Saturday, December 14, 2013

Don't call me a jerk because I'm an extrovert.

There are some fundamental misunderstandings between the ideals of extro- and intro-version. Recently many articles and items have come out about being an introvert, how that works and the best ways to respect that. The rub lies with shaming the extroverts for being themselves. Turn about is fair play? Not really, since what we're looking at is the opposite of "treat others how you want to be treated." Granted this maxim should be "treat others how THEY want to be treated." However, until you know what that looks like, where do you start? Start with what you know. An extrovert engages others, not to "be an energy vampire" or "take the good vibes from everyone else," but because they're sharing what makes them happy.  How could I assume that someone wants the type of treatment that I would perceive as being callous, unwanted, and unloved? So the talks and comics that share with me the understanding that this different treatment *is ok* have been very important.

I've been working on myself (and I know many who don't) to recognize when that friends aren't talking to me, specifically, that they really are busy/tired/need down time, not ignoring. To ignore someone is to imply intent to disregard that person. I assume the issue lies in their needs, not my own, so I don't start making myself crazy over the idea of "did I do something wrong?" I trust those close to me to let me know if I really did overstep a line, rather than assuming I did.

It's been painful for the introverts that all this time extroverts have done all the wrong things to try to encourage them to be happy. It's been painful for extroverts, feeling that their introverted friends wouldn't want to talk to or see them, especially in times of need for either side. Now is the time to recognize without judgement each others' variable abilities to cope with- or need- stimuli.

So yes, thank you for letting me know the best way and place to meet you. I do, and always have, wanted you to be happy.

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