
It may never go away–not completely–but, as much as people imply this, we all don’t have to be equally outgoing.
Being shy is not a mental illness. Being reserved is not a mental illness. Maybe I’m not talking because I don’t like you. Maybe I’m not talking because I realize that I talk too much and it gets on people’s nerves. The whole world doesn’t need to be made up of nothing but extroverted, bubbly, outwardly happy all the time people. I’ll keep the personality I’ve got; I don’t need a fake chemically induced one.