It brought to my attention once again the fact that times may change, but the nature of relationships don’t. Perspective is a very unique thing, and one factor that drastically colors your perspective is whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. And once again, my ponderings on my fictional world have brought me to a real-world realization that there are just some things that extroverts don’t get, such as:
1. The benefits of flying under the radar. One good thing about being an introvert is that people aren’t up in your business, so you can conduct it with no interference. Case in point: despite the fact that I’ve mentioned it in this blog and on social media, there are still a lot of people I personally know that have absolutely no idea that I’m working on a sci-fi trilogy, and they won’t until it’s published. They’re too busy with other things that they’re more interested in, and frankly, that’s fine with me. It’s hard enough to find time to write with the everyday life thing going on, and I really don’t need everybody elses’ questions and opinions distracting me. I’ll be more than happy to deal with all of that through publicity once it’s published, but for now, my business is to get the book written. It will be the world’s business later.
I wrote an entire blog entry last summer on other benefits of flying under the radar, so there’s no need to rehash here. But as I reminded you in the above example, the biggest advantage is the freedom to do what we want and need to do with much less interference than others that must run all of their comings and goings through their entourage.
2. A greater sense of personal identity. We know the saying that true character is defined by who you are when nobody is looking, and that’s the place where introverts live most of their lives. We must stand on our own, and as such, we just deal with issues instead of going in circles trying to justify our actions or work things out. When you’re a minion, nobody cares why you did it – they just want things to run smoothly.
That’s not to say that we don’t care about others. It just means that we know what is and isn’t our business, and we’re focused on keeping things in their proper place. Our hands are full with keeping up with ourselves anyway.
3. An appreciation for the value and nature of relationships. Introverts tend to have a small, inner circle of relationships. To us, relationships are built on mutual interests and trust, not convenience or function. Yes, we’re picky, but that’s because once we let you in that circle, we’re willing to dedicate time and energy to nurturing that relationship.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having a lot of friends. Introverts prefer to focus more on the few than to spread too thin amongst the many, and they want those relationships based on right, true, and real things. Let’s fact it: not everybody is popular for the same reasons. The charisma that leads to popularity can be a good or bad thing. Some people are popular because they’re charming and witty. Others are popular because frankly, it’s easier to be their friend than their enemy. Deep down, we all know the difference, and introverts usually don’t have the patience to waste their time and energy on false friends or putting on pretense.
4. Freedom. We’re also familiar with the Albert Einstein saying that the person who follows the crowd will go no further than the crowd, but the person that walks alone finds themselves in places nobody has been. When I took time to ponder this, I noticed one thing about popular people is that they’ve usually been where they are for a very long time, so everybody knows them. Don’t get me wrong – stability is fine, but the real question is, why have they been there so long? Fear is the devil’s favorite tool, because it works so well. A lot of people would like more, or different, or better, but their peers may not approve. And if they fail, the embarrassment would be even worse than disapproval.
I recently read something that said female relationships (especially in the workplace) are based on maintaining the status quo. If one person steps outside of the box, it usually destroys the relationship. There was speculation on why this is, but the main theory is that the relationships fall apart because of envy that somebody had the courage to break through fear, take a chance, and succeeded. It makes sense. Those that are bold enough to take chances experience more life satisfaction and joy because they have a depth and breadth of experience that others just don’t understand. Happiness really is a choice, and it takes a bold person to decide they will pursue that makes them truly happy, no matter who has a problem with it.
I wouldn’t be an indie author if I followed the crowd. Plenty of people rolled their eyes and thought I’d lost my mind – until the publishing contracts started coming.
5. We know all of your business. You know little (or none) of ours. Extroverts talk a lot. To a lot of people. The problem is, in many cases, the conversations you believe are private in fact, are not. I’ve been in the same job for fifteen and a half years and reorganized roughly every five years during that time, but there’s one critical error that people in every single place I’ve been have made: they forget that cubicle walls aren’t real, and group conversations in open areas are not, in fact, private. Even if you whisper and employ clever non-verbal tactics of communication, we still hear you, and the patterns aren’t hard to figure out.
The good news is that we really don’t care about all of the hot gossip, or put much stock in it. It’s more for personal amusement than anything else, although sometimes it proves to be handy information to know. I have a rule that I won’t believe it if it comes from a source that wouldn’t legally count as a relative if they were blood. If you know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy, and I overhear you, then I’m fifth generation “don’t give a crap” anyway. But hey, you never know what may be useful.
Don’t worry. We share very strategically and sparingly, because we know the true value of knowledge and information. It’s not like anybody’s asking us, anyway.
Yes, introverts really do see the world differently, but that’s ok. We all have our own ways and, like the cousins in my trilogy-in-progress, we can get along if we respect one another. It’s a big world, after all, and we have to understand that there are countless ways to see it. I know there are things we introverts don’t get, because I lost count of the times they said “you just don’t get it!” Sometimes we find common ground and agree. And sometimes we don’t and we agree to disagree.
That’s all today. Have a Happy Friday tomorrow and a wonderful weekend.