Posts Tagged With: introverted

AHHHhhhhhhh…….

peaceful

There was a time when I had not a concern in the world….and then I was born.  It’s amazing the things I found to be stressful as a child.  Having to make new friends at school was absolutely terrifying for me, being an introvert.  Having to learn math and spelling and grammar and history and learning to deal with the cliques….it was stressful, to say the least, and led to many sleepless nights.

These anxieties continued throughout my school years, with the inclusion of having to learn geometry, trigonometry, calculus, the sciences, foreign languages, more clearly defined cliques.  Life had become quite the challenge.  Most days I didn’t want to even get out of bed, but if I didn’t get out of bed, I wouldn’t go to school and if I didn’t go to school, I would have to endure it all again next year with a whole new pool of people.

FINALLY, I managed to graduate high school!  The sense of freedom was incredible…until my parents gave me the choice of going to college, joining the military, or getting a job. So off to college I went.  The first year was the absolute worst, again because of being an introverted introvert.  It’s not that I didn’t like people and wasn’t sociable….I was just extremely awkward around people and even more so in social situations.  But I put on my calm face and followed Shakespeare’s “Henry V” by going “Once more into the breach”.

Throughout the bits of my life that I remember, I was seeking to be absent from the world by finding that place where could fit in and be accepted.

Fast forward through the misery that was college and the 8 years of military and a divorce and I now find myself still seeking that place where I can find peace and fit in.  While I have no clue where to find it, I do know what sort of place it is that I feel most at peace.

I like quiet.  I like the environment to be of cool climate.  I like a gentle breeze.  I would like something of a stream or other water.  In a place like this, I could find peace.  There would be no expectation of having to deal with others.

I once thought such a place truly existed.  But am now not so sure.  If it does exist, it is beyond my reach at present and the feeling out of place in this world continues.

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m NOT Weird! Well….Perhaps I Am. But Just A Bit!

people

I like people, generally speaking.  Some I find more tolerable than others.  Some of the more gregarious ones tend to make me feel completely exhausted, and also arouse my suspicions as to their sincerity.

You see, I am very much an Introvert! I am quiet, by nature, and prefer to observe rather than lead.  I notice….oh yes, I notice more than I say.  Didn’t think anyone saw you picking your nose during staff meeting? Yeah, I noticed.  Didn’t think anyone heard you belch into your napkin so delicately pretending to sneeze?  Yeah, I noticed that too.  Not much subtlety escapes my notice, I just don’t feel the need to voice it.

I like to sit quietly and read or write.  Whilst engaged in this pasttime, I am still quietly noticing.  I use reflective surfaces as mirrors, so I noticed you adjusting your “unmentionables”.  My ears are sensitive and hear your whispers.

No, I am not some creepy prowler.  I am just a quiet observer.  I like working by myself.  I like spending as much time being quiet as I possibly can.  Loud people who are loud just for he sake of being loud or in an effort to be “intimidating” piss me off.  Just because I am quiet does not, by any stretch, mean that I am weak or afraid.  I am calculating when I must be.

I like thinking things through.  Granted, not all of my thoughts work as imagined, but I learn from that and file it away for next time.  I am constantly learning; constantly thinking; constantly observing.  My mind wakes me up at night because it wants more input when my body wants sleep.

Because I am constantly thinking, I am also caring.  I am a wonderful listener.  I enjoy spending one-to-one time.  I do have friends, but my true friends are a very small and tight knit group.  I like to vacation to places that are off the beaten path.  I like to sing in the car (partly because I sing very badly but mainly because I feel comfortable when alone in the car).  I am perfectly comfortable sitting in silence.

I am an Introvert, not anti-social.  I may be an Introvert, but I also have feelings.

I am an Introvert!  And you cannot change that about me, so please don’t try!

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So What If I Act Like A Hermit Crab?

hermit crabI like quiet!

I like not talking!

I like thinking!

I like observing!

I like reading!

I like working alone!

I like my alone time!

