Monday, 6 July 2015

Pros & Cons of Being an Introvert

Whoops.  Been a little while since I wrote a thing, hasn't it?  My bad!  In all honesty, I've struggled to think of something to write about that doesn't involve clocking up mileage in my trainers.  In the last couple of weeks, I've gone crawling back to CrossFit (SO happy to get back to it!) and have discovered that I'm almost back at square one when it comes to upper body strength, which is fine.  Means I get to go back almost to newbie status where every minor improvement I make blows my tiny little mind.  

Miraculously, I have a Monday off work today - insert smug and gloaty comment here - so I've decided that now is the time to hop back aboard the blog train.  Choo choo!  Still struggling to think of something of actual interest to blog about, so I'm going to do the next best thing and write about myself.  When in doubt... thinly veiled narcissism!  Hurrah!!!

I am a keen devourer of anything remotely touching on psychology, especially if it has self help-esque undertones in it.  Think Bridget Jones, if she was drawn in by dubiously sourced percentages and stats.  I enjoy reading about personality types, even though I do have enough brain cells to realise that a lot of it needs to be taken with a pizza-load of salt, let alone a grain.  Said brain cells may be lying dormant, tucked somewhere behind my ears, but they are there nonetheless.  

There are a billion and twelve different categories you can fall into in the murky world of personality testing, but I'm going to touch on one of the big two - introvert and extrovert.  After much extensive reading and reflection (internetting and reading pop psychology books like the true psychologist I am), I have determined that I am the former.  Introverts aren't necessarily just quiet and/or shy.  Although on the sliding scale of social ineptitude, I often lean towards the "cat stole, devoured and pooped out your tongue" end, given the right combination of familiarity/excitement/being in comfort zone (drunk.  Being the right amount of drunk), I can be a tough one to shut up once I get going.  Where you are in terms of being an introvert or extrovert is on a spectrum, but from what I gather, introverts:
  • Internalise much of what happens to them (check)
  • Express themselves better in writing than verbally (check?  I haz the words good?)
  • More energised by time alone than social occasions (went to a brilliant wedding this weekend, booked the Monday immediately after it off to hide in my house eating cheese toasties away from humankind.  Case in point)
  • Especially chatty internal monologue (shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!!)
  • Sensitive and shit.
All of the above applies to yours truly.  Now that I have decided what I am (sadly, dinosaur wasn't an option.  Or unicorn warrior princess), I must be an expert in introvert...ism(?), so I am like, totally qualified to dole out some information about what it's like to be an introvert for those who aren't or are unsure of which camp they should be pitching their tents in.  Ahem...

Pros and Cons of Being an Intovert

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Pro:  When people have decided that you're one of "the quiet ones", anything you do that isn't avoiding eye contact and hiding in the office fridge from human interaction is mightily impressive, considering how you're so shy and all.  "Oh, my God, guys, she told a joke!  Let's all laugh uproariously to show her how brave she is!"

Con:  Sometimes people don't expect you to be able to handle as much as you can i.e confrontation, responsibilities etc etc.  They are forgetting that we are prepared for every single fathomable outcome of every situation because we have already over thought them all.  Raptor attacks included.  Is chatty Bill from accounts prepared for raptor attacks?  No?  Didn't think so.

Pro:  It is so easy to entertain yourself! Days off work are gold dust.  The less I have planned, the better.  I shit you not - after a busy week at work, I like nothing better than having twenty minutes to sit alone in the living room with the TV off.  Who needs recreational drugs when you have stifling quiet, solitude and snacks?  I think that part of my affection for long distance running is that I get to spend ages just being.  It's easy to appreciate the little things in life when you get off on just being alive at any given point in time.  We're a cheap date in the long night out that is life!

Con:  Whenever an introvert is having a quiet day, it usually means that there's a full on brass band/fireworks display/Rammstein concert of an inner monologue going on in their brain.  Not necessarily always negative thoughts as such, but always, always so bloody LOUD!!  It's hard to concentrate on speaking to people when you have a voice on loop in your mind going "Oh, they think I'm being rude because I'm not talking, maybe I should say something, it's been too long since I've said something, oh, here's your opportunity to say something, oops, you missed it, I'm hungry, what time is it, what are they talking about again, look how rude I'm being, say something, not that, something else..."  On some days, I would find having the Crazy Frog song stuck in my head easier to cope with than my own inner voice.  She's a pain in the ass.

Pro:  Sometimes people assume that you've got more of the clever than you actually has because you must spend all that time alone/sat with your gob shut, thinking.  Hahaha fools!  *chews TV remote*

Con:  Small talk makes me want to set my hair on fire just so I've got something else to do.  I hate the idea of coming off as disingenuous, and strongly feel that conversations should be for:

a. learning more about each other
b. sharing opinions and information, or
c. lolz

I'm acutely aware that the purpose of small talk is to make slightly awkward situations feel less awkward to those involved.  This in itself makes me feel so uncomfortable that I'm convinced that one day, I will spontaneously combust out of discomfort and/or embarrassment when someone innocently points out that it's rainy.  At least if it's raining, I won't cause accidental arson on a large scale.

I would continue, but I have some serious pottering around the house to attend to.  It's going to be MENTAL!!  Party on, friends.  I will take less than a fortnight to write the next one, promise!

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