Finally cool

I’ve seen a flurry of articles, memes, and quotes lately about introversion — here’s an example from Pinterest.

introverts

And another one.

introvert too

Introversion sounds so much more cool than “shy,” which is what I knew I was long, long ago when my mother tried to coax me to come in to see some friends who were visiting and I hid around the corner. “Show us your doll,” someone said. I promptly threw it around the corner, into the room, much to my mother’s mortification. I’ve been crossing the street or walking the other way to avoid people ever since. I am terrible at small talk, need my alone time, celebrate a little when social plans (with other than my good friends) get cancelled, screen my calls, and have been told to “cheer up” or asked “what’s wrong?” more times than I can remember. (That also has a new name…”bitchy resting face” or BRF. Seriously, I”m fine, people, I just look this way.)

Once in junior high I made a valiant attempt to be outgoing — talked (to boys!), laughed, joked around. It sort of worked — I think people were shocked I could speak. A “frenemy” (we didn’t know to call them that back then, but it SO applies to junior high girls) basically called me out for “copying” her…”Just because I talk and laugh and am friendly doesn’t mean you should.” She needn’t have worried — I think it lasted about a week.

Now, however, it’s gotten kind of cool to be shy introverted. Introverts are not shy, so we’re now told, we’re just drained by social interaction, not afraid of it. We’re thinkers, listeners, writers (hello). Instead of being a negative, now it’s kind of a positive (or at least neutral). I had to laugh when a health & fitness blog writer I follow — a bundle of manic energy if ever there was one — wrote about how she’s really introverted and prefers to be at home (the woman is NEVER at home, posts pictures of herself doing yoga in bikinis, teaches fitness classes, is a personal trainer, etc. But now it’s a thing to be introverted, so…). Yes, introversion has “arrived.”

introverts 3

The majority of my friends are introverts (my husband is neither introverted nor extroverted, but a nice blend of both). We love each other, love to see each other and spend time together, but are just as happy to stay home. I have one dear friend who’s clearly not one of us. Outgoing, friendly, generous, open, speaks her mind (sometimes to a hilarious fault)…can talk to anyone anywhere and make an instant friend. She reached out to me on my first day of work and we’ve been friends ever since — me and a thousand other people. She is a people magnet. I still want to be her when I grow up, no matter how accepted introversion becomes.

In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy this time in the sun. But don’t sit next to me, please, unless I already know you. Don’t invite me to parties with mostly people I don’t know — well, invite me, but know that it will cause me all kinds of angst. Don’t expect me to chat after a long day, when I’m finally sitting down with my laptop and HGTV. (Yes, I work from home, alone, with the cats. But it is work. Work that regularly requires me to interview people — smart people. Perfect strangers. And sound intelligent. And then write about it intelligently. It’s exhausting.)

But do email me — I love to hear from you. Do talk to me on Facebook — I assure you I read ALL of your posts. Do tell me about your life — I’m a great listener. If you want to, ask me about my life. You might have to ask more than once and probe a little — I don’t like to bore people. Do get to know me — I make a great friend. And I’m a cool person. Finally.

“I think he’s lovely,” said Anne reproachfully. “He is so
very sympathetic. He didn’t mind how much I talked —
he seemed to like it. I felt he was a kindred spirit
as soon as I ever saw him.”
“You’re both queer enough, if that’s what you mean
by kindred spirits,” said Marilla with a sniff.
~ L.M. Montgomery,
Anne of Green Gables

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5 Comments

  1. B. Schmidt said,

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Totally get it. Read an article some years back that gave me a similar feeling of relief. Understanding “introvert” made so many things make sense. And being able to shed the negative/incorrect connotation of “shy” was so freeing. We should start a club — and never have meetings. 🙂

  2. WritingbyEar said,

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Seriously LOL. That’s my kind of club!

  3. pambelieves said,

    Friday, January 30, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    I would also add that you’re kind — you always have a kind word and smile. And, you’re incredibly thoughtful. If being an introvert gave you those traits, then most of us need a little bit more introvertedness. Is that a word?

    • WritingbyEar said,

      Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Thank you, Pam. You made my day! (Apparently, “kind” and “thoughtful” apply to non-introverts, too!)

  4. pawsinsd said,

    Monday, April 6, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I think I’m 51% introvert. I do not like crowds or being shaken about by lots of people. Love writing, sis! But I talk to people on the street walking my dog, or at the supermarket and its counter personnel. Right now I’m enjoying the solitude of finishing our taxes alone, as my husband is off on assignment this week. Thanks as always for your insights and writing. Dee


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