I’m going to talk about introversion and it’s wacky brother extroversion. But first, a brag.
I left the apartment at 5:15 pm and manged to take the bus to the bank, cash my cheque, walk to Pricemart, do all my shopping there, and cab home all before 6 pm.
That’s right – all that in under 45 minutes.
Right now, I feel like a ninja master of Getting Shit Done. Before I actually got home, I had the vague idea that when I did arrive, it’d be between 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm.
So when I got home and say that is 5:58 pm, I was like, SCORE!
Back to our irregularly scheduled programming.
It’s no surprise to introverts that extroverts don’t “get” them. But it might surprise introverts to learn how much they don’t “get” extroverts.
It’s an easy mistake to make. After all, we’re the deep thinking, introspective ones who, it seems to us, understand so much more of the world than those crazy extroverts who are always running into easily avoidable brick walls because they never think ahead.
It’s a kind of snobbery,. albeit a very harmless one. But it blinds us introverts to, to put it bluntly, what they know that we don’t, and the very different energy economy they live by and how it explains so much of why they are so different from us.
Tonight, I’m going to tackle that difference.
Let’s start with introversion. Introverts generate their own energy, and then apply that energy to their lives.
And on an emotional level, what most of that energy goes to is what I am going to call “the force field”. It’s the protective layer we introverts use in order to deal with this hot and noisy world. We need this layer because stimulation drains us and the only way we can deal with the world is if we have this layer of protection between us in the world.
That way, it’s the force field that gets drained, not us.
But that means that our ability to cope with the world – our ATC – is limited. We have a finite amount of energy we can devote to keeping that force field up, and the more our lives and our environment drains it, the more stuff gets through and thus the faster our ATC reserves are drained.
And when that force fi3eld falls, we have to go. It’s a choice between exiting the situation and staying there and being wretchedly miserable because our entire nervous system is screaming at us to GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE and go someplace with a low level of stimulation while our overstimulated state slowly subsides and our force field’s batteries can recharge.
And let me be clear, I am not just talking about physical stimulation. I am also talking about social stimulation, which tends to drain us even faster than the physical kind.
so that’s how an introvert’s energy economy works. We generate our own energy and when it’s gone, we’re gone. It’s just how we are wired up.
But extroverts operate under radically different economic rules. They take their energy from their environment VIA stimulation. It’s LACK of stimulation that drains their batteries and there is only so long that they can endure that before THEY have to go find THEIR preferred environment : one with more stimulation.
That means that an under stimulated extrovert is every bit as miserable as an overstimulated introvert,. and I think we introverts, if we want to keep our “the more sensitive one” title, should acknowledge and value that, instead of telling them to go read a book and eyerolling at their ridiculous running around like they will die if they get too bored attitude.
That’s what it feels like to them. Sure, it’s not literally true, but then again it’s not literally true when an introvert says they feel like their head is going to explode when they are overstimulated, and we introverts recognize that as a valid feeling.
And this point might seem obviously but I nevertheless feel it has to be made : things that would be very stressful for us are happy occasions for them, and vice versa. If we want their sympathy when we are in a bad place, we have to give them sympathy when they are in one too. and not judge or minimalize their concerns and their needs simply because they are not like ours. In fact, they are usually the exact opposite of ours.
We wouldn’t want them being so insensitive to us, would we?
To me, this ability to not just open to one’s environment but to take energy from it is fascinating and mysterious, and I must admit, it makes me a little jealous. For an introvert like me, it seems like topsy turvy voodoo magic.
And it would be so nice to feel in harmony with one’s environment and look forward to high stimulus situations, as opposed to living in opposition with one’s environment and dreading high stimulus situations.
Then again, our ability to keep going in low stimulus situations in which they would be miserable probably seems just as amazing to them.
The world needs both of us.
I’m experimenting with using those horizontal lines to visually demark changes of topics. It’s a way for me to be able to stop talking about something when I run out of things to say about it nstead of forcing myself to keep going in order to make wordcount.
That should improve content density considerably.
In this section, I want to talk about something weird about today’s blog entry : I am writing it without Windows Ten’s automatic spellchecking.
Not by choice, mind you. It’s just something my web browser decided to do today. That automatic spellcheck that underlines misspelled word in read is working in all my other programs, but not in the browser.
And it makes me feel very insecure. My safety net is gone. It makes me really appreciate how dependent on that damn thing I have become.
The very idea of doing all the proofreading myself seems like crazyness.
I am definitely going to cut and paste today’s article into a window with functioning spellcheck before I post it.
And I get the feeling there will be a LOT of correcting to do.
I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.