Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Defeating My Purpose

Here I am, attempting to document my thoughts about what it's like to be an extreme introvert, while every word that I write seems to discredit what I claim to be; after all, words and introverts don't seem to belong together. The fact that these are written words and that they remain unspoken means little. I'm releasing these words rather than hanging on to them, setting them free rather than storing them inside, pouring them forth rather than bottling them up. I'm defeating my purpose with every keystroke.

And yet my claim remains the same. The irony involved in sharing my thoughts is likely to make my credentials hard to understand - if not believe - but that's an integral part of being me. I still intend to put together this collection of notes. Whether my words work against me or not, I believe they are still true and honest.

Maybe they'll also carry some insight with them.



Anonymous said...

I don't think you're defeating your purpose. I consider myself an extreme introvert, and although I definitely don't like to be around others in social situations for significant periods of time, I do feel like there is an undeniable need to have some kind of interface to other humans.

I actually rather enjoy written correspondence and communication; I appreciate the opportunity it allows for more articulate and efficient expression. The thought crossed my mind recently that written correspondence, as well as much online communication, may be more comfortable to introverts because it allows for control of the interaction. Tired or feel like reading or relaxing? Just log off. Write when we get bored or feel the desire to do so.

While we are physically around other humans, energy constantly is required of us. We are required to give at least nonverbal feedback when others talk with us---a nod if they are looking at us or a verbal acknowledgment. Online, no such feedback is required; in blogs particularly, there also is the ever-present sense of repudiation---we won't feel rude for choosing not to respond to a blog post or to a comment someone has left on our journals, because there is no way for the person to know that we ever saw the message to begin with. Likewise in chat rooms---everyone is aware that people have other things going, and perhaps they got a phone call or are browsing.

This allows freedom and control over what we do and how we communicate, and therefore the energy is not leached from us without our consent.

Just my thoughts. --CLS

Zeri Kyd said...

CLS, and you write well! I've enjoyed reading your comments. Also, I agree: the blogosphere is an ideal place for introverts to hang out. It does make regulating that loss of energy much easier.

Unknown said...

I totally agree with both of you. :D

Anonymous said...

Hi. Very interesting blog. I've often wondered if I'm actually an introvert, or if I'm just uncomfortable socially because I can't think of anything to say. Or maybe the two go hand in hand. I am much better at written correspondence and I love the text messaging that cell phones have made available because it gives me time to contemplate my response. I often miss opportunities to make an insightful comment during conversation because it takes too long for it to enter my mind. By then, the conversation has moved on. When the conversation is about something that interests me, I have no problem interacting, and actually get upset when interupted. But, if the conversation is uninteresting to me, or something I don't feel knowlegable about, I draw a complete blank. I also avoid situations that may become defensive or confrontational like the plague because, in those situations, I totally withdraw. I can think of all kinds of things to say removed from the situation, but when it comes time to actually voice those opinions or problems, I go completely blank.

I apologize for rambling so long. I got started and just couldn't quit. This is the first time I've ever posted to a blog. I guess I'm just curious if any of this strikes home with anyone else.

Zeri Kyd said...

Anon, I think it does go hand-in-hand. Often, I think we feel uncomfortable because we're expected to say things when we haven't got anything. We don't need to force it.

Anyway, no apologies. You're welcome to ramble here any time!

Diane said...

I'm happy to see a blog about introverts. I recently went to a counselor thinking there was something wrong with me because I don't like to talk on the phone or be around a lot of people. The opposite of my husband. My counselor said I just sounded like an introvert. He's right! It took such a weight off my shoulders. I think blogging and emailing is the perfect outlet for introverts. We can carry on at our pace without having that sometimes uncomfortable face to face interaction.
Keep up the good work!

Zeri Kyd said...

Mrs. Dahl, the thing I wonder, though, is why you (or any of us) should think such a thing is a problem to begin with.

In any case, I'm glad you found this site. I'm sure there are many others like me out there. Hopefully many of us find each other. If for nothing else, the reassurance will be good.