Country Living Series

Monday, May 24, 2021

My new (introvert) hero

I like to save any links or references I come across on the subject of introverts, since that's what we are. Introverts have sort of "come into" their own during the pandemic lockdowns, since suddenly everyone wanted to know what it is they do all day.

In fact, the pandemic highlighted introverts as no other incident has ever done.

Extroverts have had it tough over the last year, no mistake. "Before the pandemic, I would spend a couple of hours at home, and then I would just get bored and want to go walk around or sit at the coffee shop or see if a friend wanted to get a drink," noted one extrovert in an interview. "It would just start to psychologically wear on me if I was alone for too long." The lockdowns made this woman realize "I’m even more of an extrovert than I originally thought."

But introverts and lockdowns? They go together like bacon and eggs.

In a piece on What Introverts Wished Extroverts Would Understand, one respondent wrote, "I live alone on a farm. I don't go out to the local bars. I don't try to date any locals. Some weeks I don't ever leave the property. And people always ask me how I can stand to live in the middle of nowhere. Well [bleep], that's the easy part."

When Don and I first got married in 1990, I was working a corporate job. Fortunately our office was small and the situation was fine for introverts, but once or twice a year I was required to attend a conference and "network" (that was the buzzword at the time). Don actually had to rehearse me on how to "work" a room full of strangers, because my first inclination would be to retreat into a corner and simply observe.

I've come a long way since then, but make no mistake, that's still my first inclination. It's every introvert's first inclination, no matter how much they train or rehearse to overcome it. This is not an issue of shyness I'm not the least bit shy but of preference. Introverts simply aren't built for socialization on a loud or large scale.

Introverts, as it turns out, are likely to be less politically active, less active on social media, and less likely to be corporate leaders. As one (introverted) psychologist concluded, "This state of affairs leaves many of the decisions relating to the daily life of introverts in the hands of the extroverts."

This psychologist also noted, "Introversion is not something to be fixed – but a blessed source of human diversity." In a world built for and by extroverts, introverts bring their own set of strengths to the table.

Yet, through it all, introversion is still seen as something that must be "fixed" for the happiness and well-being of those poor misguided introverts. In a 2019 University of California study, 123 people were tasked with acting like extroverts for a week. Participants were "asked to be talkative, assertive and spontaneous in their daily interactions with other people." The following week, the same group was asked to act like introverts.

The findings, apparently, were "remarkable": "'It was the biggest effect we've ever found in any of our studies,” says Dr Sonja Lyubomirsky, the lead researcher. 'When people acted extrovert, they experienced more positive emotions and satisfaction. When they acted introvert, they experienced fewer positive emotions.' She speculates that this is because, at heart, humans are social creatures. 'Social relationships are inherently rewarding for us. We have a need to belong and to connect with each other.'"

In other words, introverts would be happier if they'd just, you know, stop being introverts. Got it.

Personally I'm more inclined toward this article: "Acting Like an Extrovert Has Benefits, but Not for Introverts" which quoted a team of researchers led by the psychologist Rowan Jacques-Hamilton at the University of Melbourne: "Until we have a well-rounded understanding of both the positive and negative consequences of extroverted behavior, advocating any real-world applications of acting extroverted could be premature and potentially hazardous."

Rock on, Dr. Jacques-Hamilton.

The reason I decided to post about introverts today is because I just saw a funny anecdote about someone who was unaware of the whole pandemic:

Talk about the ultimate introvert! Whoever this guy is, he's my new hero. I, too, look forward to the day when I can go months without leaving the homestead and be blissfully clueless about whether or not there's even a pandemic.

Now excuse me, it's time to go get some oats.

26 comments:

  1. "In a world built for and by extroverts, introverts bring their own set of strengths to the table."

    Yea, so leave me the F alone you dingbat extrovert, I ain't broken lol

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  2. Thats funny right there, don't care if you're introverted or not.
    Yup, that would describe me pretty closely as well. When working for an oi spill response co years ago I used to get 5 wks vacation a year, taken at two different times. 2 wks were spent doing needed stuff and the other 3 were spent on my KTM traveling. No radio, just me & my thoughts, and anywhere was the goal.
    On one of my travels back in 2008 I returned to work and found that practically the entire company had been dispatched to the Hurricane Katrina fiasco and massive spills. And this was over two weeks after Katrina happened. Didn't care, didn't concern me. Pretty much still live that way, I'm happy with myself and find that dealing with others, simply sometimes is not worth the effort..... But thats just me. This is about as socially acceptable and involved as I like to get...

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  3. I, too, am an introvert, give me a good book and coffee and that is all the social networking I like to do. I try to keep my interactions cordial but brief. I am not shy by any standard, I just like my peace and quiet. I have a limited social circle and we see each other occasionally and that works for us. I don't even like talking on the phone to gab except for my brother. others I cut short. When I lived in South Dakota I would have to plug in my truck's block heater and the battery minder because it would be weeks between the times I would drive it.

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  4. I'm right there with ya. Summers during college, I would go to town once/mo. to put my check in the ATM and grab a couple groceries. That was enough for me. If someone else would have done that for me, it would have been just as good. My favorite place at that time was an hour off "the main dirt road" so took about 1.5 hrs. to get to a small town.

