An Introvert’s Dream

In 2019 Oxford’s word of the year was ‘climate emergency’. I’m willing to wager now, by the time the sun sets on our top to bottom beyond cray cray 2020, everyone’s presently favourite-not-favourite term ‘social distancing’ will rank high up the list for this year.

Yet for a particular parcel of the population known to be crowd-averse at the best of times, social distancing equals nothing short of a raving good time. You heard that right. The current virus-flavoured cataclysm unraveling a million threads from a million different blanket corners from the fabric of society does have a silver lining.

For the world’s introverts – known by such not-especially-complimentary colloquial terms as ‘homebodies’, ‘shut-ins’, ‘wallflowers’, ‘loners’ and ‘solitaires’ – what’s happening at present as far as the curtailing of social contact and the ban on large groups of people – is frankly nothing short of a form of heaven on Earth. And it’s one this quietly spoken and inward-looking army of tens of millions were sure they’d never be so lucky to witness in their lifetime.

Seriously? Seriously. And joyously if you’re an ‘Intro’.

Wasn’t there an ancient tongue saying doing the rounds at some point long, long ago about the meek inheriting the earth? Well…welcome to it!

What the grey-bearded ones conveniently failed to mention however was the fact that by the time the ‘inheritance’ was left to be claimed, whatever was left after the devastation to be quietly, politely and considerately stood in line for, would, undoubtedly, be in such a shambolic state, no one – be they meek or shouty – would be the least bit motivated to covert these leftover society’s ashes.

Collapse and carnage aside, point is seeing whole nations come around to what you’ve been doing your entire life – albeit not willingly but rather something that’s been forced on them much like a pair of police-issue handcuffs (or a sloppy kiss from great grandma – choose your own analogy) – is nonetheless personal validation on a grand scale for Earth’s social moths, shyologists and keep-to-them-selfers.

Pretty sure this Poster girl for Introvert’s United is not a genuine introvert herself but hey, she’s been chosen to deliver the message so LETS RUN WITH IT!

Throughout my life I’ve alternated between believing myself to be an introvert as well as the more outward-focused extrovert. These days my pet go-to description is the very new-millenium-sounding ‘ambivert’.

For those who haven’t heard the term before – of which, until very recently, I counted myself as one – it’s a description of people who embrace traits from both ends of the introvert /extrovert spectrum, continuum or whatever you want to call the genetic personality lottery that makes us us.

And before we go any further now seems as good a time as any to map out exactly what is meant when we describe someone as being ‘introverted.’ Most descriptions I’ve encountered over the past day or so appear to cite a similar batch of re-occurring traits.

For those playing at home (where else would you be?) try asking yourself, on a scale of 1 – 10, how true the following statements are for you. Ready? Steady? Go…

  • I hate small talk but I enjoy deep conversations.
  • I get tired if I stay at a party or social gathering too long.
  • I feel like everything I say should be meaningful and often refrain from talking for this reason.
  • I prefer one-on-one or small group conversations over talking in large groups.
  • I need to spend time alone to recharge my battery.
  • I think before I speak.
  • I have difficulty thinking in a group. I think best when I’m on my own.
  • I usually listen more than I talk.
  • I dislike interruptions.
  • I hate conflict.

Adding to that checklist, here’s a few of my own. You know you’re a social vegan who avoids meet when –

Your idea of happiness is when the elevator door successfully closes before anyone else can get in.

You’d rather forgo the chance of winning $200 000 in Channel 9’s ‘I wake up with Today’ phone promotion because there’s a chance you might be interviewed on television.

You regularly enjoy watching your phone ring until you miss the call.

You know and understand that the collective noun for a group of introverts is a ‘no thanks’.

Your personal motto reads “I may on occasion ‘visit’ the world of people but my true home will always be solitude and the world of thought”.

The idea of sleeping in a coffin with a sealed lid holds genuine appeal.

Equally the thought of climbing into a packing box and staying there (just like you did as a kid only now you’re adulting) is… attractive.

And if after all that checking you’re still unsure whether you’re a bona-fide ‘intro’ or merely just a victim at present of ‘Corona circumstance’ one thing is for certain – there’s plenty of books on the subject-

Ps. Got some great bonuses for you this week. Try THIS ONE on for size for starters. It’s advice on how to last 42 days alone in your own room – you know… just in case?

Pss. Two of the three cartoons used in this post have been lifted, with permission, from an amazing little site called INTROVERT DOODLES. Owner Maureen ‘Marzi’ Wilson – U.S author of four books – says she created the site as a way for her to better understand her own introversion.

Psss. In a world gone stupid, what we need now more than ever is love. How’s that for a 1970’s-radio-DJ-style sedgeway into presenting the latest Lady Gaga song video STUPID LOVE? This clip maybe Michelin star quality gourmet eye candy but what’s it doing here, at the end of this post you ask?

If nothing else it’s exhibit A for the case why this world, beholden and calmed as it may be by the introverts, is most definitely, and undeniably, created and choreographed by extroverts.

Pssss. Just quietly – the introverts aren’t the only stock holding up better than most during this time of…of… disarray? The OCD‘ers who’ve been known to compulsively wash their hands a dozen or more times a day are also fairing quite well I hear.

Psssss. I could leave you with a Coronavirus joke but you probably wouldn’t get it. Hopefully not anyway. And before anyone thinks about voicing their concern at the standard of purported humour on this site, it’s best to keep in mind one thing: protesting will get both you AND I precisely… nowhere.

