After only one episode of Very British Problems I've realized I must be British. MY PEOPLE! Come! Let us cancel dinner plans and sit awkwardly in our separate homes together!
Further proof? My deep-seated adoration of The Great British Bake-Off, Sherlock, and afternoon tea and biscuits. (Because "biscuits" are COOKIES, you guys. Awww yeah.)
If you've never seen the show, or read the book or Twitter feed, here's a small sampling of Very British Problems:
I think you could almost make the case - as I'm about to - that it'd be more accurate to call the show Very Introverted Problems, since we introverts tend to be the black-belt level gurus of social awkwardness. I find it fascinating that an entire nation might identify so strongly with the things I've always figured made me a weirdo. I mean, here in the U.S. bold, chatty extroverts are always shown as the ideal, so it's refreshing to be reminded that's only a cultural standard, not a universal one. (If you're curious about this, check out one of the most impactful books I've ever read: The Introvert Advantage. Total perspective shift.)
There seems to be a higher percentage of socially awkward introverts in geekdom, possibly because instead of being out at bars or parties, we're home binge-watching Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. (Which I just did, and which I *highly* recommend.) (The book is also fab.)
Obviously there are still loads of geeky extroverts among us, which is amazing, since they're the ones introducing us to each other. And filling the awkward silences. And cajoling us to go to that con and meet that actor and stay out just a little too late. Many - if not most - of my dearest friends are extroverts. They stretch my comfort zones in the best possible ways, give me courage, distract me from my panicky times, and don't hold it against me too much when I cancel last minute because I just need to go home and be quiet now.
If this post has a point, it's this: America and our media tends to make introverts feel outnumbered, unnatural, and like we need to change to be "better." To borrow from my newfound homeland, that is total bollocks.
I say, learn who you are, get comfortable with your nature and your process, and find ways to be your best, happiest you. Do what works. Learn how to communicate your needs. And when you need some encouragement after a particularly draining day, go watch Very British Problems. It'll remind you you're not alone, because we are all here for you. In a virtual sense, of course. Because it's been a long day and we're all a bit pooped and maybe we could try again for next week? Yeah. Like that.
(You can find Very British Problems - as well as Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell - on Netflix streaming.)