Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The REAL reason we’re quiet
“People inspire you, or they drain you – pick them wisely.” – Hans F Hansen
I also wish that I could tell them the REAL reason why I am so quiet at that particular moment.  Sure, sometimes it’s because I’m tired, or I feel like daydreaming, but other times THEY are the reason for my sealed lips.
It’s no coincidence that the people who make this statement most are the same people who rarely listen or ask thoughtful questions.  They are also often the people with a very loud and overpowering energy.
None of the introverts I know will battle their way into a conversation.  Myself included.  If someone doesn’t seem interested in listening to me early on in the interaction, I won’t bother trying again.  Instead, I’ll buy a one-way ticket to wonderland (a.k.a my own imagination), and let them continue their solo conversation without interruption.
I found this quote in an introvert blog. This woman reacted to people saying she was “so quiet.”

My immediate reaction to her statement was “Yup! Been there!” This young woman may have offered me, an extrovert, a possible choice in what to do when I am shut down in a conversation by the kind of talkers she references above. 

Over the week-end, I was shut down several times during social conversations. Once I was interrupted, and the other times, I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Now these were not with people I don’t know. This happened with people I usually enjoy and one I live with. Maybe they didn’t realize they were dominating or interrupting, but I am here to tell you that I was angry and frustrated, and it actually almost ruined my evening both times. 

I never know what to do in situations like this because the only choice I have in my head is to be rude too and say, “May I say something?” I never do this, but it would probably be better than withdrawing, or maybe not. The woman above takes “a one-way ticket to wonderland.” Perhaps if I did that, I wouldn’t get hostile; I could just sit and fantasize, and no one would know or care. How pathetic is this though? I would hate to think that I have ever shut down anyone, introvert or not, by babbling on and on or interrupting. I witness this behavior often, usually women babbling, and their husbands shutting down in order to prevent “a scene.” 

In my perfect fantasy world, I would say, “Excuse me, but you have been talking for a long time, and I’m very frustrated that you leave me no space to react or to take part in the conversation.” The bully would say, “Oh, I am so sorry. Please share your thoughts.” Everyone would take turns in the conversation, and we would all go home thinking it was the best evening ever. Fat chance.