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Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Introvert Advantage

I am in the middle of reading "The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World" by Marti Olsen Laney.

It caught my eye when I was browsing Pathfinders bookshop. The blurb on the back caught my eye:

"Do you 'zone out' if too much is going on? Are you energized by spending time alone? In meetings, so you need to be asked for your opinions and ideas?..."

Hey that sounds like me! So I bought it.

The blurb on the back also said "Filled with Aha! moments." And that has been so true.

For example, I have always wondered why sometimes I adore parties, and other times they just make me feel all shaky and sick and why sometimes I have to go find an empty room, or a desk to hide under (yes, hiding in a dark room under a desk makes me feel so much better when everything gets too much). However this behaviour makes me feel very unsociable.

Even though I really want to be at most social gatherings I sometimes "zone out", "run away", "avoid chitchat" even though I DO like people and am NOT shy.

I always thought there was something wrong with me, and that I needed to fix whatever it is that was wrong. But this book has made me think maybe there's nothing wrong with me at all. I am just introverted and 90% of the time hanging out with people is just energy draining, no matter how much I enjoy the people and the socialising.

Anyway, back to the book...I will report in more detail later.


You know something strange about life?

We crave for the things that make us uncomfortable sometimes..
Like - I crave for crowds sometimes even though I get very claustrophobic in them... I crave for the company of someone even though I know he/she doesn't want to be with me..
Humans as a lot are very introverted.. and then some of us adapt to be extroverted... some overly introverted.. and there are some like me who have moments of introversion and extroversion!
Mieasha, that's an interesting observation. I hadn't thought about it like that!

I think we all have moments of extroversion and introversion. It's just people are more biased to one than the other.

I'm usually more on the introverted side, but I can be quite extroverted IF I have had more than enough alone time. The less time and space I have to myself the more introverted I get and the grumpier and anstier I get.
I'm definitely the introvert as well. I've read a number of articles about it, and the description fits me pretty well.

It's funny, there was a situation recently, where I was invited out to drinks for an evening after work, and I was so glad to have been invited, that I completely forgot how I loathe large social situations, especially groups of people at a loud bar. About five minutes into things, I realized I had to find a way to leave without looking foolish.

I like hanging and conversing with any of the people who were there in smallish groups, but combine all of them, a loud bar, drinks and dancing and "mingling", and I just couldn't wait to get out.

Did you enjoy the bar outing at all?
The bar outing is what I had to get away from. I was with a bunch of people I mostly enjoy being with in different settings, and I was just miserable. I stuck it out for about two hours before I made a lame excuse and took off...
Two hours is a long time!

Unless I am with close friends AND it is not too crowded I usually bail from bars after around 5 minutes to one hour.

Quite frequently I have to leave before the thing that I paid money to go see starts.
Oh, if I were going to actually *see* something, and it were something I was interested in, I can easily stay for the whole thing. It's the whole social interaction in the loud bar setting which makes me tense and uneasy.

And I only stuck it out as long as I did to put a good face on it.
Ah, and here's the introvert link I was looking for earlier:


Describes me pretty well. Not anti-social, enjoy talking with people, have a hard time with "small talk", have a hard time with large social group settings...
That is a really good article.
I don't believe in 'introversion'. It's just a word to describe how a person acts at one point in their life. It shouldn't be used as an excuse not to extend your social skill sets.
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