Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Struggle: Black and Introverted

There is a very distinct stereotype of a black woman: loud, wearer of long Brazilian hair weaves or quick weaves, frequent shopper of Forever 21, and avid watcher of Love & Hip Hop.  I admit that I can be loud.  I have worn a few quick weaves.  When I’m going for a trendy look I stop by Forever 21.  I don’t fools with Love & Hip Hop, but I will clear my Sunday evenings for the Real Housewives of Atlanta.  So, yea, I fit some of the criteria of the stereotypical black woman.  Before you attack me in the comment section, I know this stereotype doesn’t describe every black woman.  We have a variety of hobbies, interests, talents, and personalities.  However, there is one thing that makes me feel like I stick out like a sore thumb when I amongst black women: I’m introverted.

This isn't just me posing... this is my ultimate introvert face: pondering or daydreaming about something
Black women are supposed to be the life of the party, office, or any other group setting.  Do you know how disappointing white people are when I’m in the office and I would rather read a book during lunch than twist my neck and trash talk about the crazy customers we had that morning?  I don’t mind having a good time but to be honest sometimes I just want to hang back in the cut.  I don’t want to start the electric slide or any other line dance at the office party or wedding. 

I HATE small talk.  I understand that it is a part of our social norms so I have sucked it up and have tried to be a better at it.  But for the most part I rather not talk about the weather or who was eliminated on The Bachelor.  I also don’t want to small talk about what went down at Thirsty Thursdays or First Fridays.  I have never been a club person.  Getting dressed up to stand shoulder to shoulder in a room with dangerously loud music has never appealed to me.  So it’s challenging for me to have a convincing, casual conversation about how Kesha showed up in the same white peplum dress as you and how she ain’t sh*t for speaking to you while wearing it.  I love having purposeful conversations about how social media has changed our world or should Donald Sterling have to pay the NBA 2.5 million dollars for a private conversation.  You can save the club chronicles for someone else. 

The look on my face when someone is having small talk with me
Black women are supposed to be “down for whatever” or ready to “tell somebody off.”  I, on the other hand, avoid hostile situations.  It’s very rare for me to “go in” because I don’t like someone’s tone of voice.  Don’t get it twisted, I’m not saying I’m a punk but I will be so calm when going off that you won’t be sure if I’m telling you off or having a therapy session.  There have been occasions when I wanted to go Nene Leakes on folks but my introvertness won’t let me.  On the inside, I’m throwing tables and Champaign bottles and yelling obscenities but on the outside, my quiet demeanor is telling you to give me my refund before I write a nasty email to your regional manager and have you written up for insubordination. 

It has taken time for me to be comfortable with being a different type of black woman.  At 26, I have accepted that this is who I am and I’m going to probably be like this into my old age.  I’m might not know who Yandi is or how to read someone but if you want to have a deep conversation about the authenticity of Beyonce’s feminism then I’m your girl. 

Where my introvert sistas? Leave a line in comment section.  

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