I’m sliding down into the weekend, and not inspired to write today, so let’s discuss how introverts talk inside their heads, shall we?
Here’s what it’s like inside my head: I’m curious about so many things. I love a leisurely mental cruise to nowhere in particular. But that also means I have a ton of stuff in my head. The sheer tonnage of it all is daunting. I’d love to see an extrovert keep up with the small talk in my head. That would turn them off of small talk forever. Sweet revenge!
Because there is so much careening around in between my ears, it’s hard getting it to come out my mouth. It’s not that I can’t grab anything long enough to talk about it… not at all. It’s a matter of having twelve or fifteen separate and parallel trains of thought that I could bring out at any time. By the time I choose only one, the conversation has moved on. That’s why I spend a lot of time saying, “Why didn’t I think to say that THEN?” Don’t you hate all those brilliant things you think of right after the moment has passed?
I also have this habit of mentally rehearsing things I’m going to say. Cee (my better half) understands when I say I’m just scripting. That means I’m quiet because I’m writing or rehearsing an anticipated conversation with someone. I do lots of that.
But then I also forget to say things out loud, thinking that I already have. Hence Cee’s frustration with me from time to time. So I’ve gotten to the point of prefacing a lot of my comments with, “Did I tell you about xyz, or was it just in my head?” If she gives me that slightly frustrated but secretly in love with my maddening genius look, I know I forgot to say it out loud.
But Cee’s also an introvert and her thing is to start a conversation mid way through instead of at the beginning so I’m never quite sure of what she’s talking about. It will take me a few sentences to figure out it’s something we discussed two days ago at dinner and she just has a new perspective. She’ll also jump topics without warning and jump back to them, also without warning. It’s like playing ping pong sometimes. Ah, the introvert mind! Always so busy.
To go along with the rehearsing, I also have to spend a lot of time reviewing things. I think that’s part of the drain of being with other people. I review afterwards. It’s how I learn and come to understand human interactions. The more meaningful the experience, the more review I do afterwards. The longest introspection is always after one of my grief support groups, just because they are such moving experiences. I’m silent for hours afterwards, just processing all that went on. If that processing time gets interrupted, it will resume as soon as I get more quiet time.
OK, the floor is yours. Does any of that resonate with you? What goes on inside your head? Does any of this ring true for you? What’s different in your mind? Leave your comments below.
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Hi. I’m Chris. I’m an introvert. Look for my ongoing series debunking the introvert myths (Sunday) and introvert cartoons (Wednesday), plus anything else interesting that I find in the meantime. Come and share with like-minded introverts. I also contribute to the new food blog Three’s Cooking, learning to cook from the heart, for the soul.