Our fictitious superhuman Superman has kryptonite, and introverts have their own kryptonite as well: huge crowd, unfriendly jokes, inquisitive and annoying half-strangers having distant blood ties and plenty supply of awkward conversations coming afterwards. And all these things are summed up into one cultural moment: Idul Fitri. I’m not anti Idul Fitri, I am a moslem myself so I of course embrace the spiritual nuance of it but when it comes to social and cultural aspects, Idul Fitri brings more frustration than anything else to an introvert.
As I read Susan Cain’s book “Quiet”, I came to deeper understanding of my own self and psyche. The book really speaks to me. I cannot disagree on so many things elaborated in it. Cain recounts lengthy stories coupled with some scientific explanation on why introverts feel and act and think and work in different ways. I cannot tell you how joyful I am to suddenly have a book which can easily explain and defend my being recluse in a huge congregation, why I find it uneasy to share private stuff in public where too many people can learn and hear without intending to eavesdrop, why I shun public speaking or any appearance that may result in unnecessary public attanetion. Back then I thought my being introverted is “curable”. Yes, I used to perceive it as a disorder because I don’t see many people around me having such personality, or even they are around, they don’t come to sight that much or noticably. Yet, now as I see more people, I encounter more people with this inclination.
Which is why I am so relieved to know I am not alone…
An ideal Idul Fitri, to an introvert, would be depicted as lovely as having no unwanted and unsensitive guests around your house, having no distant relatives that get too curious about your private life details, and the rather lenient convention of spending time in unnecessarily loud and meaningless celebrations.