First, I want to apologize for being a repeated shit. This is the Internet and it says something when one violates even the etiquette here. But I have — I’ve been making posts periodically about the rather hot topic of home foreclosures, and then to some degree (sometimes that degree is “totally”) ignoring the comments.
It’s not that I don’t want to hear what anybody has to say. It’s that I hear what everybody has to say, pretty much all day every day — because if I’m not at work then I’m just as likely to get cornered by random strangers who find out what I do for a living, or called at home by friends of friends or anybody who needs help and knows or runs into somebody who has my number. I try to have those conversations whenever I possibly can. If I’m in my office, I try to always answer the phone, even though much of the time it means having a long conversation, often filled with really sad or difficult questions and answers. And those things are really draining for me, for reasons I’ll touch on below. (And on top of it, part of my job is to read about & research the issue every day!)
So what happens is, stressed-out, I overflow, especially when I hop online to read about things like people with jobs and money griping about having to contribute, however insignificantly, to helping others; and of course the perception encouraged by much of the media, that the people who need help are somehow “bad”. Those two things absolutely enrage me; I won’t lie. I firmly believe that hard times are when compassion matters most, both to the givers and the receivers, and it drives me crazy to see the selfish point of view getting so much more air-time.
And then I vent it on you.
But then I’m all wiped out from venting, and when people leave their excellent, often very insightful comments here, I usually read them but often can’t muster the oomph to respond.
I always appreciate comments (well, except when they suck, but I think in all the time I’ve posted here I’ve only gotten a small handful that did); and if I don’t respond to them and you really would have liked me to, please do take the extra step of shooting me an email and nudging me. Or if you don’t want to bother, that’s fine, but please accept my apology and know that I’m not ignoring you deliberately — I’m just a bit worn out, and not terribly great with people to begin with.
Fun fact, if you didn’t know it: Psychologically, an extrovert is simply someone for whom the company of other people is refreshing, and to some degree recharges their energy; whereas being alone or isolated drains them. Most people are extroverts; this is why parties and bars and card-games and whatnot are fun for them, and help them relax. (Also why we say things like “man is a social animal”.) I’m an introvert; for me, the company of others is draining, and I need to spend time alone to recharge. So if I’m going to go out somewhere that has people, say, after work (even to relax or have fun), it’s rather like extending my workday in terms of energy spent, and the fact that my sleep schedule allows me extra time in the evenings to chill out by myself is really the only reason I can comfortably go out at all, except on weekends. When I wasn’t polyphasic, I literally went out about once a week, if that. Now I can handle multiple out-of-the-house classes during the week, and activities with my (very extroverted) kid, etc., all because I have several hours in the late evening and early morning to just chill with a book or hobby. Yet another reason I wouldn’t give it up for nothin’!
About 1/4 of the population, depending on where you are, are introverts like me. Some don’t know it, or think there’s something wrong with them because they’d rather stay home. And of course it’s not black and white; there are middles and extremes here. I’m a pretty solid introvert, but my husband is even moreso. (We look out for each other!) Obviously being an introvert doesn’t prevent someone from doing a people-oriented job; neither does being an extrovert preclude working alone — it just requires knowing yourself and making sure to compensate in healthy ways.
Which do you think you are? And if you’d like to share, what tips do you have for the “care and feeding” of your intro- or extro-verted brain?
(I promise I’ll read the comments! ;)