NO, I am NOT a leper!  NO, this is not “just a phase.” NO, I am not anti-social!  NO, I am not unhappy!  NO, crowds will NOT bring me “out of that shell”, matter of fact, crowds make me withdraw deeper into my shell.  NO, I am not avoiding you….well, perhaps I am but only if you are being loud and pushy.

Hear me very carefully…I’m an INTROVERT!  That just means I process internally (and quietly).  I have no need or desire to be gregarious.  I cringe at the thought of being expected to be the center of attention or life of the party.  In fact, MY idea of a great party is a gathering of my few closest friends (and I do NOT make friends easily), in a quiet setting.  I don’t require a horde of loud whooping Barbarians trying to yawp louder than the rest.  The friends I have are friends for life. For you see, I take friendship quite seriously.

In my youth, I was that one person everyone liked to have around because I would listen.  However, having been branded as that “Sweet Guy” or, worse, “That Nice Guy” pretty much doomed any role for me other than that of listener.  I admit that I was bitter and angry about having been shoved into that role, but time has passed and those who shoved me into that role still tend to seek me out to listen.  But the people who thought me to be that “Nice Guy” failed to understand (or take the time to inquire) that I am an Introvert and, though I am quiet and withdrawn, I have feelings.

I have come to accept my Introversion and have found my niche.  I am an observer of human interactions. Not in that Ice Cream Truck Pervy kind of way, rather I sit on the fringe of the group or party and observe how humans interact with each other.  Not much escapes my notice and I have found that humans have the same habits and interactions as Simians.

At a party for example, there is immediately a “sizing up” of the new arrivals.  The males of the group begin their puffing up and posturing, which is followed up by the exaggerated sports talk at a loud volume, which includes lots of alcohol consumption complete with belching, scratching, and the none-too-subtle “checking out” of the female attendees (And, of course, every female who is deemed desirable or attractive “wants me).  The loud sports talk includes such physical displays as pantomiming a particular sports play considered to have been outstanding. At some point the sports talk will drift into the “who’s got the coolest job” puffery.

The female attendees are not much better in their activities.  They immediately “size up” the new arrivals to judge them on their couture, make-up, hair, jewelry, and general physical appearance.  Yes, even the females judge each other by the size and perkiness of the bosoms, with such statements as: “Those CAN’T be real!” or “Someone’s bought a new set” or “That poor dear couldn’t nourish a mosquito, much less attract a REAL man.”  And, yes, though the females may hide (or think they are hiding) they scratch, pick, and adjust just like the males.

While I realize that these observations reveal stereotypes, the human works very hard trying to make other humans think they are not human.  I chuckle quietly to myself knowing that some other Introvert is most likely observing me.

But think of Introversion this way: “It is the rain that nourishes the grass, not the thunder!”  – Rumi

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Trampling Is Okay….But Only For Some!

tramplingWe are quite a confusing society, I am learning slowly.  It would seem, to the observer, that one person’s “rights” are more valuable than the “rights” of someone else.  Take for example, I am stopped at a traffic signal with my windows rolled up enjoying the music of my choice at a level that can only be heard by my and the air particles within my car.  Next to me pulls up a driver whose music of choice thumps hard enough that my car vibrates in rhythm and I can no longer hear myself think because her windows are down and she is quite enthusiastic about forcing everyone to listen to her music.  On the other side of me arrives a driver whose windows are up, but whose music is also loud enough to be heard and felt long before his arrival at the intersection.  The drivers on either side of me then engage in a war of music to see who can drown out the other.

Therefore, my question is this: Since when do their “right” to force their music of choice upon me outweigh my “right” to listen to my music of choice?

While I completely understand that we don’t all like the same things.  If we did, what a dull existence we would have….dressing the same, thinking the same, eating the same, living the same, talking the same….BORING!  Yet why am I, a rather quiet introvert, apparently of less value than those who are loud?

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You Want WHAT?

