TODAY’S feature is undoubtedly the most ironic piece I’ve written…in fact, it’s the most ironic thing I’ve seen in a long time, because you see, I placed a spotlight on someone who absolutely loathes the spotlight, so that he could talk about misunderstood people like himself who loathes the spotlight.
Pierre Chester is a Professional Videographer from the community of TiRocher, Castries, who is one of the most reserved individuals you would ever come across, due to the fact that he is an introvert. In fact, he calls himself a “lone wolf”.
Now don’t get that twisted with him being a sociopath or even a weird loner. No, Chester is a gentle and lovable guy who likes doing things that normal people do, but just slightly different, because of course, normal is boring.
It might surprise you to know that this personality trait is a major talking point, because this group of individuals are so commonly misunderstood that they are usually left with only two options in life…pretend to be like everyone else and feel drained and miserable, or be themselves and be ostracised.
Although in recent years, there has been an abundance in readily available information about this personality trait and how the people who possess it should be treated, the fact that this matter is mostly overlooked, leaves introverts with the task of explaining themselves all the time…which is mentally draining and frustrating to them.
Today, Chester explains it all one more time with hopes that people could have a clearer understanding of him and others like him.
The VOICE: Personality wise, you are very introverted. Many people misconstrue that term, but I would like you to clear the air. What does the term “introvert” mean, and what is life like with this personality?
Chester: To me, being an introvert means keeping to yourself and enjoying extended periods of time with your own company. I’m like that in truth but I also enjoy being in other people’s company doing things we both enjoy, whether it be partying, going to the beach or just talking about life. I don’t talk much because people either misunderstand what I’m saying (and I really don’t like explaining myself) or they take offense. Also, talking to extroverts at times can be draining, especially if they experienced my outgoing side before, because they expect me to be like that all the time. Being around too many extroverts is draining for me. I already have a mind that won’t shut up because I think a lot, and to have voices outside doing the same is tiring. I really need to be in a very good mood to handle those types of scenarios. Life on a daily basis is troublesome for me because once I wake up, I’m around people (my family), then at work, I’m around more people, and if I have to go on a shoot, then it’s double or even triple the amount of people. Then when I get back home, I’m with people (my family again)…at the end of the day, I’m super tired just from being around so many people. I try to take some time for myself and recharge my batteries, but that’s a rare privilege. As far as expressing myself, I tend to do that in private since the society we live in is predominantly extroverted and judgmental, so most people just write me off as weird, but I’m good with that. I do things differently so I expect that.
The VOICE: From what age did you display this personality?
Chester: As far as I can remember, it was from when I entered secondary school. It was an overwhelming experience for me being the only child from my class passing for Castries Comprehensive from my community primary school…none of my friends were there anymore, I was by myself. I got used to my little bubble in TiRocher, and it suddenly popped as I got to secondary school. It was a real fish out of water vibe.
The VOICE: Bubble you say? What was your early childhood like then?
Chester: Well I lived like two minutes from school so I never went anywhere else besides town with my parents or with the school. Life was really good back then…all that was on my mind was “play”. Everyday I woke up thinking “what game should I play today?” I did a lot of reckless things but at the time it was all fun and games. Even fighting was play for me, even though there were many tears at times. It was all good.
The VOICE: As an adult, I can’t picture you being reckless and getting into fights, but I can imagine that this is just another common misconception. How do you handle and express your emotions…especially anger?
Chester: I usually just bottle it up and let it kill me (laughs) joking…partially…I try to control my emotions especially my anger. I control my anger maybe too much to the point of suppressing it and it sometimes come out as sarcasm or I try to analyze it so that I don’t come across as a know it all. I always felt that I knew better than to resort to violence so I always try to keep the peace instead because I know the thoughts that enter my head when I’m angry…and they aren’t pleasant at all. (Laughs)
The VOICE: Yeah, but have you gotten into any fights…verbal or physical in your adult years? If so, how did it all go down?
Chester: I have gotten into a few fights in my adult life, but not many…my last physical fight, I got rid of my bottled up frustrations on a guy for messing with my things, but I’d rather not go into details about it because I went overboard. But let’s just say I wasn’t the person I’m known to be.
The VOICE: WOW, Ok! Moving right along, as you mentioned earlier, you are generally quiet. I know this is usually mistaken for being anti-social, but introverts have their moments when you can’t get them to shut up. Clear the air on that one for me please.
Chester: Well, you see it’s all about preferences. Most things people care about I, really don’t. Is the earth flat or round? I really don’t care, so you won’t hold me in a conversation about that. Talk to me about social issues…not politics, and then I’ll get passionate.
The VOICE: But does that apply to any and everyone, or do you only speak up with the people in your “circle”?
Chester: I have to be comfortable around you first before I open up. I can’t do the small talk with strangers.
The VOICE: People who don’t understand, tend to be dismissive and say “snap out of it!” Is this something that one CAN snap out of?
Chester: Nope…it doesn’t work like that. It’s like telling a dog to be a cat. Of course with practice the dog could “pretend” to be a cat but it could never actually be one. It’s a whole system change. I would have to die and reincarnate.
The VOICE: So what would you say to people who might see you in a crowd and would want to approach you, but might feel intimidated?
Chester: Nah, don’t approach me (laughs) joking. Just walk up and introduce yourself, but come real. Don’t pretend to know me like we’re buddies, because I’ve had a few people just start talking to me like we were friends from times and yeah…that’s some weird movements
The VOICE: And I take it the wall goes up and the misconception of you being rude or antisocial is formed?
Chester: Exactly…even though we might be on the same wavelength, just be courteous and introduce yourself. I don’t know everyone’s intention
The VOICE: I know you’ve probably explained this hundreds of times before, but what would you like to say to the people out there who have misunderstood you in the past, as well as to those who might misunderstand you in the future, to get them to understand you better and perhaps even lead to good relationships between you and them?
Chester: I have nothing to say to them really. If you truly want to understand me, you will, if you don’t, then you won’t.