Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wordfuse (Misunderstood Edition?)

I'm talkative. Often gregarious. I work with people. I am a leader in a variety of ways. I can speak publicly. I want to make you laugh. I'm assertive. I'm not afraid to express my point of view. Sometimes I don't even know when to shut up. I'm social. I have a minor in Drama. I even dress up for Halloween.

But more than all of this I am truly an introvert.

Although I hadn't yet learned the word, I absolutely knew this when I was a child. My hiding place was the roof of our house in Saskatchewan, one particular nook where I could disappear. I found it so comfortable there. You'd be surprised how rarely people look up. It was perfect for an introvert like me: hiding in plain view. In the middle of things yet not.

As much as I loved being alone then (still do), immersed in my imagination (still do), my thoughts morphing like clouds (still do), I wanted intimacy too. Still do. I crave it. People don't understand this about introverts. So I became an extrovert. And thank goodness I developed a lot of very useful people skills over the years even if it was exhausting.

But I don't play those games much anymore. And when I do I feel sort of fake. So I smile. Step back into the crowd, out of the light (onto the rooftop). Be standofftothesideish, not standoffish. Nor aloof. Or snobby. Please don't think that about me ever. I hate snobs. I detest pretension. It's just that now, in social situations, I know I'm not going to become friends with everyone. And I don't want to. And I certainly don't want to be the center of attention. Even so, I still want to know you.

Extroverts siphon their energy from others. If they don't have those sorts of opportunities for a while, they become bored, anxious, even angry. At least this is how it seems to me based on the three extroverts I love and live with. (Well maybe one of them is a little like me?) I am the opposite. Yet I must remember this about them, be understanding. At the same time though, I hope they don't forget about me because although I may not be outgoing, I am certainly ingoing.


Alistair said...

Y'know dbs, we could be related.

This says much about me too - as does one of my favourite tracks from one of my favourite bands - in ways perhaps only us who're 'not going out/not going in' will understand.

It's hard to sometimes be looked at and not seen or listened to and not heard and yet honestly not wanting to be the center but just a part. Hard too when that is starkley contrasted by the professional and personal personas we occupy every day.


Why do you have to make me think on a rainy day like today when I just want to sit by the window, headphones on and read a book for a couple of hours accompanied by the birds at the window feeder?


michael.offworld said...

Brilliant description of the way things are (for many of us) and showing that it's OK to be this way (an observer). I did a little drama too and experimented with film production for a while, but I really dislike that kind of working with others. I would much rather watch. What I find most interesting about our personality type is the approach/avoidance quality that underlies it.

DB Stewart said...

@Alistair I thought you would get this.
@Michael I thought you might get this too.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hello, fellow introvert! It's true that one must learn how to pass as an extrovert in the wide world. Extroverts think we're one of them but we're not. We're like spies or international persons of mystery.

karensomethingorother said...

Damn but I love that song. I completely relate to being an introvert. Extroverts can never relate to introverts, and often conclude they are "weird." I like my time alone, and I CRAVE IT on a regular basis, but you are right about craving intimacy. What a conundrum.

Sub Radar (Mike) said...

I feel for you, I am EXACTLY the same way. Us bloggers must be cut from the same cloth.

Fran Hill said...

I can relate to that. I think most people are a bit of a mixture in the end.

Antares Cryptos said...

Introverted extrovert, extroverted introvert.

Bloody labels.

Thank goodness for blogs;)

Windsmoke. said...

You and me both :-).

Alittlesprite said...

I am totally this, and Hubby and son are the opposite. Can relate to your post :)

Penny P.S. and A Residence said...

Stumbled here via Less than perfect who gave you a Liebster. I have drama degree and taught drama. I think I am borderline extrovert, for me getting the idea that intovert/extrovert is not about how 'confident' you are and more about where you get your energy from helped me hugely in life. Lovely post.

Mel said...

I knew there was a reason I liked you so much. I am just the same. My childhood hiding spot was out in the barn where I could hang with the animals. I have developed great coping skills over the years and most people who meet me would not agree that I am an introvert. But anyone who actually KNOWS me could tell differntly.

DB Stewart said...

@DSWS International persons of mystery? I like that.
@karen The song does say it well.
@SRMike No wonder we love to blog.
@Fran Quite true.
@AC Good point. And yes.
@Windsmoke I hear you.
@sprite I knew you'd understand. Living with extroverts can be challenging sometimes.
@TheAR Thank you. And thank you for sharing that.
@Mel Thank you so much for saying that. And ditto.

Munk said...

We do think alike.
I think I'll put this post on the back of my card.

Suze said...

One of my favorite songs, thanks for linking it.

I have always straddled the intro-extroversion rift and believe, for one reason, that I am truly an introvert despite my deep love of people and need to connect.

Being around lots of people for a sustained amount of time makes me very ... very .... very tired.

Cool post.


Anonymous said...

I am exactly that kind of introvert. Extraintrovert. ha. So glad Munk's blog headed me back here to read this.

Katie @ Chicken Noodle Gravy said...

What a great post. I'm an introvert as well, but I also possess many of the qualities you describe in the first paragraph. I guess it's possible to be a little of both, huh?

Seriously, great post. And thanks for linking up with The Lightning and the Lightning Bug. Hope to see you again!

The Defiant Marshmallow said...

I somehow missed this post originally. So glad you put it in your seven posts from your prestigious award win.

You could be describing me here.

Love this post.

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