I'm an introvert. I make no attempts to portray myself any differently, and don't think I could do so passably even if I wanted.
I like people. But new people, new situations, groups of people – those sort of things are manageable for me, but stressful, and I've maintained a "comfortableness" in my life by avoiding a lot of things that I know would drain me. I think to an outsider (definitely to an extrovert, probably even to many introverts) it would look like I'm sacrificing something, or missing out on something. Maybe.
Lately I've been having a harder time tuning people out. Conversations around me seem to be getting longer, louder… stupider.
I'm noticing more and more how difficult it is for people to be quiet. I don't understand this compulsion so many people have to talk, without really having anything to say. I know that as a recipient of the noise, I find it hard to concentrate, so I have begun to assume that the source of the noise is relying on their incessant speech as a way to escape having to think, or to distract from an uncomfortable void which a normal person would usually have filled with thoughts.
A couple of days ago I left work early. After a 35 minute period, of which almost 30 of those minutes involved an assault from all directions by nonsense, I had to call it a day.
"Enlightened" cultures value silence and meditation, and see their importance for both mental and spiritual health.
We are so screwed.
It's friggin' annoying, and a bit frightening.