I'm a talker, but I'm really an introvert.
I recently read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. That's when I reaffirmed my true nature.
When I was a kid, I loved to read. When my mother would host a party, she'd want me to mingle, and I would want to go into another room and read. I remember once when I was in high school and committed some now-forgotten transgression, my punishment was that I couldn't read for pleasure for a week. I still remember that, over 50 years later.
I like one-on-one or one-on-several conversations with people on topics I'm interested in. And talk to my neighbor who has become my friend. And talk to the proprietor of the Greek-Italian restaurant in our small town, or the local barista, or any of my kids, or my husband.
If I've made arrangements to have coffee or lunch with a friend and they happen to bring along someone else, I am annoyed. Or if they say, when we're confirming the time and place, "Is it okay with you if I bring along a friend?" I'll say sure, but I'll mean no. I may even take a raincheck if I can figure out how to do it on the fly. "The more, the merrier?" Absolutely not, in my book. That makes me an introvert.
I don't like going to parties, even if I know everyone. Especially if I don't know everyone. If I can get out of going to a party, I will. I'd rather stay home and read, or write, or have a nice chat with one person of my choice.
If I'm asked to speak at a gathering - whether five people or five hundred - I'm good with that. According to the book, introverts can behave in an extroverted fashion when they're engaged in an enterprise for which they feel passion. I interpret that to mean that I'm willing to put myself out there in order to get the word out. And I do.
Last summer I organized a weekend gathering of six bloggers. I had met only two of them in person. But I felt like I knew every one of them before the weekend, from reading their blogs. I also knew we'd each have our own bedroom and plenty of space for solitude. The weekend worked out very well, I think. But if I hadn't been the organizer, or if there'd been a couple of people invited whose blog I didn't read, I might have said no thanks.
Yesterday I was in a water aerobics class. All around me women were chatting with each other. Well, gossiping. I wanted to put in a pair of ear plugs. I hate chatting and gossip. I like meatier conversations. I am seriously considering looking for another water aerobics class so I don't have to listen. But I suspect they'll all be like that.
I'm not shy or antisocial. But it's nice to reconfirm my status as one of the introverts of the world.
The century mark
10 hours ago