Extroverts Do Not “Get” Introversion –by Jim Nolan
Oh, they may think they do. They don’t. Many of them still think it’s shyness, or social anxiety, or just needing to be encouraged some more. “C’mon, Big Guy, you can too sing Karaoke!!!” It’s none of those things.
Of course there will be your occasional exceptions–an Extrovert who “gets” it, but…don’t hold your breath…(OK, Extros, having some fun here…)
Maybe they have some occasional intellectualized glint of lucidity during which they get a faint glimpse—but then they will barge right ahead into your psychic, energetic, emotional, psycho-spiritual, and/or physical space, and suggest stuff that makes THEM feel better—another activity, another thing to do, another place to go, another person to meet. Remember—they value “stuff out there”, while we are happiest and most peaceful and satisfied with “experiences inside of us…” Those are different ways of being in the world…
Getting busy out there in the world is somewhere between annoying and utterly painful to the true Introvert. Seriously.
There are a lot of guys at my spa that absolutely CANNOT and WILL NOT shut their mouths. They talk non-stop. “If I don’t hear myself make noise it will mean I died.” They say hello and I ignore them. Totally. Like I’m deaf. This is not a goddam coffee klatch, Jack, or the Elks Club. It is a gym, a locker room. Please shut your face for a few minutes. Please. Just once. Shut up.
Here is how I think Extroverts understand the world:
To them, “Do you want to go do a bunch of things with other people or sit and reflect and write in a coffee shop?” is about the same question as “Do you want chocolate cake and ice cream or would you rather get slammed in the face with a baseball bat?”
They can’t imagine what that same question sounds like to Introverts. It is more like “Do you want to hear a thousand donkeys braying right in your freaking face or sit out near the ocean and listen to the waves hit the beach?”
Extroverts like to plan events, look up “What To Do In Town This Weekend”, and turn on “Oldies Rock” to break that unbearable silence. Even in the morning. ALWAYS during a car ride. Yikes.
There is an Emotional and Social Intelligence issue here. Extroverts have a kind of a notion that what THEY want is the right thing to want. And that you will want it too, once you give up the silly notion that sitting there experiencing the incredible variety and richness of your inner life is enjoyable. Which they CLEARLY think it is not. How could it be? There are bands to listen to, movies to see, bars to visit, laughter to be had, jokes to be told, backs to be slapped, hands to be shook, new acquaintances to hug. Like, OMG!! And you just wanna SIT there?!?
Yeah, you Introverts get what I am saying. Of course I am having some fun here (sorry, sensitive Extroverts), but as you know, I am serious as well.
Introvert Guy—I GET that you are filled up by getting more stimulation out in the world. You should go pursue that. I totally support your getting your needs met in the ways that work for you. But don’t invite me, and don’t build it into my work or personal space, assuming that once I experience it, I will dig it. I won’t.
Introversion is not a temporary state we are experiencing until we become like you. It is a way of being in the world. It is different, not less than. It is really great for those of us wo are made that way. Thanks for reading this, ESPECIALLY if you are an Extrovert…
Life Coach and Psychologist You can text me at 505.699.7616. If you actually call, I probably won’t answer.