Thursday, February 23, 2006

My reassessment of myself

Quickly people. Am I an introvert or extrovert?

Exactly what I would have said. Until recently. Yes, I've had a change of mind. I don't think I can consider myself an extrovert any longer, and I'll tell you why.

When I think of extroverts, I think of people like my father. He's never met a person he hasn't gotten on with. He can make a friend anywhere -- he could even make friends here. Everyone loves him. Everyone wants to be around him. He's so much fun -- the life of the party.

When I think of extroverts, I think of one of my volleyball friends -- Chatty Cathy. Cathy can talk to anyone, about anything, anytime. I had to interrupt one of her conversations during a game by screaming across the court at her, as I was doubled over in pain from my stupid jammed thumb and we needed her. She a right bletherer, as they say here in Scotland. She can have a conversation with a stranger and look like she's known them for years.

When I think of extroverts, I think of people who just naturally get on with others. There is not awkwardness, no pretence. It's not hard for them to do it. They love it, in fact. And they need it.

Well, I'm not like that. At all.

I hate talking to strangers. Boy and I have to do junken-po (otherwise known as Rock, Paper, Scissors) when we both want to find out information from someone cos we both hate to approach people. Oh contraire, you cry. When I first met you, you talked about x, y and z incessantly and very openly. You don't get it. My list of things to talk about when I first meet people is much longer and broader than most others. Talk about previous relationships? Tick. Talk about dysfunctional family members? Of course. (Where do I begin with my brother?) Talk about losing loved ones? Sure, sniff. Talk about the girl-on-girl... just kidding.

I have to mentally prepare myself to meet people, you know. I have to pre-think 'spontaneous' things. All the more proof that can't be extroverted. I know some friends of mine might remember when the first time they met me at the first school at taught at in NC. I had to get with my teachers on my track and make up cheer or song about ourselves. That wild dance and song by me -- what? Do you think that was off-the-cuff? I was meticulously planning that in my head when I found out about that absurd song challenge.

My family has always considered my sister the quiet, introverted one. At her wedding, we were regaling her friends with these stories of her ways, much to their disbelief. The girl they knew was nothing like that. It felt like I was toasting a frickin' stranger at her wedding. The point is we all can get the wrong impression of people sometimes. I got the wrong impression of myself.

Look, I don't know if I even like considering myself an introvert. I did, scarily, enjoy being by myself for the last two days when I was home ill, and resent the Boy (eversoslightly) for pulling me out of the house to see a football match. (Chelsea lost! Result! And worth going out in the end). I couldn't always be alone, though. I like people and like making connections to people. Or maybe I just like entertaining people with my own personal anecdotes and self-centred stories, a la this blog. (And perhaps that's why it's not so popular.)

This could also be me getting older. I'm just not up to dealing with other people's bullshit if I don't have to. (Now the bullshit of family and long-time friends is different; why, I am not too sure.) When I was younger, I wanted friends so badly that I endured unequally-yoked friendships. I don't think I should have to any longer, you know? I'm more willing to be on my own, doing my thang than to do that, something I was scared to do as a youngster.

In the past, I learned that sometimes getting people to look at you is better than not having anyone ever regarding you. I guess I'm now more comfortable sitting or being on my own. The question is, is everyone else?


Anonymous Blakely said...

I think it's more complicated than extrovert/introvert -- I do a pretty good job of getting along with others, but I'm like you -- I often have to psych myself up to do it. And I definitely need "alone time." Plenty of people would call me an extrovert or outgoing, but that's not the whole story. I think as long as you're comfy with your social interactions, that's all that matters!

Friday, 3 March 2006 at 04:50:00 GMT  
Blogger Autumn said...

Yeh. I've realised that those labels are so out of date. Kinda like referring to someone's racial make-up as black or white or whatever else is left over.

Saturday, 4 March 2006 at 08:09:00 GMT  

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