This May Not Apply to All Introverts.
Fine. It only applies to me.
- Don’t come on too strong — i.e., keep to your side of the room.
- Eye contact is to be avoided for the first 1-to-2 months. Even then, watch yourself. We don’t like being the center of attention, especially stranger attention. I need to know you, your intentions, and your family tree before we start looking directly at each other.
- Once we make eye contact, LOOK AWAY!
- Okay. Now that we’ve established brief, non-threatening eye contact, we can attempt verbal interaction. But only super-superficially.
REMINDER: Don’t get cocky and start making eye contact whenever you feel like it. Asshole.
- You’ll have to make the first move… unless there are extenuating circumstances. For instance, let’s say I had an inordinate amount of caffeine and maybe some alcohol and, in this altered state, made the decision to say hello to you. If you don’t immediately smile and begin talking about yourself after I decided to bare my entire naked soul like that, I’ll assume you hate me. Either that, or you’re a fellow introvert and then I’ll worry that I’ll have to be the chatty one and that’s just too much fucking pressure.
- Be weird. But not like, too weird.
- Don’t ask too many questions. Anything beyond, “Hi what’s your name?” is a HUUUGE invasion of privacy.
- Whoa! Did you just ask me what I do? Back it down! Ruuuude. How about I just hand you my wallet and my 9th grade diary with the parts where Dennis Huntzenger took his shirt off in PE class bookmarked and highlighted?! Would that satisfy your unending thirst for my most private and personal details! Of course not, because YOU’RE A MONSTER!
- After the initial face-to-face interaction, leave the room immediately. Any further communication should be done via text. Or email. Or telegraph.
TIP: Right off the bat—like the first 60 seconds of our interaction—I’m probably gonna try to say something funny, but I’ll say it in a low-key, understated—or possibly—sarcastic way. If directly following this alleged “funny” you act concerned or confused and attempt to take me literally, we can never be friends. It’s nothing personal. It’s just the natural order of things.
- Don’t misinterpret my listening to you as interest. Just because I’ve perfected the art of pretending to have manners doesn’t mean a damn thing. I’m probably just waiting for an excuse to leave the room/conference/dinner/meeting/therapy group so I can go home and watch Better Call Saul in my sweat pants.
- If I’m laughing and saying something super negative at the same time, do not attempt to cheer me up. That whole thing where I went off on something stupid and annoying and made a crack about us witnessing the slow, horrific end of supposedly-intelligent human life, while I giggled and cursed? That’s me in a good mood… I swear. No really. No, you don’t need to call anyone! Geesh.
- I will not go to anything artsy or ritzy with you (NO OPERA OR EXPERIMENTAL THEATER, sorry). And definitely nothing that involves wrestling, the excessive and unnecessary burning of fossil fuels, or an inordinate amount of men or women wearing camo.
- If you call me, I’m not gonna answer the phone. Unless I’m worried that you’re dead or you notified me in advance that you would be calling re: something really important like you need my advice on the best oatmeal toppings (walnuts or pecans and banana. How do you not know this already?). Otherwise, if you need to hear my voice, text me and we’ll put something on the books for later. Besides, for all you know, you called me right in the middle of a really important businessy-work-career-curing-disease-fighting-poverty-meeting (in other words, I was flossing).
- And finally, if you make me laugh on more than one occasion (intentionally) we’re automatically and retroactively BFFs.
By the way, the above is about 65% satire and 35% WHY ARE YOU STILL LOOKING AT ME!?!!