Sunday, October 26, 2014

Don't Stand So Close To Me

What's the difference between being an introvert and being an extrovert

Introversion and extraversion have zero to do with shyness, outgoingness, sociability and the like, and everything to do with how you recharge your batteries. Introverts get off from solitude and personal down time while extroverts are energized by groups and interactions.  

As an 
introvert, it's sometimes easy to forget that when an extrovert engages me in what I'd consider to be a needless conversation—which is anything more personal than 'Sinkhole swallowed up Metro Center' or 'Hey watch out for that chemical spill over there'—they aren't being needy weirdos out to drain my time, energy, or patience, they're simply conducting their energetic equivalent of stopping at the gas station.

Me: Oh god, here comes Carol. Time for another two hour conversation about her awful life. Dear Lord, let her skin rash have cleared up. "Carol, Hi."

Carol: I'm a terrible person! You're strange for not wanting to hang out with me! "Hey, does this rash look weird to you?" 

And in fairness to Carol, for someone who not only needs, but also truly enjoys socially engaging, talking to a cranky introvert would be like torture.  
Deby: I hate people. I can't use my words. "Carol, Hi."

Carol: Oh god, there's Deby. I have to talk to her we work together, and I hear she's getting promoted. Shit, what do I say to her, she barely responds. Fuck, it's not like talking to me for ten minutes will kill her. Should I mention my rash? Why would I even think that? Don't mention your rash! "Hey, does this rash look weird to you?" 

But, as Susan Cain notes, it's an extrovert's world. So with the deck stacked against us, introverts shouldn't feel ashamed if they need to use The Police's immoral words, don't stand so close to me.

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