How Introverts Wind Up in Awkward Situations

This is kind of a no brainer, but it’s something I realized from an incredibly awkward and ridiculous situation that I experienced last week.

Now, on a normal day, none of this would have happened. It only happened because a set of things that don’t usually happen happened all at the same time (isn’t that the way of things?). I woke up late on Friday. Not so late that I was already late for work, but late enough that I needed to hurry in order to arrive on time. So I skipped breakfast. Now, my dermatologist has me taking an antibiotic for acne. I’m supposed to take it with food (the pharmacist says not to take it near dairy, but the dermatologist told me to ignore the pharmacist, so…), and I normally take it right as I’m leaving for work after I’ve had my bowl of cereal. Friday, I skipped breakfast, but didn’t skip my pill. I had a bag of almonds at work which I was planning on munching on as soon as I got to work.

About 15 minutes later, I had arrived at work, clocked in, got myself situated, and was about to sit down to eat my almondy breakfast when my boss walks by, asking me to help her in the store. The lady who was running the store had torn up the lining of her stomach by taking some medicine and was, in general, feeling rather miserable and needed help. I thought that it wouldn’t take very long and I could get back and eat in a few minutes, and I still felt normal, so I didn’t say anything and followed my boss.

I quickly realized that it didn’t matter how long this was going to take, I had already passed the time I needed to eat by. As we were walking up to the store, my stomach started getting queezy and was telling me in no uncertain terms that something was wrong.

So I told myself, and no one else, “This is all your own fault so you’re just going to have to weather through it. If you hadn’t stayed up late last night you wouldn’t have overslept and you would have eaten breakfast and this wouldn’t be happening.” Basically, I felt guilty that I felt bad. Unfortunately, “weathering through it” wasn’t going to be an option that time.

And that’s how, not five minutes from the time I left my desk to help out at the store, I was so dizzy I felt like I was going to pass out and I was throwing up in a trashcan—and the sick person I’d been sent to help was helping me. And all I could think at the time is how absurd it all was.

One of my bosses told me that I should have said something about not having had breakfast before this and that I should never sacrifice myself for the job. Well.. I wasn’t trying to. I legitimately had no idea how I would react to not having breakfast with my antibiotic, nor did I know how fast the reaction would take. I didn’t say anything because I honestly didn’t think it was all that important at the time, and when I realized that it might be important, I felt more guilty for feeling bad than anything else, so I still didn’t say anything.

So introverts get into awkward situations by not saying anything about things that they think aren’t all that important and by still not saying anything because they felt guilty for not saying anything before it became very important.

And now I know exactly what happens if I take my antibiotic on an empty stomach.

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