One of my hobbies is people watching.  I like to observe this creature called “human” going about their daily routines and in the habitats where they feel more at ease.  My efforts have revealed some interesting observations regarding the behaviors of these beasts.

Realy

The first behavior I observed is one-upmanship whereby when a group of these humans gather in a setting, they begin comparing positions with the following inquiry: “What do you do for a living?” Upon receiving the answer, a perceived hierarchy begins to develop.  For example, a business executive will assert his superiority over the administrative assistant or salesperson.  The successful professional will be judged to be superior to the young professional just starting their career.  Social gatherings don’t seem to function until this pecking order has been established.  I question the validity of this need and wonder why a person’s profession is more important than the person.

Another behavior I observed is the customer service ‘I want to punch you in the throat’ look. I find this in restaurants, stores, DMV, and any other place where a worker is required to deal with the public.  I, also, deal with the public and sometimes feel this way. Why do customers, of any kind, somehow believe that they are the center of the universe and are not expected to be courteous, polite, or even nice?

I will limit my examples to two:

  1. A person comes into a restaurant, is seated, is given a menu and a rundown of the specials. Server goes to take care of another table. Instead of deciding what to order, the customer begins a conversation, phone call, check emails, updates Facebook, anything except pick up the menu and make a decision. Upon the return of the Server, the customer says, “I just can’t decide, what’s good?” The Server would be VERY unprofessional should they ‘recommend’ something that appeals to THEIR taste, because it might not be something that appeals to YOUR taste. And if their suggestion is not something you like, your experience will be noted by you as “bad” and you will tell others how “awful that restaurant is” even going so far as to blast the place (and server) in the VERY public forum of Facebook. I’ve seen it too many times for this not to be true.
  2. If you have had a bad day, this in NO WAY is a license for you to vent your anger, frustration, irritation, or just plain obnoxious arrogance on anyone else.  Especially the one providing you with goods and/or services. For example, if you go to a pub to drown your rough day and call for the “BAR WENCH” you can pretty much be guaranteed some sort of revenge will be wrought. Perhaps your beverage will be brought in a dirty glass, or saliva has been added, or a dead roach was drowned in your beverage and removed before you got served.  Rule of thumb: Do NOT irritate those who provide you with immediate goods and/or services.  If you have had a bad day, take a walk or go to the gym or go play in traffic.

The barbershop where I get what’s left of my hair trimmed (“cut” would be far too drastic), the barber knows I am introverted. As a result, she keeps the conversation to three questions or less.  Why? Partly because she knows I dislike chatty people who talk just to fill the silence. But, more importantly, because she has taken the time to observe and remember.  I am a regular. I like to have the same barber. As a result, my gratuity reflects the extra effort she put in to help establish this relationship.

Gratuity, in and of itself, is a tangible way of expressing GRATITUDE for a job well done. Now I do take offense with establishments that put a “tip jar” right next to the cash register, as if a gratuity is an expectation given PRIOR to the service being provided.  A coffee shop I visited recently had such a setup. When I paid for my coffee, I was given my change in singles (as a hint to tip for a job not yet done). I stepped away from the counter to await the delivery of my coffee, and when it was given to me, I provided the tip directly to the person performing the service. Not out of requirement, but because the service was quick and courteous.

There is no reason to be obnoxious, arrogant, or ignorant. THINK! Reverse the roles for a moment, how would YOU wish to be treated?

Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What’s That Rattling Noise?

dangerWOW! Work has kept me incredibly busy, but since I LOVE my job, I don’t mind at all.  One thing I’ve learned is that “free time” tends to let my mind wander into things that should probably best be unwandered.

Last time I had a physical, I found it quite disconcerting that the physician seemed to want to carry on a conversation whilst poking about my bits. Perhaps it’s just because I’m an introvert, or perhaps I’d rather this part of the exam be done quickly, quietly, and with as little eye-contact or discussion as possible.

I thoroughly enjoy Shark Week, but have been curious why people would want to see how much annoying a shark will stand before it decides to bite.  Actually this goes for all dangerous critters.  Why would you want to aggravate a beastie just to piss it off?

