Something happens to me a lot. My husband Randy’s in a wonderful, local band. He, Warren and Danny are a power trio, lighting up the local pubs and bars with great, danceable music. The crowds love them. It’s a great party. People are always asking what time I’ll be there.
They assume I never tire of the songs! The shimmying! The laughter! The fun!
And yet so many times, I tell them I have other plans. They nod in understanding, never suspecting these other plans usually involve reading or watching TV…by myself.
Welcome to my world. My name’s Laurie. I’m an introvert. The few times I’ve confessed my real intentions, I’m met with a sad, puzzled look like I just announced I had leprosy or about to go into solitary confinement.
Now, I have to say at this point, being introverted doesn’t mean I’m anti-social, shy, or non-assertive. I love and need my family and friends. I like to get rowdy and the rare times I go to Randy’s gigs, I’m one of the first on the dance floor. If something bugs me, I speak up.
On the other hand, I’m the person in the restaurant, when the third hour’s gearing up and everyone’s ordering another round and laughing and happy and jazzed, I’m looking at my watch. Not out of boredom…but fatigue. I’m talked-out. I’m listened-out. I’m socially tired.
I used to think something was wrong with me.
In my younger days, colleagues would go out after work for drinks or bowling or shopping. On paper, it sounded fun, but just thinking about it left me drained.
On the other hand, going home and cracking open the diary of Anais Nin or Amy Tan’s latest novel was energizing.
It wasn’t till reading the book, “Quiet” by Susan Cain I realized my strangeness had biological roots. Introverts and extroverts have different brain chemistries, even different nervous symptoms.
Introverts get flooded faster from stimuli. We need to recharge more. Extroverts get energy from each other.
Phew, I thought. This was the best news since hearing chocolate contained antioxidants. I’m still weird, but at least my weirdness has a name.
So there it is. I can’t tell if my condition makes me artsy and interesting, or sad and pathetic. Whatever the case, my husband’s band’s playing again this weekend.
Maybe I’ll go dance. Maybe I’ll stay home and read. Whatever I decide (and I think I know which way I’ll go) at least I know it’s who I am.
How about you? Can you relate to the bookworm crowd? Feel free to comment. If you’d like to receive posts by email, just hit the subscribe button. Thanks for reading!