15 thoughts on “An Introvert’s Dream

  1. As my home’s resident introvert, I am indeed faring way better than my extrovert counterparts, in the sense that I am not unduly beset by panic attacks, anxiety, fits of stir crazy etc.

    I will say that seeing my city empty on my grocery run, with even the beloved ecosystem of corner stores closed…..it deeply bothered me. I may not like people, but I do like knowing they are around if I suddenly change my mind.

    Plus, being a lifer in a busy, densely populated city…my brain assigns too much quiet to something being deeply wrong. In this case, I’m correct.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Glen, loved reading your thoughts about introverts and the illustrations also – I did not know there were so many books written about it – as it has been said – every situation (no matter how drastic it seems to be) has some good for some people somewhere…….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for those kind thoughts.
    Similar to the picture included in the post, this video shows what’s now going by the name of ‘isolation discs’. And to think… introverts don’t need any such special equipment to achieve pretty much the same effect!

    Like

  4. What a detailed and well-rounded discussion on the art of being alone comfortably!
    I love the pic. of the guy walking down the sidewalk with the metal circle around his body so no one can get any closer than his circular armor!
    I answered yes to all the questions on introverts–except that I’ve outgrown some of them!
    I don’t care if everything I say isn’t meaningful anymore. I sometimes enjoy chitchat. I don’t 100% think before I speak.
    It was really interesting to see some people, after only a few DAYS, starting to go nuts and wondering when they’d be able to socialize again! DAYS. I feel blessed to be an introvert right now. Or, as I feel I’ve grown into more, a lone wolf.
    You know what they say–being shy isn’t cute anymore after age 30!
    (Who comes up with these ideas, rules, decisions, time lines anyway??!!)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. No such thing as cabin fever for the true intro I say.
    I don’t reckon the guy in this video is an introvert but rather just a good actor. Nevertheless he makes some funny points including, most notably, his assertion that ‘People are stuck in the extroverted paradigm’ –

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If you go to this link:

    You will see an interview with a performer that I have followed for this very reason.

    If you look at him on stage, namely at Knebworth in 2003, when he played three consecutive nights, each night the audience was 125 000 people, and then you hear him talk about how he can’t leave the house because of crippling agoraphobia, it’s almost laughable.

    It’s almost like he has got two personalities, however, again, I’ll ask how can you perform in front of that many people, and do it remarkably well, yet off stage you struggle in social situations? Just a thought…..

    PS: If someone could upload the video, that would be great, I cant seem to do it.
    PPS: Check out him performing ‘Let me entertain you’ at Knebworth, the opening song, and you’ll see what I’m talking about!

    Liked by 1 person

    • If Robbie Williams is an introvert then I’m a Nobel-prize winning rocket scientist.

      Sorry, but it doesn’t ring true for me. Call me cynical but to me it’s one of the oldest cliches in the showbiz book – a performer playing the ‘sensitive artist’ opening up in an interview and ‘exposing’ their vulnerable side. Give me a break! I’ve seen too many of these type of ‘human interest angle’ interviews with celebrities and artists to see this as anything other than a not-very-original marketing strategy designed to enhance their appeal.

      How these type of ‘I’m actually real shy’ celebrity interview admissions work I believe is – ‘showing their inner most being’ in a camera interview is really a very well-thought-out attempt to endear themselves to their fans and anyone else listening that they’re actually so very human i.e. they have fears and insecurities in common with the average person who might find that notion appealing and therefore want to go out and buy a concert ticket, download for a fee one of their albums or purchase some merchandise.

      There was a time many decades ago when I used to be taken in by this sort of celebrity interview and go “Oh look, they’re actually just like me!”. That sort of innocence and naivety was a long time ago however.

      No disrespect to Robbie intended, ’cause I’m a fan too but c’mon! This sort of barely disguised soft-sell marketing is a form of mis-information on a grand scale and really an insult to the genuine introverts of the world.

      I did watch the entire twelve and a half minutes of the interview though Matt so thanks for posting it.
      The video below has had over 1.2 million on-line views and deserves every one of them.
      Can’t help but thinking the throbbing sea of humanity comprising the super-max crowd would have been any common viruses’ idea of sweet heaven.

      Like

  7. I’m glad I’m not the only wordy one to have noticed that ‘social distancing’ (unfortunately WordPress comments don’t allow me to heap all my flaubertian/henryjamesian irony upon such a weasel term by ‘quoting’ and italicizing it) will likely be appearing as a new entry in the OED next year.

    Thanks for your like on my latest post, Glen. Having read it, I know you will understand what I mean when I say (not at all facetiously) that we have always had ‘social distancing’: it’s called the Internet.

    As an introvert myself, but one whom people always seem to seek out, I’ve actually relished the opportunity to hole up in a hotel and not go out of my room for days on end. As a writer, I feel like I’m connecting with my heritage: Shakespeare wrote his long poems when the London theatres were closed on account of plague, and in my more Mr. Burnsian, steeple-fingering moments, as I gaze out the narrow window of my gilded prison at the suckers (excuse me, ‘extroverts’) on the streets of Melbourne, I feel a bit like Machiavelli surveying the carnage in Florence from a safe distance.

    It’s a good time to be an ‘homme de lettres’.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Dean,
    Yep, the writers of this world could all take a leaf out of Shakespeare’s book not least for how he handled self isolation during The Great Plague –

    https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/what-shakespeare-actually-did-during-the-plague

    As far as likes on your page go, you deserve a thousand of them and are a true inspiration for authors everywhere on how to truly live the writer’s life.

    Link provided for anyone not familiar with Dean –
    https://deankyte.com/author/deankyte1/

    Like

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