Monday, October 10, 2016

Extroverts


If you're a regular reader here, you know I'm an introvert.  Not only that, I'm terminally shy and socially anxious.  Making me a real introvert's introvert.  I love quiet mornings alone.  Self check out lanes in stores.  Quiet afternoons alone.  Avoiding phone calls and group texts.  (Basically, anything that contains the word 'group' in it, like groupthink, is just too social for me.)  Quiet evenings alone.  And cancelled parties.  It's not that I don't love people.  Because, I do.  I really do.

 It's just that I'm really awesome company for me.  

I don't mean to be braggadocious or anything.  But, I know exactly what I like.  And I don't need to compromise or explain myself.  Because both of those things involve talking which I'm not good at. But, I'm really good at giving myself what I need.  Which is alone time.  And if I store up enough reserves of me time, I can socialize and come off as one standard deviation from the norm instead of two.  Maybe I'm overselling myself here.  I can't say, because unlike an extrovert,  I can't get out of my own head to see myself from the outside.

Because extroverts have super powers.

I'm not going to lie, I used to think that they were just super needy wind bags.  With all their talking and needing to be the center of attention.  Which don't get me wrong, I loved and still do because it takes the pressure off of me.  But, I just didn't understand them at all.  Until I had a kid who's an extrovert.  

He's almost the exact opposite of me in every way.  He loves to talk to people.  After a long day at work, he'd love to go to a party to talk to even more people.  Is there an after party?  Cause he'd totally go to that too.  Because being around people energizes him.  So does solving problems.  He's so assertive he tries to solve problems we don't even have.  Whereas, I over think so much I can't even solve my own.  

Extroverts have charm. 

Not that introverts don't.  Because we do.  We really do.  It's just that it may take years for you to see it because we're more guarded.  And because we keep cancelling out on parties where there'd actually be an opportunity for you to see our quiet, understated charisma.  The difference is that the extrovert's charm is so much more accessible.  Which is a huge advantage in American culture where the population is fluent in extrovertism.  I would say I'm jealous.  And in some ways I wish I was an extrovert.  Specifically to feel more easily understood.  Except, it exhausts me just to think about extroverting.

So, I'm content being the mother of an extrovert.
 Quietly watching from the sidelines.
Most likely with a book.



5 comments:

Lucy PH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucy PH said...

As a fellow introvert with an extroverted step-son, I hear you. Oh my it's exhausting sometimes - enjoy that book! 😉 x

Nasreen Iqbal said...

This is a great post.

It was a huge relief to me when I read about introverts. Before that, I thought I was just a weird recluse. Reading the description - about how introverts CAN go out and be sociable, but are probably outside their comfort zones and require some solitude to recharge the batteries - actually helped me accept this aspect of myself.

Not that there's anything wrong with extroverts like your son...

Oons Grace said...

My older daughter is also an extrovert. My husband says he is an introvert but I'm not so sure. He enjoys being in a group but also likes his own time. I love one on ones with other people but tend to get quiet the bigger the group gets. It is a very interesting topic. I moved to San Francisco from Singapore and given the differences in both societies, I was seen more as an extrovert there - as compared to Singaporeans but I am definitely seen as more of an introvert here - when you compare me to Americans.

Marie Loerzel said...

@Lucy-Kids are just plain exhausting!
@Nasreen-I thought I was just weird too. For years. Decades even!
@Oons-America is chock full o' extroverts, which makes it even harder to be understood as an introvert here.

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