This is the first in a weekly series debunking myths about introverts. The basis of the 10 week series is the article written by Carl King. I will show his thinking, add mine and then encourage all of you to contribute your thoughts on the subject.
Don’t know if you’re an introvert or an extrovert? Take Susan Cain’s quiz.
Carl: Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.
Chris: Do I really know how to relax and have fun? Sometimes I wonder. I have a bad habit of pushing until I get too overwhelmed and then just shut down. I think my problem is that as soon as I think of things to do, I focus on all the expenditures associated with that (Example: going to a museum = get dressed, print out directions, deal with driving into the city, finding a parking space, being around a lot of people, etc.). I’m learning to stop myself before I get to the overwhelm point and manage a little better so that I can relax and have fun.
What is fun for me? Reading, of course. I am an introvert, after all. I tend to swing between two extremes: reading chunksters (thick non-fiction books) and cozy mystery stories (no gratuitous sex, blood and violence). There was a time when I really enjoyed writing my own mysteries, and I hope to get back to that someday.
Outside activities: meditation in a beautiful, quiet place. Watching the birds that come to my bird feeder. Cee and I moved into a wonderful house last summer and we’re looking forward to planting a nice garden that will give her more photo opportunities and me a splendid place to meditate.
Watching our favorite movies: We have a collection of movies that we find uplifting or funny, or both. We also like “B” rated disaster movies… the kind that are just good enough to be able to sit through but not scary or depressing. We like to make fun of them and wave goodbye to all the people who we know are going to be crunched or blown away soon. (Does anyone get this current dystopia trend? The last thing I want is to wander through a forlorn, depressing world.) Cee would watch a lot more movies but I tend to get into the characters enough that it becomes tiring for me. I know it’s all make believe, but I like to write realistic characters, so I get into the heads of people and after a while that is like a party without small talk. Still draining.
Inside: sitting with a cat, or two cats, or a cat and a dog in my lap. Or with none of them if there is too much competition for lap space or if they’re insisting I put down my book. Blogging is getting to be quite fun for me. There are times I just need to spend time playing games on the computer, but they are usually pretty simple games. Just things I can use as a diversion.
I’m still trying to define “fun” in my own head. All of my life I categorized myself as “boring”, but I realize now it’s only because my idea of fun is different from 75% of the world. I look forward to seeing what you do for fun to see if it triggers anything in me.
Chris also contributes to the new food blog Three’s Cooking, learning to cook from the heart, for the soul.