Sometimes, I can really relate to Sheldon.
Ok, ok… not so much in the haughty-sarcastic-atheistic-from-the-bible-belt-too-booksmart-for-his-own-good-theoretical-physicist kind of way.
More like the “I don’t understand the behavior of human beings at ALL” introverted-i’m-just-staying-home kind of way.
I’ve always been an introverted type of person. For example, I sit here in my pj’s still underneath a blanket with this laptop, a cup of coffee, and our cat. The only people I’ve talked to all day are my husband and my mom. I don’t plan on leaving the apartment ever again… well, until tomorrow anyway.
Being an introvert doesn’t make you a shy person. Believe me, I’m not shy. It also does not mean you hate people. I don’t hate people. I just need to go a while without talking to them sometimes.
Being an introvert means you gather your energy from being by yourself, while an extrovert gathers strength from being around people. If my schedule forces me to be in constant contact with people for days and days, my battery simply gets low. My conversations start lacking, my enthusiasm starts to wane, and I get a little glassy eyed.
It’s like this. When I was a kid, I played “Zelda: Ocarina of TIme” on my Nintendo64. Link had two gauges (that I remember), one for health and one for magic. The health one was made up of a bunch of little red hearts, and the magic one was a long green bar. Anytime Link did anytime particularly awesome, he’d use up part of the green bar. Then, to your annoyance, you’d have to wait for the magic to recharge again (unless you found a little green potion behind one of those little bushes…but that’s beside the point).
My energy bar is kind of like Link’s magic bar. I steadily become less energetic the more I’m around people, unless I’m allowed to let myself recharge. And since there’s no such thing as little green potions for me to find behind bushes, I’m simply left to no other choice but time by myself… precious, precious time.
Being an introvert is also kind of like this:
Sometimes, we introverts are pegged as aloof or even rude. But what many don’t understand is that the gears of our brains are CONSTANTLY whirring and grinding, and that our thoughts are circulating constantly. We are continuously observing, soaking in, contemplating, and drawing conclusions… THEN we speak. Most introverts that I’ve ever known (including myself) don’t think out loud. We think quietly until we’ve drawn a sufficient conclusion, then we’ll voice it. We never mean to be rude; we’re just thinking.
Sometimes when someone asks me, “Why are you so quiet?”, all I want to say is “Why are you so loud?“
So sometimes, I can understand why Sheldon wants to just stay home and be left alone to his devices and glow-in-the-dark goldfish. I get that. I really do.