Stupidity

Part of my job is listening to people and offering counsel.  I would like to point out that it is extremely frustrating, not to mention very rude, to repeat the same issue to me over and over hoping I will offer you the counsel you want to hear. If you’ve already decided what you want to hear…we shouldn’t be talking.

Coffee is wonderful. Yep, that pretty much says it all.

Just a bit of “common sense”:

  • If you want exceptional customer service, BE an exceptional customer!
  • If you see me reading, please do not take that as an invitation to conversation. If I wanted to talk, I wouldn’t be reading.
  • Accept that people are different, as a result, people think differently. With me so far? This means there is usually more than one way to accomplish something other than just your method.
  • If you have any question as to whether the milk has soured, it’s best to go ahead and not drink it.
  • Not everyone likes onions.
  • While we’re on the subject, not everyone wants to hear your cellphone conversation.
  • Life is short. Don’t let things go unsaid, hugs go unshared, or love go unexpressed.
  • That rattling noise you hear are the other thoughts tumbling about in my cranium. I couldn’t catch them today.

 

 

 

Categories: Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wisdom Comes From Odd Places

Oogway

It’s been awhile since last I put fingers to keyboard and mind to focus to write.  During my hiatus, I took time to ponder and contemplate (as introverts are wont to do) and I enjoyed one of my favorite movies.

 

One of the things about a good movie or book is that each time you view or read it, you learn something new.  And such has been this was no exception.  The movie I watched is, in reality, rather cheesy but I enjoy it nonetheless.  Kung Fu Panda actually has some remarkably insightful lines that bear repeating.

 

My favorite character in this movie is Master Oogway.  He is the gentle wise Kung Fu Master of Masters. He has many sage nuggets of wisdom to share, but here are my favorites:

 

One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.

 

Consider this for a moment. Sometimes we make the choice to try to avoid a situation only to find the situation staring us in the face at every turn.  Trying to avoid the inevitable is like trying to live underwater without taking air to breathe….unless you’re a fish, it’s not possible.

 

Look at this tree. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me, nor make it bear fruit before its time.

 

If you plant an orange tree, you will get oranges.  You cannot plant an orange tree and get bananas.  You might go bananas trying to make it give you something it can’t though.  Be careful what thoughts, ideas, words and attitudes you plant.

 

You are too concerned with what was, and what will be.

 

Learn from the past, it cannot be changed.

Change your future by altering your present!

 

I am rather dorky, I know, but some things just strike me as interesting and worth sharing.

 

Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Chirpy Beware!

I’m NOT a morning person! For the sake of those whose coffee may not have quite activated their ‘start’ button, let me repeat that: I am NOT a morning person. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against morning or its people. I just don’t happen to be one of them.

morning person

When I was in the military, we had to rise at O-it’s-still-dark-thirty, which in civilian speak means “just went to bed.” And what did we do at this glorious time of morning? Dash about with painted faces, hefting our weight in our rucksack, scampering from tree to tree like armadillos on crack. All the while listening to the sweet melody of our drill sergeant reminding us that whatever we were trying to do needed to be done faster, more efficiently, and with greater enthusiasm. We had to decode this encouraging message from the surrounding volumes of profanity, obscenity, and his doubts as to the legitimacy of our parentage.

Upon my exit from the military, my dislike of mornings continued with one exception, coffee! While in the military we were given many things, it just so happens that coffee was not among them. That’s not to say we didn’t make full use of the opportunities to obtain the wicked nectar from various means and methods, but I have gotten off task…

Anyone who knows me will tell you not to speak to me at all before I have had at least 30 minutes of quiet time and coffee. Why? Because, until the second influx of caffeine has been properly infused into my brain, my brain is focused on two things: breathing and not killing those who disturb this routine.

I purposely set my alarm to allow enough time for peace and quiet with my coffee each morning before toddling off to face the day.

