Tuesday, August 9, 2011

No Monopoly On Being Private

Recently I was asked whether I'd call myself shy. I said no, of course. I explained that the word "shy" tends to mean "timid", and I'm not that. I'm often quiet and I'm surely an introvert, but -- despite the fact that I frequently avoid them -- I'm not fearful of others.

Then, knowing that she's an extrovert and yet very private, I pointed out that possessing those two traits at the same time was a bit surprising, and that one would normally think of someone like myself as being more private.

"There's a huge difference between being an extrovert and not being able to maintain privacy," she said.

And she was right. I realized that my words were thoughtless. I bet a lot of people make the mistake of thinking of introverts as close-mouthed while thinking of extroverts as having very little discretion with their words. But that's not necessarily the case. Maybe it often appears to be, but it's probably because we see more from extroverts; our experience is skewed.

It's interesting to remember that there are misconceptions about everyone, about every group, and about every type of person. We introverts don't have a monopoly on maintaining privacy. It only seems that way.

 

6 comments:

Mei Lian said...

It is as I am. Quiet but not shy. I reveal myself to those I have deemed worthy. Please do not think that as arrogance. It is only to say I am careful of what is known of me.

Zeri Kyd said...

Mei Lian, I think we're the same that way.

Peaceful said...

Upon entering a room I will observe who are the control freak women & creepy guys.. Then once that is assessed I have no problem approaching groups & saying 'hi'.
Unfortunately, thats where my conversation ends though...
I have zero desire to speak about myself-I agree with Mei. My need for privacy boarders paranoia.

Zeri Kyd said...

Jade, there's nothing wrong with being careful. Privacy is becoming harder and harder to come by, anyway.

Jimbo said...

I suspect that visitors of this blog as well as many others, would very much sometimes like to be invisible, some for different reasons of course. Speaking for myself, I've often imagined what it would be like I think because I've always preferred observation over interaction which would seem to make sense for an introvert, because well, watching people can give you a lot to think about if you're up for it, which I guess I am. Having said that, interaction with that right person or people can definitely be worth it

Zeri Kyd said...

Jim, true; observation is great, but getting to know how others see the world -- and getting to know how skewed our own way of looking at it is -- would be impossible without interacting somewhat.