Watching the Extroverts

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As previously mentioned, I’m on vacation and we are staying at a large hotel with a beach and a pool.  The spouse and I have different sleeping habits so I tend to have several hours in the morning by myself.  For an introvert, this can be good and bad. I get my precious alone time but it gives me way too much time to get into some thoughts. 

Our room overlooks the pool so I can watch the interactions below me. I see the extroverts – chatting with the staff, talking and laughing with each other and I wonder why it is so easy for them and so difficult for me. There is the morning ritual of staking out the best spots but the extroverts have already handled that because they’ve made friends with the staff.  Even in a place where people are there to serve, striking up a conversation seems so alien to me.  

I’m comfortable with who I am and have long since accepted my strong introversion is a big part of who I am.  I’ve learned to act like an extrovert around my team (they appreciate it) but there are times when I do envy the ease at which extroverts handle simple social interactions. And it is sometimes clear that extroverts have many advantages in this world. 

I was talking with an extroverted friend who was going on about how I wasn’t “as introverted as I used to be”  She didn’t get it. First, I’ve known her awhile and enough time has passed that I can speak more freely around her. But there is also a lot of me going against my nature and that is hard work.  

I do think introverts will always understand extroverts better than the reverse.  This same person talked about all she’s read about us but reading and actually feeling it are two different things.  

Well I’m not trying to complain here because I know who I am. Just happen to be around a lot of people with time to observe and think and this is the result.  

(To my ballroom friends, I hope you don’t mind these little diversions.  I will be back to real life next week and dancing will resume)

One comment

  1. Wall – You do your readers a service by explaining and illustrating the nature of introversion. I agree completely Is and Es tend not to understand each other. Happily, I’ve read a lot on the phenomenon. I even did a sabbatical paper on how teachers can best serve introverted, shy, and extroverted students. (Introversion and shyness, BTW, are not the same.) Nonetheless, introverts’ nature still surprises and perplexes me. My best friend, who is deeply introverted, waited a month to tell me one of her grandchildren had been diagnosed as autistic. She needed that amount of time to come to terms with the situation internally. Only after she’d done that was she ready to share. Had I not understood introversion, I would have been deeply offended that she’d withheld such important info for so long. Happily, I merely scratched my head. Had I received news of that magnitude, I would have been on the phone to my best pal (and lots of others) IMMEDIATELY! With we strong Es, if it’s on the brain, it’s on the tongue.

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