/TO ANYONE I MIGHT HAVE OPENED TO,
Yes, I dare to call you a friend because for introverts it is scarce that we ever confide to people that are not our friends. Perhaps we have known each other for years. If not for many years, we must have felt absolutely free from pressure from our very first instants together. In both cases, it is rare for us to come across people like you. People we almost instantly click with. Therefore, this makes it a precious relationship for us.
And so I opened up to you.
I shared with you my feelings, my thoughts and my dreams too. You are a lucky one. You are one of the very few to know them, perhaps only few of them but still. When we met, I never thought I would ever be giving to you some of the most intimate parts of myself. Somewhere along the way, without me noticing, a fence broke. Pressure, wherever it comes from, vanished. I broke free. It most-likely happened after hour-long conversations. Deep, intimate discussions, the ones I thought I would never have. We may have shared them on the internet, nonetheless they were still as meaningful to me. However, if we conversed face to face, know that my efforts were fruitful and my act was even braver. Letting my everyday mask, the one that keeps me from fears and rejection, fade was arduous. Almost instinctually, I decided to unveil my true and most authentic self in front of you.
After those exchanges, I have felt a sense of relief. I was freed from the burden of my thoughts only existing in my head and now I knew I had people to confide in, even if ‘people’ meant only one person. Being myself was exhilarating. All of my doubts and fears and questions could now be asked, shared with someone I could trust. If I gave you a piece of these, I did it willingly and optimistically. It took time but I eventually did. Some of these things I wouldn’t even be able to tell members of my own family. And yet, I told you because with you I felt understood. I wouldn’t walk into the lion’s den that easily. But I found something in you, you must have found something in me too. It appears we were on the same page.
If you are one of those who has succeeded in opening the heart of an introvert, you’re a lucky one. You’re one of the few who will ever enter their heart. Because trust takes time, and introverts require even more patience. You did it and there is no going back, neither for you nor for the introvert who confided to you. You must now hold what you’ve been given as if it was delicate china. You’ve ben given feelings and thoughts that are hardly shareable for introverts. You’re holding a treasure within your hands.
Quarrels and conflicts can easily shatter it. If your introverted friend has told you about their love interest, do not call their name during disputes. Do not disclose their innermost thoughts in public for the sake of winning an argument. Do not gossip about their feelings in the school playground. Do not throw jokes about their confessions in public. Some of their thoughts, such as their dreams, might seem trivial to you, but disclosing them to the whole crowd is daunting to them for a bunch of reasons. As a friend, you shall respect their privacy. You shall understand the comfort they find in hiding to some extent. You shall accept the friend who is ‘too’ reserved to tell you about their struggles.
By releasing their truth, you’re taking their place. They have given you a part of them and you played with it. You shattered a part of their world. You broke their trust and the damage is done. You may be an introvert too, but to some extent you’re more inclined to sharing bits of yourself with your circle of friends, and this more openly. As an extrovert, you probably do not feel that way. But however similar you are to that introverted friend, you shall accept them for who they truly are and respect them in every way possible, starting from their personality.
Introverts are people who have built up fences all the way around their heart, with life’s add-on of wariness or not. It may take months or years to let one single person in. They will observe you, they will get to know you, they may even test you. Yet, they will never let you know the real ‘me’ right away. This is their nature. But somehow, anyhow, you entered the castle. You should be warned. Anyone who enters the castle must be aware that hardly anything can come out of this place. When an introvert opens up to you, the mere action of confessing is a pact made between you and them. Do not undermine that covenant. They give you their trust and the key to their heart. And that is the most precious gift an introvert can ever offer you.