Well, That Explains It
I'm a person who likes to think I know myself pretty well. I'm aware of my motivations, my hopes, my sore spots. Even under stress I can more or less see what my influences are. I really didn't think there was much self-revelation waiting in the wings for me. Reading that back, it seems a little arrogant that I'd have that assumption.
A week or so ago a friend came over for dinner and we got to talking about personality types. Specifically we talked about a Myers-Briggs test I took once that revealed me to be an introvert. She was a bit taken aback, thinking that the term introvert was a bit of an unfortunate thing to be classified as. I honestly didn't think much about it. I had no significant emotional reaction to it.
But thinking more about her response made me want to investigate a bit deeper. I picked up a great book called The Introvert Advantage that has just revealed so much of me to myself. I'm actually shocked. All these little personality quirks I have that even I thought were a bit odd are suddenly explained! I find it impossible to have a conversation on a cell phone in public! I will fall asleep if I'm around too much action! I will bolt from a crowd!
I've harboured a fair amount of guilt over some of my introverted tendencies. It's definitely made my attempts at a musical career fraught with difficulty. I was never able to schmooze. The performing, however, was never a problem. When I stand up in front of people and sing I close my eyes and am able to tap into this deep inner place that is so energizing for me. Off stage and mingling with the audience? Not so much.
As The Introvert Advantage points out, it's not because I don't like people.... quite the opposite! I very much like people, but not lightly. I'd rather connect with one person on a very deep level than make pleasant small talk and 'social connections' with a group.
There is a certain relief in accepting the totalogy of 'I am what I am'. I can forgive myself for trying to do things that were not in my nature and find ways of embracing my own introversion. So, my dear friends, if I do fall asleep at your party or if I'm out of touch for a little while, please don't take it as rejection or a critique. It's just the introvert in your life refueling.
Labels: soul searching