July 25, 2013 at 1:10 am #9986bixyParticipant
Are you an introvert? Not sure what it even means to be an introvert? Hint – it’s not what most people think.
One of the most liberating books I’ve ever read is a book called
by Susan Cain. If you’ve always felt a bit like you didn’t belong or didn’t get what all the fuss was about (if you’re an introvert, you’ll know what I mean), this book might be up your alley.
I’ve struggled my whole adult life (now 37) wondering why the hell I just didn’t get what made others tick. I realised that I learned very early in childhood how to fake being an extrovert, but this probably only led to a lot of confusion in my life over the years, as I figured since if I was so outgoing, why would I usually reach the end of a social night out wanting everyone to just shut the f**k up already with their mindless babble, and wish I was at home in bed reading a book?
Reading this book I was laughing out loud at a number of points, and it really did lift a massive weight off my shoulders as it made me realise that no, I am not freakin weird (well maybe I am, but for different reasons), I am just wired differently, which I always suspected.
Anyone else here read it, or as an introvert have the same sort of a-ha moment at some point in their life?July 30, 2013 at 12:55 am #10440mighty mParticipant
I just noticed no one commented here! But as an introvert, perhaps that didn’t bother you? :) Haven’t read the book but heard a lot of stories about it on NPR and so on.
I’m an extrovert, but have some strong introvert tendencies, too. I’m often worried about overtaxing true introverts I work closely with, or, in the past, have lived with, because I do really enjoy conversation.
What do you think of this idea: I’ve often thought introverts and extroverts who spend a lot of time together should suggest we agree on a “safe word.” Here’s how it would work: If my sociability is becoming fatiguing, they don’t have to hem and haw and awkwardly try to find a polite way to end the interaction, they can just say, “artichokes” or “Studebaker” or whatever. And I would know it was the introvert’s call of nature, and not something to get hurt feelings over.July 30, 2013 at 1:20 am #10447bixyParticipant
Ha ha that’s a great idea! I don’t need it myself because I’m not shy (these days when I reach the point that I need silence I just make some excuse for leaving and away I go), but there are a lot of shy introverts out there who could use this.
In my experience it’s not that common that an extrovert even believes in the whole introversion / extroversion thing, never mind is conscious of it, so kudos to you for your concern for the other half (or other quarter, as it seems to be).August 1, 2013 at 12:13 am #10648RobModerator
@mighty m- I used to date someone who didn’t have quite the same socializing preferences as me, and we talked about ‘split pea soup’ as a code for “Let’s rein it in- I need to bust this joint.”
Never tested it much, but I think that’s a great idea.August 2, 2013 at 7:18 pm #10785
I feel your pain. I was married to an extrovert for almost 25 years. It wasn’t till we started geeking out on personality typing that we started to understand some of the problems we had, and then we broke up. Not that I think that being with another introvert is necessarily the answer, just tried that. Anyway, even reading about it and “understanding” it better couldn’t make my ex adapt to my world. She just couldn’t, it’s not in her nature. Since we are in the minority, it really does seem pretty hopeless to get extroverts to understand us. Parties and most other social gatherings are pretty bad, because the point is usually to be extroverted. Alcohol can help sometimes. Generally I feel depressed and let down after parties, even if they were sort of fun, even mine when they go well. It’s not that I’d rather be at home reading a book,it’s more like I’d just rather do that than be in a room with a bunch of extroverts who’s whole point for being there is to be MORE extroverted! I like connecting with people and talking and even goofing off sometimes, but most social interactions leave me exhausted, and I’m classically better in small groups. I’m usually the one at the party helping clean up or walking around outside looking for a project. I just heard the escape route tip somewhere, as in have a planned escape route from social functions so you don’t have to stress about it. Good tip.
My aha moment was reading some book about personality typing, which just helped the pieces that I mostly already knew fall into place. I don’t try to hide it, or adapt much, which causes some problems, but mostly for other people who are trying to figure out if I like them or hate them or what. I have terrible social skills. I’ll check out the book. I’m sure I could use some help dealing with it or understanding it better. I try not to paint myself or anyone else too far into a corner with the various labels. They are helpful as a lens through which to see the world that can shed some light, but all those categories and labels are just inadequate symbols, not real things that can really explain our lives, how we got here and where we’re headed.. or for that matter our potential to be otherwise. It has been helpful for me though, if not in relationships, at least in finding more peace with some of it.August 3, 2013 at 4:33 am #10796
Me too. Social occasions are hard work and drain me. I watch the extroverts visibly pump up with energy as the evening progresses, while I just wear out -fast. About the party babble – if I force myself to chat away, after an hour or two my tongue feels kind of loose and swollen in my mouth and I spout near-meaningless twaddle. When I’m really tired I can’t speak at all, the words form but I can’t get them out. It was like that when I had chronic fatigue. For years. Now I can get something out but it’s frustratingly meaningless and near incoherent! And I don’t even drink!August 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm #10805
@sue I also get physical symptoms from talking too much. It’s a real strain. I teach sometimes, and after a long day of talking, actually even after lecturing for an hour, I’m totally wiped out. My voice gets thin and weak pretty fast, my throat feels funny, and I feel agitated, physically drained and so ready to be done.
