-By Emma Price, TCA Sophomore. Images by Aaron Hjelt.
It’s always hard being in a big group and always wondering if everyone likes you. I’ve had this issue all my life, never knowing if I fit in and not knowing what to do about it. I actually had trouble with it in this new group. They’re a climbing school on the road and there are a ton of amazingly strong climbers. And I was never confident that I fit in because these people might think I’m not good enough or am too strange or something. But then I figured out that we all have something in common. We all have this passion, this one life long drive that pushes us and motivates us to be better. This is how I started to figure out that this group of amazing people might just accept me…for me!
After 3 weeks of warming up to each other, people are starting to make close friends. They have certain connections that I wouldn’t understand cause I wasn’t ever at nationals or I don’t know the people that go to nationals and worlds. The best thing I can do is to put myself out there, which is hard because I don’t know what to say and if what I say is okay for this group. I am pretty sure I figured out a few things, though…
Now. It’s time to fit in as an introvert!!! As we know, introverts are very internal people who need to know that people genuinely want to hang out with them even though they aren’t as able to put themselves out there. So what can the lonely little introvert do? They can get themselves in social situations without as many words. Still talk so you aren’t a huge lurker, but try to get in some inside jokes. Those really bond people.
Next thing about introverts that is the scariest is being put on the spot or boxed in a corner. Now, all introverts act differently to different situations, but most of the situations are pretty sensitive and they all link to some emotion. Whether it’s sadness or anger or something else.
So how do you hang out with a group? The best situation is hanging out with a group of 3-6 people (3 is you and 2 other people). That way, the group is just small enough to get close to each individual and not get excluded, but not so small as to create awkward moments. I have had this experience with the 2 other girls. We hang out as a group of three and I get connected with both of them and when we hang out one on one, it’s less awkward!
Next is how to get some alone time. The best way to get away from a crowd and out of the social mindset is to go into nature. I’m out in nature almost everyday, so that part’s easy for me, but the tricky part is to get your mind cleansed for a brief time to collect yourself. I have chosen to find somewhere with as little noise as possible. Sit down in a place where you won’t be as noticed. Concentrate your breathes. Concentrate on a small object, like a leaf on a stem about to float away or something you wouldn’t notice before. Lay down and think of the roots and plants growing underneath your back. This should put you in a state of either deep ponderment or relaxation.
The last thing for introverts to keep in mind is that I’m not an expert and that these sort of things take time. So STAY PATIENT. The only way for true friendship bonds to form and take place is to give it time. It’s very hard, but stay calm, wait for everything to settle in. Everything will work out :).