The Reluctant Extrovert

IntrovertIt never occurred to me, at least consciously anyway that I was an innie—someone who prefers the comfort of their own thoughts, stands outside the circle of a crowded room, and would rather shuck oysters under the blazing sun than make small talk—and not an outtie.

I had an inclination that I preferred the cool of the shade, since I’ve propensity to circle a room looking for a window to crawl out of or a whole to jump into. I loath standing center stage under the bright lights; rather I bloom in the intimate setting. Further, I was (am) circumspect with what and whom I share my secret self with—because she’s all sorts of suspect and seven types of scary—all of which were/are clues to my true self.

Of course, there were other signs, like the realization that I had only one best friend at a time, not several. I never understood how a person could have multiple besties at once. Maybe for some it’s possible, but not me. I’d die having to confess to twelve best buddies about the kiss with that boy whose sculpted chest and immense arms melted me, or about the big scandal I had the pleasure of being forcibly made to participate in. Hell, I barely managed to tell my husband, but that was only after a martini and a bottle of wine. But then he sort of already knew since my picture made the front page of several newspapers. It wasn’t something I could deny when he inquired about the lost weekend.

Another clue was how short my attention span is. I have a habit of falling instantly, truly, madly, and deeply, enamored with someone, but quick as a wink I can be wooed by another. In my defense I’m deeply committed during the length of a relationship but when it’s over, it’s over. I move forward.

Over the years, I’ve pondered the why of this and came to the understanding that I’m one of those odd ones who believe people are destined for one another, but that at the same time not every encounter is meant to last all the seasons of my life.  This was and is difficult to accept, which I have I’ve come to believe has shaped my skepticism and limited appreciation of social media.

If I hesitate confessing the number of lovers I’ve had over the years to my best friend you can imagine my reluctance disclosing concerns about the size of my bum or how I feel about tofu on Facebook or Twitter. It seems to me the world is a quieter place without me adding witty quips in 140 characters or less on any topic, yet I do. It pains me to admit, 1) am a reluctant exhibitionist, 2) I share unnecessary facts about meaningless topics, 3) having a virtual thumbprint gives me street cred with editors and agents, and 4) it’s a must do for writers and bloggers.

It’s mandatory to share my innie feelings.  I must be witty, thoughtful, profound, articulate, funny, sensitive, purposeful, energetic, and above all, go against my genetic code, and become an outtie.

BUT….I am occasionally one or all of the following on any given day or the week:

  • I’m grumpy
  • I’m too blue
  • Or red with road rage
  • Just not in the mood, can’t be bothered to share  or offer commentary about tofu
  • I’m pensive, whiny, bitchy, emotional, or simply caught in moment I can’t get out of
  • Focused on something, like a novel
  • Day dreamy about the lanky with come hither
  • Definitely not witty
  • I’d rather write

Clearly I am whiny innie.

How much do you reveal about yourself in the virtual hemisphere?

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by

I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

19 thoughts on “The Reluctant Extrovert

  1. An introvert here… Sometimes I reveal little, sometimes a lot, sometimes I just grumble something, or disappear for a while. I’m terrible at small talk, it drains me if I have to participate, and I need recovery time after it.
    The only rule I have is to reveal nothing I couldn’t comfortably discuss. If you see me revealing private stuff, you can be certain I’ve thought about it and would be comfortable talking about it.
    angel011 recently posted….Wednesday Writerly Stuff: Does Their Success Hurt My Chances?My Profile

  2. Ashantay Peters

    So, we’re twin sisters of different mothers? I enjoyed reading about us in your way too revealing post and can confidently say I hate tofu. You can post that fact, too. Seriously, meeting other authors on-line and at conferences saved me from the erroneous thought that I’m the only introvert left in the world. Thanks for showing the way toward using social media rather than being consumed by the monster.

  3. I looked on your post with interest. I’m usually the calm in the storm. I’m steadfast in my friends, lovers, and family. I’ve been married to the same man for forty-one years and it was the first marrage for both of us.

  4. Dale

    All (real) writers are innies. That’s why the high incidence of alcoholism. They need to depress the inhibitors that would otherwise prevent them life in the real world. Oh, and I’m a little disappointed there were no pictures of pierced navels.

  5. You know, Brenda, I reveal heartstring things and observations I feel deeply, but not much of the little stuff, the day to day…I can’t imagine anyone really caring one little bit about that.

    And I so feel your preference to shuck clams on a hot day than be in a room of people, in fact, I have a Bunco group tonight, 12 women, and I always find myself, under the surface, dreading it. I go out of a feeling of obligation, but they’re too silly and loud and talk about nothing I’m interested in – shallow, silly stuff. Don’t I sound awful? Why do I feel I have to accommodate. It’s a weakness. And there’s a part of me that feels it’s probably good for me. Uh-oh – am I sharing shallow silly day to day stuff online? By god it appears I am. What about that?

