Thursday, August 27, 2015

Be a 'Vert - We Need More 'Verts!

Talking with Cute Shoes recently, she was dreading some upcoming events and saying "I am such an introvert."

Knowing what a charming and successful woman CS is, and having been friends with her now for a few years, I was drawn up short at the assertion she is an introvert; I know few people who can better handle others, and I know too how confident she is in managing them when it is called for. But, thinking about it, I understood what she meant.

It's a bit like me and math. I was good at it as a student (current status - unknown), but good lordy did I hate it.

Social situations can be the same.

And, as much as some people who know me - and don't - will smirk at the idea, I am a default introvert myself.

Put me in a situation with people, I do well; I trained at the knee of my mother, a woman with the most remarkable *memory* for other people's lives I have ever seen, but also open and eager and extremely interested in making connections with others. And yet - at bottom, my mom is not actually confident. She is at times not unlike the nervous little girl I remember being; standing before the door of a friend's house, wanting them to come out and play, yet finding the doorbell suddenly overwhelming.

But take away other people, give me no daily schedule of discipline - office, errands, and so forth - and I'd scarcely ever leave my house.

My default operational status is "Sit. Stay." I quite love people. I even enjoy being sociable.

But, given no specific motivation to be among them? I will not be. I'll be home with Penelope and Gossamer.

Being "on" with others can be strangely physically exhausting. I come home from the Conference most years with a migraine, and a major area of stress for me with The Big Meeting recently was the need to be in the front of the room so much, even if I wasn't a speaker. To work with the hotel, to field questions and issues, to confer with executives on issues and practicalities.

Extroversion is exciting, it's rewarding. It can be fun, it can be surprising.

It's invariably exhausting, for some of us.

I'm not sure whether I can identify where on the spectrum of INTROVERT <---------------------> EXTROVERT I actually lie. Perhaps it varies; a sine wave of energy versus hermit-ly resting.

Are you more one than the other? Are you both, depending upon circumstances? Or are you both, but sometimes circumstances don't quite match your level of social energy as you wish it would ... ?


Donnaeve said...

On that scale? Dip it BELOW Introvert. Much like you, without the need for having to run errands, visiting Mom (every Monday) or having to meet certain social obligations simply to assure people we ARE living and breathing, I'd stay home.

For instance, last night I ran out to get fried flounder plates for us to eat for dinner. When I went out to my vehicle, I realized it was the first time I'd started it and drove in well over a week. I mean, I'd been NO WHERE but in front of the computer, upstairs, downstairs and outside onto the porches.

Like you, I'm socially capable and able to hang with the best of them. I chatter, and laugh and cut up. I participate in conversations. I ask questions. I ENGAGE. When it's all over? I'm done. I want to be at home, can't wait to get there, and have been borderline rude when ready to go.

This is partly why I hate fall/winter. SO MANY SOCIAL engagements to deal with. Book club starts back up. Cotillion business meeting and events. Thanksgiving. Christmas. The need to visit. UGH.

DLM said...

Heh - I suppose I have the advantage of you, being a biddy. ;) The demands for me as a divorced old girl with no children are perhaps easier!

Donnaeve said...

Ha, biddy! So funny. Yeah, if I weren't married, I would quit Cotillion, and anything else that required me to "go out." I USED to be a social butterfly, back in the day. I'd even go out on my own to a night club. Now? You couldn't pay me.