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  5. My daughter always tended to be an introvert until she dated an extrovert who would immediately get separated from her at parties. Rather than stand alone for the whole party she developed a routine: She would spot someone else standing alone, go over and manage to start a conversation,spot someone else alone and gesture him/her over to be included.She would get a group of 3 or 4, quietly move away as they relaxed and chatted and repeat the process. At a large she could get 4 or 5 groups started. She made a umber of friends as they always remembered how she put them at ease when they felt lost . She was a bridesmaid at a wedding for a woman she first met by getting her into a group at a party. She gradually became more of an extrovert on social occasions without losing the ability to be happy alone for long periods.

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  6. INTJ female with a high IQ. I have been a misfit ever since my kindergarten teacher wrote "Does not play well with others" on my report card. I have nothing in common with most people I know. I am honest and a straight talker, don't watch TV or movies, am not interested in gossip or other people's drama, desire peace and quiet. Why can't people understand that?

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    Replies
    1. We must have shared the same teacher, I too had report cards like that since kindergarten. I would rather play by myself and do my own required projects and leave me alone when I am reading a book...

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    2. I’ll just simply state, me too.
      I do enjoy the company of my non-talking Labrador and Norwegian fjord horse. Coffee and books are also essential.
      Sidetracksusie

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  7. Many introverts can act extroverted when the situation needs it, but it certainly can be a draining experience.

    I would also point it out it is probably easier for an introvert to act extroverted than an extrovert to act introverted.

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  8. I just realized, I am probably in the middle, I do like to socialize and have a small group of friends around the country, that I am in contact with. But I also enjoy my home and yard and don't mind staying home for periods of time. So the pandemic was not hard for me. I enjoy my home, my hobbies and a good book. I really enjoy your blog, keep it coming.

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  9. Love this!! Thank you.

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  10. I've always, since about the age of 8, said I like my own company best. Since COVID started and I kept reading how hard it was to quarantine, how stressed I should be, how depressed, etc that I realized COVID did not affect me, did not change my life, did not stress me, etc BECAUSE I'm an introvert. I like my life and have no plans on changing it in any way, shape or form.

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  11. Socially this world may be built for extraverts, but it was physically built by introverts.
    Montana Guy

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    1. Amen! The mouth flapping doesn't count as work in my book!

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  12. I did not go and read whether or not the 2019 U of Cal study used introverts or extroverts in there experiment, but the result of that study would depend on knowing that. If you have a group of mostly extroverts, then yes, more of them would feel happier when interacting. Not the same response with a group of mostly introverts most likely. I, being an introvert, find it exhausting and stressful to interact too much. I prefer the quiet of my trees and garden.

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  13. When I was a kid, grownups would ask me what I wanted to be. I always said "A hermit with books". Just leave me alone.

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  14. What's wrong with being neither an introvert or an extrovert? Isn't there a middle ground that "most" people fit into? Not everyone can be the corporate leader. Someone has to "follow" and get it done.

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    1. And we are seeing where corporate leaders are leading the country today.

      Just an aside, folks might be unaware that ‘corporations’ would not exist had it not been for the 14th Amendment. Yes, this was the amendment intended to protect the citizenship rights of former slaves. However, powerful and greedy businessmen (like ‘globalists’ today) used a legal loophole to establish what we now know as ‘corporations’. As Montana’s Liberty Pastor Chuck Baldwin stated, “Today’s corporatism is a polite name for fascism.”

      Montana Guy



      Montana Guy

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  15. I think intro-/extrovert is a spectrum, and a lot of people on the intro- side of the middle have learned to act extroverted because that's what our society expects, possibly without even realizing it.  The only introverts left are those of us who can't fake it, which reinforces the notion that we are wierd.  I wonder how many people were surprised to discover their inner introvert over the last year...

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  16. I'm an introvert too, but I got on here mainly to ask if you know anything about Frank and Fern I miss them! I realize we're all preparing for what's to come, but I appreciate their wisdom, along with your's of course!

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    1. The last url I have for Frank and Fern is:

      https://thoughtsfromfrankandfern.wordpress.com/

      ...but I see they haven't posted for two months. I don't know why.

      - Patrice

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  17. Had to laugh out loud. I'm 70 and have been an introvert most of my life but especially for the last 35 years due to disability. Felt so sorry for all those who suffered financial and social loss during the rigid lock-downs, but my husband, who was able to work from home, our son, who is home-schooled anyway, and I were thrilled to be home together. Go introverts!

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  18. Introvert by choice, but extrovert when necessary. Prefer to stay on the ridge in an endless time warp, but adaptable to go to town every couple of weeks for gathering supplies. I guess you could call me a trovert...neither in nor ex!. Lol !

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  19. Both introverted, and socially awkward, and profoundly socially anxious (OK, that's actually three things).

    I can be quite talkative, when I am comfortable or when I find it necessary (just ask my kids' teachers this last year-- whee doggies!).

    One thing I have learned from the pandemic, is that I have NO INTENTIONS of changing.

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