I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue too. I think it’s a bullshit diagnosis, but sometimes any diagnosis can be a relief. I prefer the Lyme diagnosis since, for me, it can be traced to an infective event and has at least a known “causative” agent. I think it’s likely though that many people can be exposed to even fairly virulent disease organisms and be basically healthy and fine, while others of us head into a downward spiral. Why that is seems like the best question to be asking right now. Our disease (whatever gremlins are running around inside us) may actually be susceptibility more than anything else. That’s not to totally dis’ the germ theory. Obviously if we are infected with very virulent disease causing organisms, many of us will get sick. I’m just saying that organisms alone probably can’t be blamed for a lot of chronic illness. I can usually communicate, but not always easily. I have frequently had difficulty finding and forming words, and with stuttering and slurring, dropping words, and stuff like that. I get in this certain state where I’m like that, usually associated with muscle weakness, ataxia and generally poor coordination… knocking stuff over, stumbling, jerky movements, limb twitches etc… I always figured it was neurological. I haven’t had those symptoms in a while but I still have a lot of hearing sensitivity that I’m pretty sure is neurological in nature. Hopefully my body will take all these calories and do something to fix those problems.August 3, 2013 at 7:48 pm #10815
Ok, I’m going to a party tonight. My escape card is that I’m tired, I hate everybody and I’m probably not going to get laid anyway.August 4, 2013 at 9:14 am #10833
I’m hearing sensitive too, very. scents, too. I also got a chronic infection diagnosis (rickettsia) and treatment, which helped a lot but not entirely and yes I do think there is something to it. But the doc herself admitted there was something else underlying it that made some people get it and others not. I pondered that for years, and now I think that it is a constitutional weakness like low metab. In my case I also suspect a long term somewhat unhappy liver, having been asked years ago by another doc if I was an alcoholic due to liver enzymes! (I drink almost nothing, because guess what my liver hates it and I get hangover symptoms with the 2nd drink, and 90% time don’t even want 1 let alone 2 or more.)
I’m feeling a lot better liver-wise on eggs, chicken liver pate and dandelion tea by the way. And whatever else I can do to handle estrogen, which in my case is milky sweet coffee, and progesterone cream for now. Also Steven I read one of your posts in I think the exercise section and other than wondering where the guinea fowl came from (!) I recognized many of my same symptoms but couldn’t reply at the time.So just in case it helps and if I recall this one correctly: aching feet and ankles has been a big one for me. I think it’s meant to be uric acid from too much meat before. It took ages to go but it did go.August 4, 2013 at 4:54 pm #10862
I think rickettsia is probably just another one of those infections that shows up in weak people. If we were healthier we could probably keep it at bay. I think I tested positive for it, but never considered it important and it was treated while treating lyme anyway. The antibiotics help, but most chronic Lyme cases seem to stay chronic, or improve greatly (like me), but can’t ever get all the way out of it. Then again, I did have quite a few issues before I contracted it, so then what is all the way out anyway? Of course I’m hoping metabolic improvement will allow me to leave behind 15 years of moderately to severely debilitating problems. I’ve had trouble with ankles and calves aching before. It seems different now though. Just hoping it’s transient.August 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm #11167
Some good stuff on introversion here: http://elibishop.com/2011/07/27/10-myths-about-introverts/August 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm #11223
Yes to all those points, always wondered why I love the sound of a door closing, leaving me on my own in a silent room. Just got back from a short (careful planning on my part!) lunch with an old, dear friend and a small group of her very nice friends with whom I almost felt relaxed, or as close as I can in a group. And here I am now, irritable and totally frazzled. It was only 2 hours but I’m drained. Yet I could read around the clock if I could find enough worthwhile material, and someone else to live my actual life for me ;)
Thanks for the link!
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