Introvert or extrovert? Can I answer Both or Neither? Or, Sometimes?

I don’t like parties, but I don’t like being alone either. I like a round table in a quiet restaurant, surrounded by interesting and interested people. I don’t like confrontation or arguments, but I’ll dive right into a heated discussion on a topic I feel I know something about. Like how no one, and I mean NO ONE, lives at the extremes. We all have a bit of the gray lurking in us.

We use these labels to help define who we are. But that definition is the first line in a Wikipedia entry, just the intro, or summary. If you actually want to know anything about me, you have to keep reading.  But, full disclosure: it all gets very, very complicated.

For example, I can’t blame my dislike of parties on something as simple as introversion. Yes, the sound of too many people talking hurts my ears, I feel sometimes like I am drowning in sound, and I can’t distinguish any particular voice. The press of bodies initiates a flight or fight response, the sensation of eyes on me at all times churns my stomach, already taxed by the constant sucking in. I’m uncomfortable if I’m not actively engaged in a conversation, the embarrassment of a wallflower, feeling like the most boring person in the room. (Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, Guess I’ll go eat worms  – an adorable segue) 

However…

Let that party move to a bar…  And now I can sit on a bar stool, I have a designated place. Suddenly, none of what I described bothers me in the least.

See, complicated. And that is true for you too. Personality tests are fun, but don’t limit yourself to the results. That would truly be boring.

(Prompted by my wonderful evil-step-uncle who told me yesterday that I wasn’t boring.)

And here is another drawing, apropos of nothing.

 

5 thoughts on “Living in the Gray

  1. I think whether you consider yourself an extrovert or introvert depends on what happens with you the majority of the time. I can be alone in the apartment with just my husband & if he’s speaking loudly it will trigger an escape response in me. But I think you’re partly right, some of how we behave depends on the situation. I have stood in front of 40 people & given a speech without resorting to stage fright. But I PREFER to be alone.

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  2. I love this, because I totally get it! Sometimes I find myself feeling so lost within myself, and forcing myself into a minimalistic definition, as opposed to just going with the flow, and following my instinct. Society has definitely emphasised the importance of definitions and categories to the point that you begin to go crazy! Its so important just to analyse yourself on a blank sheet of paper, as opposed to trying to fit yourself under numerous subtitles.
    Loved this post!

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