Last night, as the wine flowed, ice-cream digested and sleepiness kicked in, my friends and I engaged in a fairly humorous discussion…what makes one an introvert? My friend who is the epitome of the-life-of-the-party, social butterfly, stereotypical extrovert is now dating a reclusive, home-body, super introvert. And she credits ME for helping her to relate to him! Me, the more introverted one of the group, who tires easily after engaging in excessive outings, frequently takes naps (a fact my roommate never fails to make fun of) and can be found in my papa san chair, drinking tea and reading a good book on a Saturday night. It seems my introverted tendencies have come in handy…preparing my friend for courtship :-). I think we received a little
entertainment education regarding the personality traits of introverts from a random article I found on Facebook (I would recommend doing some additional research from more valid sources if you seriously want to learn more on this topic, LOL). The major difference between introverts and extroverts is that social events suck the energy out of introverts, while they actually re-energize extroverts. This enlightened me, as it helped me to understand my friend a little better and how she was able to seemingly “go, go, go and then go some more”. My roommate conceded that she was smack dab in the middle of the spectrum while I made my case that she was more of an extrovert. (We’ve had this discussion a few times in the past and not surprisingly we make the same arguments and never come to an agreement…similarly, I’m sure, to an old married couple 🙂 ) For the longest time I felt I was an introvert surrounded by extroverts, so outsiders just assumed I was an extrovert. But in reflection, if there is a such thing as an introverted extrovert, that would probably be me (try saying that 3x’s fast..introverted extrovert, introverted extrovert, introverted…). I enjoy going out with my friends and LOVE music, so I’m more than likely on the dance floor if the right song is playing. But I can only last a few hours of such engagements and need my down time.
This weekend, I watched an interesting movie, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. While there is some unwholesome content in the movie, I enjoyed it’s artistic style and it tackled some deep issues our youth are facing, some of which I can relate to. The main character was a super introvert. He was a quiet, academic, teen who desired friendship and found it in an extroverted, social, diverse group of folks. They were all different, and embraced their differences. They embraced him. They gave him a listening ear to his secret thoughts and esteemed him in his calling to be a writer. In hindsight, I think the purpose of the movie was to shed light on those who seem to fade into the background. Clearly wallflowers and introverts have a lot to offer, yet the extroverts are the ones who help them offer it. They draw out those hidden gifts and talents the world is missing from introverts.
I’m pretty sure that’s my story. This group of extroverts I’ve found myself in, have come alongside me, saw that I was wilting, and helped this wallflower bloom. Now I’ve found my voice in this world. And even better, people to listen to it.