As other introverts will understand immediately, after I’ve charged into the world with some public face on, blogging faithfully for a week, for example, I’m left both exhausted and terrified and I slink back into my den, wrap my tail around my face and try to hibernate off the contact. I use to try to justify this in various ways: I really don’t like people; I’m no good at anything, anyway; why bother when there’s so much else to do.
But that’s all bull and I know it. Truth is: I’m an introvert and while I might love listening to and engaging with others, it’s just really tiring after a time. Like writing, being part of the world is just hard for me.
Given the careers I’ve had so far–and I don’t count out there being even more despite having used up more than my allotted quota in just 60 years–people don’t get it when I express this. “You’ve taught university classes; you’ve owned a business; you’re a teacher of Qi Gong and a personal trainer now. How much more extrovert can you get than that?” But those aren’t extrovert jobs are they? When I’ve done those things, I can fill a very specific role, much like a shy actor can still dominate the stage.
When I stopped blogging a week or so ago, while I was curled up in my den being damned impressed with all the blogs I was reading, I started wondering about how or whether I was odd at all. Are others out there posting because they are wild party extroverts? Or is blogging, whether as brilliantly done as livelysceptic or as minimalistic blather as I, really a safe haven for the introverts of the world? When I read others blogs, I feel “part of the world” in a way I never can standing stupidly at a cocktail party, drink in hand, wishing I still smoked just for something to do with the other hand, trying to think of those pithy questions you are supposed to be asking to draw others out so you can just listen.
Having crawled out of my safe warm fur-lined hole for a moment to ask the question “Are you an introvert or extrovert?” I think it’s time to go back to sleep.
One response to “Back Away From The Keyboard”
Before I’m lost in wondering what you could mean by calling me brilliant 😉 I’d like to jump at the chance to comment on this. I fully understand your point on it being relatively easy to fill a specific role and very hard to participate in a cocktail party. I have the same experience. Have you seen Susan Cain’s TED talk on the power of introverts? This is the link: http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html
She points out our culture undervaluates introverts. And she’s the author of this priceless quote: “There is zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”