I’ve been giving a lot of attention lately to how I’m acting in public. No, not the swearing, I gotta be me. But the overall vibe. Largely because people in public drive me crazy and if I don’t check myself I’m a hugenormous bitch that can shit all over an extroverts day. Not acceptable.
See, I always thought that I was an outgoing extrovert but am finding, well, not so much. Crowds? Not really unless it’s worth it. Chaos? Never. I get very anxious in chaos. I like to know when, where, how long and the current version of “wing it Jules” that takes hold occasionally has taken 48 years to get to. I’m not good having tons of friends with superficial relationships, I like real or fuggetaboutit.
I’m not a fan of the introvert description that they are all wrapped up in themselves because I actually know many who would walk through fire for a friend and even have for me. Matt told me the other day that one description of extroverts are that they get their energy from others so that when I’m faced with one, they are trying to get energy off me and I am wired so that I protect it fiercely. So each interaction almost becomes an emotional tug of war. Explains why people are so foking exhausting. True story.
Here’s an example, in an attempt to hold on to just a little bit of my Hawaiian bronze I’ve hit a new (to me) tanning studio. Truth is, I like to have a little color. I take after my light skinned Hawaiian mother who’s Portuguese coloring allows me to tan easy, but to be whiter than other locals. So tan I go. Upon walking into the studio, the owner who is a very friendly, VERY EXTROVERTED young woman hit me with so much energy that I was instantly on guard. But now that I’m kind of embracing the whole introvert thing I can step back and be aware of how I’m coming off. It’s a relief really, embracing how I interact and making sure I’m not a negative to someone else even in passing.
After the tanning salon owner’s inquiries on who I am, what I do, where I live, am I going on vacation (three times she asked that one), and expressing sadness when I said I’m not going on vacation I finally stopped the barrage of questions with a simple statement of, “I’m an introvert and all of your questions make me uncomfortable. I don’t want to be rude or mean to you but I can’t take all the personal inquiries” the interrogation instantly stopped and her energy dropped by about 75% which still made her more energetic than most D1 cheerleaders when the camera’s are on them but it helped. She simply said, “Oh, ok” and we conducted business. When I came out she simply said to have a good day, see me next time and that was it. Possibly more subdued than she would like, probably actually, but far more comfortable for me. I was extremely thankful for that.
So here’s what I’ve learned. I don’t think I’m a full on introvert. I like to be around people, a lot actually. Just smaller groups where I can connect with people. I hate pretend relationships, avoid them at all cost. If I am friends with someone I guess I expect that friendship to be on all fronts, not just a “oh my gosh we just have so much fun together and let’s have coffee again soon.” I am here if they need me and I know they are there for me when I need them. Real. I love having people to the house and sharing food, drink, stories, games. I love going to parties to celebrate people or things. I love a good sporting event and will even tackle IKEA on a Sunday. Brave, I know.
But when I go head to head with an extreme extrovert, I need to keep myself in check. The energy I kick out is going to come right back at me so I want it to be good. It doesn’t have to be fake and I don’t often need to let them know they’re making me uncomfortable, but I don’t need to shut down either and that’s probably my go to.
So while not just an introvert or obviously not an extrovert, I’d call myself a Hybrid. Cuz that sounds more fancy and good to the environment. Mainly, mine. Heh.
The only problem with seeing people you know is that they know you.