Are you in introvert or an extrovert? Or are you both?
I’ve always considered myself an extrovert. Those who know me would agree.
I strike up conversations in public. I strike up conversations with teenagers I’ve never met, on my campus, nearly every day. They sometimes (okay, often!) look at me like I’m crazy, but usually chat back and end up with a big smile. In my family, we call it the “Mary Lee Legacy,” after my dear grandmother who’s never met a stranger in her life. She taught me well. 🙂
Other days, I don’t want to be bothered.
These fit, too.
So how does one align these two apparently opposite ends of the spectrum? Camouflage. Masquerade. Dance of the Peacock. Call it what you will.
According to Sara Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, many introverts often mask themselves (to some degree) as extroverts, in order to “fit” in a world that values extroverts’ contributions. Could this explain my over-the-top teaching, action-packed presenting, and talk-in-the-produce-section shopping?? Only if you combine those qualities with my deep wish to be ‘left the hell alone,’ thank-you-very-much.
Or maybe I really am more extroverted, but have discovered my introverted side as I’ve aged. Mellowed, maybe? I don’t know about the ‘mellow’ part. I’m pretty passionate about a lot of things… and not afraid to show it. So what gives?
I’m not entirely sure, but what I do know is this: To be alone is to engage with my own thoughts. I like quiet time. Lots of it! My brain seems to go 24/7 and I need an outlet.
Writing provides the outlet. Reading, the catalyst.
How about you: Innie? Outie? Masquerading? Or, are you sure about who you are?? …. How do you know?