Not exactly a ‘People Person’

typed for your pleasure on 5 February 2006, at 1.18 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Flieger’ by Death in June

I can’t remember how I discovered this particular article, but it’s something I think everyone, especially garrulous blabby extroverts, should read over.

Are introverts misunderstood? Wildly. That, it appears, is our lot in life. “It is very difficult for an extrovert to understand an introvert,” write the education experts Jill D. Burruss and Lisa Kaenzig. [..] Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluble, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. They are as inscrutable as puppy dogs. But the street does not run both ways. Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion. They assume that company, especially their own, is always welcome. They cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take umbrage at the suggestion. As often as I have tried to explain the matter to extroverts, I have never sensed that any of them really understood. They listen for a moment and then go back to barking and yipping.

It’s bizarre; sometimes I think I’m fooling myself when I say I’m an introvert, as I often enjoy spending time with my mates now and again. But just because a person has a group of friends that they like to spend time with, doesn’t necessarily define them as being an extrovert. Especially when you consider that I only spend about fourteen hours out of the week with them (the week-ends, obviously; and then, of course, not in a row). Wanting to spend time with someone is far different than wanting to live with them, or having them constantly round you at all times.

I think part of the problem with modern society is that so many people who may actually be introverts try their hardest to fall into lockstep with what popular culture dictates — ‘introverts are loners, and loners are losers’ — and in the process, they become even more miserable, as they’re trying to be something they aren’t, just for the sake of ‘fitting in’. Obviously it’s great to receive the approval and acceptance of others, but a person shouldn’t base their life round what others think of them. If it’s your mates, they’ll be perfectly alright if you don’t think exactly like they do, and if you’re not into the exact same things. If it’s some tosser off the street who thinks less of you due to you not fitting their ideal, their opinion is less than worthless, and every minute of attention paid to them is far more than they deserve.

Personally, I never understood people whose goals were to live according to what popular culture dictates. I always figured they were filling a personality-shaped void within themselves. I’d always assumed that existence was living life for your assumptions and standards, and not for anyone else’s. ‘If it harm none, do as thou wilt.’ If others mock and deride you for your introversion, simply reply, ‘You’re goddamned right I’m an introvert. At least I’ll always be associated with a better class of people.’

At any rate, be sure to read the article

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

On Merzbow, or, How I fell in love with a sonic ear surgeon on October 17th, 2007

One blade lifts, the next one cuts, the third one flays on April 28th, 2005

4 have spoken to “Not exactly a ‘People Person’”

  1. Jeff "Wolfgang" Lilly writes:

    I was with you 110% up until the last paragraph. I’ve never met anyone whose goal was to “live according to what popular culture dictates”. Most of the time it’s simply a matter of ignorance- they have no idea what else is out there. And that’s fine. If they have no pressing need, no “itch”, to dig deeper… then they’re probably okay where they are. For those of us who want to see what lies below (or above) the mainstream veneer, that’s fine for us as well. To each their own.

  2. Davecat writes:

    Maybe not as a stated goal, no; there aren’t a lot of people that go round saying publically ‘I AM A TREND WHORE’, but you can tell in the way they behave, and speak, and what they purchase, and how they generally live their lives. It may be a case of they don’t know what other concepts are out there, but I think it’s more of a case of they might know what’s out there, but they have no inclination to learn more cos it’s beyond their capacity. It requires that thinkin’ they’ve heard tell ’bout, and they ain’t like doin’ that cuz it makes their puzzlers hurt.

    Sure, people like that are probably okay where they are — we’ll always have a need for dockworkers and bricklayers, I guess — but unfortunately, having to deal repeatedly with people like that is just frustrating at best, and painful at worst.

  3. PBShelley writes:

    DAMN! A too-lengthy reply lost to the “Page Expired” link! Shoot. That’ll teach me to copy and save before hitting submit 🙁

    Anyway, essentially I agreed. And, I referred to Anneli Rufus’ excellent book “Party of One – The Loner’s Manifesto” as another handy tool to understand us better, if the extro’s even want to try.

    Also, in essence, I mentioned that those who sit on the sofa all day watching TV will be less likely to try and connect with their Mind, Heart & Soul, rather being indoctrinated by the Sponsors wanting to foist their Product onto them to satisfy the Couch Potatoe’s Stomach, Ego & (let’s say) Groin. That’s why THEY “make all the money”, as the article implies.

    Anyway, thanks for the article, I shall pass it on 😉

    PBS & Lily (both Introverts 😉 )

  4. SafeTinspector writes:

    Introversion and individuality are not inevitably linked.
    I’ve met boring introverts (my brother, bless his soul, is one of them) and singularly unique extroverts.
    I, for instance, am nowhere close to being introverted. Would you state that I am compliant?

    But, really, what is right for YOU is RIGHT for you. You are so right about people judging others by their own standards! They shouldn’t, but neither should we.

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