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.
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