Many of us in the land of blog have declared ourselves to be introverts. These are a few of the ways that my own introversion manifests itself in my day-to-day life. Can you relate to any of these?
1) You’re in a small group situation. Finally you’ve not only managed to think of something to say (a feat in itself), but plucked up the courage to actually say it. You wait for a pause, start, and one of the following things happens:
- Someone else starts talking at the exact same second that you start. You immediately stop talking and berate yourself severely for getting it wrong.
- You’re mid sentence and someone else in the group interrupts you. At this stage it’s not so easy for you to stop talking. You’d given yourself the pep talk – Come on, you can do it, just start talking, stop being silly, just do it!, you’d launched into it, and now you’re into the home straight; it actually takes a different kind of confidence to stop at this stage, and you don’t have that, so you just keep going, desperately hoping for a freak lightening storm to arrive and throw the power out.
- You’re half way through your story when a couple of others in the group start up their own separate conversation. You’re faced with the harsh reality that you just weren’t interesting enough to hold the whole group’s attention (but you knew that anyway). There is now only one person listening to you, and clearly they’re only being polite. All you can do is stare intently at that one person, trying your hardest to act like you were only talking to that one person anyway, whilst racing through as fast as you can to get to the end of what you want to say.
2) You tell someone that you will email or text them, and they say “Or just give me a call”. Just? Just?! No no no no, emailing is a “just”, texting is a “just”, giving someone a call isn’t anywhere close to being a “just”.
3) Someone is blocking the way that you want to walk. You say “Excuse me”, but horror of horrors, they don’t hear you! You’re pretty convinced however that everyone else in a 5 mile radius DID hear you and they’re all wondering why you don’t just say “Excuse me” again, a bit louder (Ha, as if THAT’S an option). There’s only one thing for it, you must pull out your phone, tap the screen a few times while looking slightly concerned, and make a little “ooh” noise. This indicates that there is something on your phone alerting you to the fact that you no longer need to go in that direction, but instead need to turn back and go in a completely different direction. Keep looking at your phone while you execute the manoeuvre. No one will suspect a thing.
4) You’re in a large group situation, maybe a party, or the dreaded “Refreshments and networking” section of a conference, or as I like to call it, the “Refreshments and stand there awkwardly wondering how soon is too soon to go back and sit in the conference room ready for the next talk” section. You’re pleased that someone you’re reasonably comfortable with is talking to you. And then from nowhere they decide to throw you to the lions by doing one of the following things:
- They say “Anyway, I’m just going to go and say hi to a couple of people”, and off they go, leaving you standing there wishing you possessed that superpower of being able to just go and say hi to a couple of people. If you’re at a conference, you’re lucky, you will probably have been given some papers, these papers are your new best friend; there is no limit to the number of times they can be read.
- They say “Come on, I’m going to introduce you to a couple of people.” This has the exact same effect on you as if they’d said, “Come on, I’m going to take all your clothes off you and parade you around naked for a while.”
Seriously, how do we get through the day?