Those cheery people who are so perky before my fourth cup has been ingested are like mosquitoes and should be smacked. My job requires focus and concentration, thus in order to be ready for peak performance, I do drink a lot of coffee. While this might explain the bouts of insomnia, I can hardly attribute it entirely as the cause.

I will mere stick to my original premise: I am NOT a morning person!

Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Are You Afraid To Live?

carpe diem-1“It’s astounding….time is fleeting…..” I won’t ask you to take a jump to the left (unless you feel so inclined), but these lyrics ring very true. It truly is astounding how time is fleeting. Okay, unless you are waiting in line at Disney or the DMV, time is whizzing past us at a rate of 24 hours each day. While that may not impress some people, it is still the truth. How many times have you heard or said, “There just aren’t enough hours in the day”? Really? You get 24 hours each day to accomplish all the things you want and need to accomplish.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to be busy or to have a lot to accomplish or wanting to do more. What I AM saying is, if we are so pressed for time, then something is going to have to give, what is it? Are you too tired and brain fried to deal with your family? Are you so busy that you don’t make time to eat properly? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying a sense of accomplishment?

We expend a lot of time and energy trying to do it all, and make sure we don’t miss anything, that we are aging ourselves with stress and strain. This seems to make the cosmetic surgeons and make-up companies pretty happy so they can target their customers with “anti-aging” goodies and services. But my question is “why?” Why do we have this compulsion to constantly strive to do more and more and more? Is there some reward for who does the most in their lifetime? Will someone build monuments to you posthumously, that you won’t get to enjoy, for all your accomplishments?

I am all for Carpe Diem! Seizing the Day and squeezing the most life I can out of it is always a good thing. But I am also including in my squeezing the occasional nap, time to read and relax. Seizing sometimes means “fitting into your day time to do little or nothing.” We weren’t designed to run wide open for long periods of time. To me, Carpe Diem is more about how do I want to be remembered. Do I want to be remembered as someone who worked so much that he got every promotion and yet had no time for friends and family? Do I want to be remembered as someone who studied all the time earning degree after degree but didn’t really do anything with them except hang them on his wall?

No! I want to be remembered as someone who tried to enjoy life and tried to share that enjoyment with others. Why would we want to be completely stressed out to the point of a heart attack all the time? It’s hard to learn to slow down and let go of some things that really don’t matter much. It’s hard to release that Type-A personality, that driven personality, that can’t relax without being shot with a tranquilizer dart.

It’s important to Carpe your Diem. To squeeze every drop of living out of every day. But it’s not a good thing to choke the life out of every day.

Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Perhaps I’m A Smart Aleck

Perhaps I'm A Smart Aleck

I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop (office away from the office) doing the research and observing that I so enjoy, when a rather boisterous friend came in. Apparently my expression was not as inviting as she would want, so she made a b-line to my table and said, in a rather loud tone, “What’s wrong with you?”

I met her gaze, smiled, and replied quietly, “I’m working on research for a presentation.” And returned to my observing of humanity and its interactions.

My response, apparently, bounced off her understanding like a bullet hitting a steel block, and she said in an even louder tone, “Why are you watching all these people?”

So much for my unobtrusive research! Again, I met her gaze, smiled (or grimaced, as the perspective might interpret), and asked quietly (yet insincerely), “Is there something you want or need?” She gave me a confused expression as though I had asked her to solve for pi to the 1,000,032 point. I even thought she had suddenly developed a tic of sorts, as if her circuits were shorting out.

She plopped down, uninvited I might add, in the chair across from me, almost toppling my coffee, leaned over the table to look right into my eyes and said, “Why are you always SO QUIET?”

By now, my head was about to explode, and I honestly tried to stop the words from blazing forth like a cannon shot, but they were out before I could manage, “Because YOU WON’T BE!”

Perhaps, it was because she got angry by that response; perhaps, she got her feelings hurt; perhaps, her mind imploded at the notion. Sara hasn’t spoken to me since.

I do enjoy the quiet. It’s like a vacation.

Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........ | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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