That’s not me in the middle of all the testosterone . It’s my friend Jan, an extrovert. I was hiding in the kitchen or pouring myself another glass of Chardonnay, because I am an introvert and that’s what we do at parties. We find one person to talk to, or have a glass of wine when the party grows.
As an introvert, I am at my best one-on-one. Too much time with lots of people makes me long for bed & a good book. I dread parties unless they are among long-time friends, and even then I am the first to leave. Unfortunately, my extroverted husband likes to be the last one standing. We compromise.
Many introverts suffer from social anxiety, now a recognized psychological condition. This explains why some people drink too much at parties. They are self-medicating. I have full blown phobias, so a little anxiety is like being a half pound overweight for me. Many extroverts are chronically overbooked and dive head-first into center stage, where they bask with pleasure.
I love people. I really do. But I also crave an abundance of alone time. I mean, like weeks and months where I go into my writing room and only come out to eat and sleep. I thought when I joined a writer’s organization, I’d meet kindred souls. Instead I found myself chairing a conference committee, the second in the last few years.
Introverts should not chair committees.
May is conference month and it cannot come and go soon enough for me. The event itself will be a challenge, but it’s the preparation and dealing with a committee of extroverts that really has me in a tizzy. I like to do things alone. Or with one other person. I do not shine when there are a dozen writers revising a simple letter, which is happening now and driving me insane.
The real trick for an introvert who finds herself in an extrovert-filled situation is to double up on the meditation. Or medication, or both. Because if we don’t, our nerves will fray until we lash out at others who are simply being who they are: extroverts.