  6. I can sympathize completely! While I love and crave the comfort and companionship of a few very select souls, mostly I prefer to be alone. My dinner parties are small, my sanity comes from quiet moments engrossed in my writing or reading and being around too many makes me feel utterly exhausted. Perhaps this is why I adore my dog so much? She’s always keen to have an adventure with me but she’s just as keen to sit quietly with me. She’s my ever-companion but effortless to be around. Love your sharing this with us fellow introverts. You appear to be in good company! :)
    Jill Brown recently posted….Why Mindfulness MattersMy Profile

  7. Great post! I’m an over-sharer in a lot of instances, but social media has made me aware of show much and what I should share about myself. I try to whine about myself and cheer for others and have meaningful things to say, but it all comes down to hoping others are more amuzed than annoyed with me.

  8. I’m a 92% introvert and don’t share much about my private life on social media platforms. (Sometimes I don’t even share it with my close friends just because I don’t feel like it. Lol.) What I do like to share are mostly on books, reading, characters, and Zen/Life quotes … which amusingly, are also part of my deeply intimate self. So do I share much? I don’t and I do. And for the parts I do, I enjoy every bit of them. :) (What I feel self-conscious about is when I have a book or interview out and I ‘need’ to let others know about them … )

    I’ll keep a look out for your piercing thoughts on tofu, B. … Stay well!
    Claudine @ CarryUsOff Books recently posted….Picture & Quote InspirationsMy Profile

  9. I’m an innie, too, and prefer solitude and silence. I’m fortunate to have my husband, Danny, as my best friend and confidant. We can sit in companionable silence for hours together or chat the day away, whatever the moments call for. We both detest crowds and senseless party mingles.
    Great post as always, Brenda!
    Martha Orlando recently posted….Big Sister!My Profile

  10. Lovely post! As we all know (have been informed … have been warned), social media provides the opportunity to have a personality we may not otherwise project face to face. I’m an innie too (dammit, Myers Briggs tells me so every time, like I don’t already know), but like you, I think my social media self might tell a different story.
    (I’m a whiny innie and witty outie?)

  11. I’m an innie, too. And have been all my life. I still only have one best friend, but she has several (including me) and I still don’t understand how she can do it. Or why she needs so many. lol

    I am learning to be more open online, but I’m still a very private person. I think long and hard about the things I post on my blog or on my FB page, and I stress about what others will think about it. Or if they will even care.

    I’m a vegetarian, but I don’t even want to offer commentary about tofu! 😛

    I’d rather be writing, too. 😀
    Chrys Fey recently posted….Love’s Sorrow by Terri Rochenski / GiveawayMy Profile

  12. I think for the most part, many of us writers are innies. I know I am, for sure. I remember attending this publishing seminar about a year and a half ago, before I was thinking about whether or not to independently publish some of my children’s work. The one thing that stuck out to me was the fact that these two authors who at one time or another, were best sellers, confessed that in order to be successful in this business, especially in this day and age, us “innies” would at some point, have to open the shades and crawl out from behind our desks. Social media can be a real drag sometimes because it take away from the art of our being… our writing. I hate when things take me out of my own personal realm and force me to constantly have to keep up on my Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest and God knows what else next month.
    BUT there are some good things which stem from stepping outside of our comfort zones. We are able to meet other incredible people and often times, form great relationships from being online. I’ve met some really amazing authors and bloggers simply because I decided to let go of my innie tendencies. This isn’t to say I still don’t prefer being an innie… because I truly do=) But sometimes, we have to do things we are most afraid of in order to reach the grandeur goals. Great post, Brenda. You really got me pondering now.
    gina recently posted….Can We Have it All?My Profile

  13. Like Kim, I too am a loner, but I enjoy immensely the company of friends and family, which I don’t get to see too often. But I have a number of friends because I have found if I relied on only one, I wouldn’t get to spend much time with said friend. You see, at our age we are so busy and have so many other commitments–family, work, travel, etc. So having a few I can count on, instead of just one, means that in a pinch I can find someone to go to the movies with me, take a walk, go shopping, have lunch, etc. It’s so nice this way. But trust me, I spend gads of time alone. As a writer, you do need the alone time to concentrate on writing. I love my alone time just as much as I love company!
    monicastangledweb recently posted….Mama’s EyesMy Profile

  14. I share (and prolly, overshare) lots of things on the Interwebs, yet… There are always morsels I hold back. It seems to me there is a fine line between sharing small, intimate tidbits, which others can relate, and boring readers to death with trivia. Which you NEVER do.

    Plus, there’s stuff I just DON’T need or want to know. If one of my fav authors has a problem with boogers, or flatulence, or has three nipples… please, leave me some mystery! (Actually, I’m kinda curious about the three nipples, and how that works out for lingerie and sexytime. Oops, is that TMI about ME?)
    Beverly Diehl recently posted….Sluts on HiatusMy Profile

  15. I don’t host dinner parties, I’m always grumpy, and given the choice between sitting in a dark corner by myself to watch the guests at a party or hobnobbing with a select few people, I’ll generally lose my invitation and avoid going altogether.

    That said, I am delightfully witty and, of course, beloved. Especially by women, who can’t resist my enormous sex appeal.
    MikeWJ recently posted….OrientMy Profile

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