For introverts, being in large groups of people is draining. We like small, intimate, quieter settings. To combat this excess in stimulation, we turn inward. Then we get the dreaded:
“Oh, nothing?” Adding a quick (teeth bearing) smile.
We like people, but in small groups or one-on-one. Too much of people talking, cars whizzing by and the like, rattles our nerves.
When I was younger, I put on a facade to the world of always being happy. This was the ‘face’ I thought the world needed to see me as. Especially men and women are groomed to be people-pleasing, consistently happy, and always willing to go that extra mile for someone, neutrality is viewed in a negative light.
“You’d look so much better if you’d smiled once in a while…”
As a practice, it’s the right thing to do to extend kindness, even when we don’t feel like it. Call it the Golden Rule, humility, or simply being an adult, you have to fake it just a little to get by in life.
I considered being real, not smiling when I felt sad or being mellow made me unattractive. So I kept at the high energy routine. This made me acceptable, if only in my own eyes.
The interesting part happens when we are a little more introverted or “bookish” that people deem us unfriendly. We’re not a Girl’s Girl. Certainly this can be the same case for men. Males who are quieter, more tech/geek like and uninterested in sports get bad labeling, too. He’s that guy that people joke will one day “go postal” or maybe he lives with his mom. Or maybe, that’s the guy dreaming up the next Twitter in the cubicle next to you.
Seeing a counselor during this time, she said “No wonder you are exhausted. You’re putting on this act all the time. Think of how much energy you are using.”
Cute and Perky get “pretty” jobs and friends. Everyone shuns the Debbie Downer. Energy vampires are perfect examples, sharing their latest tales of woe and taking you further down their rabbit hole of misery. You suggest an alternative or note a positive part of their story and it’s immediately shot down.
Maybe there is a balance. Hopefully (if introverted and less prone to perkiness) we can assure people that we are not mad at them and still stay true to ourselves.
This video is made of an old educational film. the original film sole purpose was to change the “deviant” behavior of a teenage girl by psychological pressure (Youtube description).
Here is a fun video by The Onion:
Made by Pfizer, Despondex is the first drug designed to treat the symptoms of excessive perkiness (Youtube description).
Producer: Centron Productions. Video courtesy of Shaggylocks on Youtube.