I now realize how lucky I am being an introvert, as I could take staying alone in a house (although I am actually not) for a long time. The recent article about Lea Salonga, as well as the many celebrities pontificating on several issues, seemed to confirm my idea that people who seek adulation and validation from others are mentally more vulnerable. It doesn’t make them necessarily “kawawa” (pitiful) or “good/nice but fragile people” though. I say it can be a fault.
Covid-19 has forced some of humanity to isolate and minimize physical contact with each other in an attempt to avoid infection. Memes shared through the Internet (like my pic for this article) highlight the advantage of introverts in such situations. There are some people who are happy alone and can more easily cope with the isolation measures.
I for one prefer self-satisfaction in indulging in hobbies that I can do in solitude. Even if people are not around, they created objects that at least can keep me busy. My hobbies include scale-modeling, drawing, writing (obviously) and playing some games. At least these objects don’t make demands, bite me in the back or scream at me.
FallenAngel also wrote before that many Filipinos seem to hate people who like being alone and try to guilt trip such people for it. Perhaps it’s because “extrovert” or adulation-seeking people hate it that no one is paying attention to them (Fellow blogger Gogs calls it KSP). They become desperate and try anything to get what they want, even if they hurt people in doing so. Extroverts or validation-seekers can be toxic people.
I would add the toxic palamunin culture of Filipinos as a factor. Some appear as “extroverts” in order to get something they want from others instead of working for it. They sweet-talk others or appear as someone important that others should give things to. If refused, they bully the ones refusing. A happy introvert is someone they can’t take advantage of, and they are probably envious of someone who can be happy by themselves.
Local third world tribal (and thus, backward) culture that condemns individuality is also a factor.
Haters of introverts sometimes do moral blackmail, saying for example that such people are uncharitable and selfish. Others would say, humans are gregarious by nature, so you must look for other people and not be alone. But I believe humans are naturally alone as well. We are all living as singular beings that are disconnected from each other unless we make deliberate action to communicate. Forcing people to be social is wrong way to go about it.
I saw this proposal to have people “house-pooled” during the Covid-19 pandemic. I take it to mean, pack as many people as you can in one house and even have several of them in a room. I understand this had good intentions, but it is counter-intuitive if your goal is preventing disease transmission. It would be better for each person to be individually separated in rooms or home units, such as a condo unit, allowing for couples at most. Also, packing so many people together also puts them in a more vulnerable situation. If you think packing more people together will instantly make them work together or have harmony, I think your expectations are too high. If there are toxic people among your group, you would likely prefer to throw them out the window.
We recently saw people coming out in droves and not applying social distancing and safety protocols. Some of them are probably the types I talked about, those who can’t stand being cooped up for so long because they have no indoor hobbies and seek the validation of others. There will be people defending them, bringing up the gregarious nature of humans. Filipinos however are also known to be hard-headed and avid in disobeying rules. If gregariousness is the excuse, then they could have done it online or in small groups instead of open spaces.
Being “gregarious” and group-oriented can have its bad side. That would be groupthink, where people “become one with others,” forget their individual thinking and meld with the group. I think that’s horrifying, because groupthink reduces the very things that make up personhood. Group “think” is also poorly named, too, since people actually reduce thinking when it happens. If you see all the statue destruction happening in the US right now, that’s groupthink, and it’s stupid.
I think the problem is not that people who want to be alone don’t know how to be social, but more like Filipinos don’t know how to deal with being alone. It could be because of many reasons, such as toxic desire to use other people, or dependence that had been drilled into the person from youth. But whatever the case, this is something people can change.
Society before Covid-19 has mostly held that extroverts are “superior” to introverts. It’s time to upend that. In this time of Covid-19, and even when we return to “normal” afterwards, a lot more can be learned from introverts and people who can be happy even without validation from others.
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