Friday, November 16, 2012

People make me crazy!

Barbra Streisand
Cover of Barbra Streisand


I received an email in my inbox this morning from a blog that I follow. The title was definitely eye catching – “People make me crazy sometimes!” I just absolutely loved it. Maybe because that is how I feel so much of the time. She also referenced the Barbra Streisand song about “people who need people” and I just about roared! So not me!


Don’t get me wrong, I like people. Well, some of the time, but not most of the time. I guess it comes with the territory when you are an introvert. I enjoy conversing with people who have something meaningful to say, not just a bunch of gossip (although I have been known to gossip too). I just do not respond well to a load of frafrolic – do not bother looking up that word, I made it up. It means jovial, meaningless chatter - conversation. I speak when I have something to say, not just to hear myself rattle. I know that must sound harsh, but it is actually a trait of an introvert. We just do not need a lot of conversation, and the conversation we do have, is usually meaningful and with purpose. Just ask people who know me – they will tell you I am very serious and say what I have to say and that’s it. (I always warn people when I head up committees that I am not a people person and therefore, very business oriented; so if I get too goal oriented, you – the people person – will need to wave your little white flag and interject. It saves a lot of frustration.)

It is no doubt another reason introverts are not good at small talk. It does not bother me in the least to speak in front of a few hundred people – and I have – but please do not bring me to a cocktail party, because I flounder. I have about a zero attention span, and unless you are REALLY captivating, you will lose me after about the fifth word. I can only hold smile for so long. I also look people in the eye and if I’m bored, I start looking around and fidgeting (and making lists of the next day’s to-dos in my head). It would be safe to assume at this point that you’ve lost me.

Then, after I’ve managed to extricate myself from the conversation (politely), you may even find me sitting in a quiet corner with my Kindle. A more appropriate song for me would probably be “In my own little corner, in my own little chair…” – as I sing this fairly often. How many of you remember that song? It is from the Cinderella movie that starred Leslie Ann Warren. What a great movie.

 Hubby was talking about going to the duck camp, and how relaxing it is for him to just sit and visit with everyone. I was inwardly cringing, because the last thing a trip to the duck camp would be for me is relaxing. I cannot imagine sitting with a group of people for extended amounts of time, just talking – but, he’s an extrovert – one of those “people who need people”. Fortunately, for me, he is aware of how I react in certain environments, so he normally ends the sentence with “I know, you wouldn’t.”  (I am very blessed to have a loving husband who has taken the time to learn what makes me tick and then respect it). And, I actually would go with him and sit in the same room, but only if I were left alone to sit in the corner with my Kindle and read. Introverts can totally disengage and (remember the song) sit in a corner in the midst of chaos, be totally comfortable, and tune everyone out. The bad thing about this behavior is that when people do not understand your personality, they find you rude.

So…sorry Barbra, I am definitely not a “people who need people” person. But, you go ahead.

What type of personality do you have? Are you an extrovert or an introvert (and remember – do not confuse introvert with shy – not the same thing.)







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4 comments:

  1. Great post, Donna....I'm so like this! It's amazing how you have described yourself, yet I find myself nodding in agreement, because you have described me, as well. I find a large gathering of the sort you mentioned totally exhausting. Business networking gatherings are a necessity in our business, yet I dread them. When I leave, I'm as wiped out as if I'd run a marathon. Giggle! Ya do what ya hafta do, I say! I enjoy conversations when both people have something to say....when that is said, I'm quite comfortable with a companionable silence. But I know others don't share my view!

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  2. I am an extrovert :-) Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop xo

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  3. Yes Donna,

    One of the interesting attributes about introverts, is that they are introspective and can easily explain who they are. Many of them are writers and have no issues with being alone with their thoughts.

    So I am definitely a member of that club, the club that has no meetings because everyone IN the club would bore each other, and doesn't want to be a member anyway!

    My wife, on the other hand, can spend many contented hours talking to her friends about what I consider inconsequential. My wife or course, points out that what is insignificant to me, like discount shopping or a TV series, is not insignificant to them.

    This I know, and I also realize for my "people-person" wife and others like her, it's not the talking that nurtures their connection, it's the exchange of communal energy.

    Introverts like you and me reach inside for engagement and it's mentally based, as opposed to emotionally based.

    Now, had I been born an extrovert, I probably would have more friends, be less critical and further along in my career. But since I am who I am, I'm playing the cards I was dealt and working on waking up happy, like my wife does.

    Irv

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  4. That's me! With my own little chair in my own little corner

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