Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Please let me be

I have many introverted friends. Many I love dearly.
I am not one of them. Extraversion is my preference.
When they, on many occasions, extravert with gusto, I am thrilled and sit in awe as they take over a room, work it, squeeze it, toss it up, let it fall, then rework it all over again.
When they are done, one thing I never do is sidle up to them and ask: "You all right? Wow, such a performance. You're not ill, are you? Is everything all right? You sure? Have I upset you, intimidated you? There's nothing wrong, is there?"
Why would there be?
It's clear:
- they are with friends
- they feel comfortable
- they feel confident
- they enjoy the rush
Ok, what is my point?
Good question.
It sometimes takes me time.
Some of these friends, in particular those very close to me, if I happen to introvert for a period, an hour, or more, or a week, ask me: "Are you ok? Is there something wrong? Have I done something to upset you? Are you upset about something I said?"
If there is nothing wrong, and for the most part there is not, I reply: "No, I'm introverting. From time to time I need a break. I cannot extravert, constantly, each and every day, forever, without a break. And this is me, doing it, introverting, which means I go quiet, I go inside myself, reflect, think before I speak, you may know about such things. And I like doing it. Gaining more and more confidence each time I do it. It is not my natural preference. It will not last. But I like it. Please let me do it."
Recently I finished writing a book, an adult novel, this required much introversion with accompanying reflection and associated research.
In order to write this I had to withdraw, almost completely for periods of intense writing, and I lost count of the number of time I was asked: "Are you sure you are all right?"
Now, when asked, I burst into song:
I am all right
There is nothing wrong
I'm happy
Happy as hell
And leaving for a light meal
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh how I need to eat
All to the tune of Leaving on a jet plane, the Peter Paul and Mary hit.
It seems to do the trick.
Thanks for listening.