I often refer to myself as an introvert. Some of my family and friends always say, “Pish, Posh. You’re so outgoing and good at talking to people you don’t know.”
That doesn’t mean that I like it, though. In fact, I would much rather communicate with you behind a keyboard than face-to-face. In conversations with people I don’t know well, I often feel awkward.
I don’t know what to do with my hands! Do I put them on my hips? Cross them? Use them to express myself? Fold them in front? When I’m at parties and gatherings, I often find myself wondering what I should do with my hands. I will watch other people, but what they are doing doesn’t always seem correct either. Why are these things that we use for so many daily tasks suddenly so awkward when talking to other people?
The Small Talk
Just for the record, I loathe small talk. People who love the written word crave deep, meaningful conversations. Even though I’ve taken the Dale Carnegie course and I know all the questions to ask to keep the conversation going, that doesn’t mean that I LIKE that conversation.
- What’s your name?
- What do you do?
- Where are you from?
- Do you have kids? Tell me about them…
Sigh. This kind of conversation makes a writer want to bang her head against a wall. It is so painful to me. Oh, how I love the people who jump naturally into conversation and you feel as though you’ve known them half your life. One of my favorite people of all time started a conversation with me by saying, “Don’t you hate the way men are so filled with road rage?” Thus began a conversation about road rage and shared stories of one another’s lives. These people are rare. I also like those who are chatterboxes because it saves me from having to draw information out of them, which I also hate.
I Like My Own Company
I can honestly say that while I love my friends and family and I enjoy them when I am around them, they are a small circle. I really and truly feel most comfortable when I am alone. I was raised an only child (I do have a half-sister, but she was older and only around occasionally). I think that probably has a lot to do with why I am so fond of my own company. I learned at an early age to entertain myself with books, Barbies, music. I learned to embrace being in my own space and my own skin.
Although I sometimes get lonely working from home alone and will venture out to lunch with a friend or to visit one of my closest friends at her workplace, I can honestly say that there are also times that there is a feeling of giddy relief when everyone leaves and it is me, my animals and my keyboard alone at last.
I Dread Going Out
I dread going out places. I think about everything else I need to do. I make excuses. Oh, it’s raining, so I’m not going. I often force myself to go anyway, because I know I sometimes need some human companionship and I enjoy my small circle of friends. I truly like them as people. They are smart, kind, caring, strong women. However, it is hard to get myself going to go out to dinner with the group of women I sometimes meet up with or even just to go out with a friend.
Pajamas or Clothes?
PJs win every time. I’d much rather be at home in my PJs. I don’t care if you think I’m boring. There’s another season of whatever show on Netflix.
New People? For the Love of God, WHY?
Your group of friends just told you they invited someone new to the gathering. Your husband wants you to meet his new friend and the man’s wife. Your editor tells you she just has to introduce you to some people. I am comfortable with my group of friends and I do make new friends from time to time but it has to have a natural flow to it. I find that when people try to make me be friends with one of their friends that I rarely have the same things in common with that person. In fact, I will admit that I find some people pretty annoying. It’s okay, though. I’m sure I annoy them, too.
I’m a Planner
Extroverts tend to be seat of the pantsers. They will make plans on the fly. On the other hand, I have my life planned out for the next several months. In fact, my vacation for 2017 is already planned. Introverts are often detailed planners. We have to-do lists as well. I have kept to-do lists since I could write. I don’t know what I’d do without one for everything from my daily tasks to packing for a trip. However, I notice that I also tend to get a lot more done than those pantser types. I’m sure there is an argument for not using to-do lists. I just can’t figure out what it might be.
I Am Content
I know what I like and don’t like. I know who I like and don’t like. I know what things I’ll be doing next week and next year and ten years from now. And, I am very content and happy with those things. I like books, animals more than people, and a good romantic comedy. I don’t mind going to the movies alone. In fact, I rather enjoy it.
What do you think? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Why?