Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Who tied a knot in my tongue?

I have a serious handicap. Well, I have many, but one of them is shyness.  I am an introvert and I hate it.

I dont think it is something I can change. I can make an effort to be more outgoing but the shyness won't go away.

When you get to know me I probably won't shut up. But when I meet new people I am a clam. I am totally socially inept in that way. I assume some people are just born to be introverts.

It sucks at work at the moment because everyone is new to me and my shyness is asserting itself big time. It can be such a barrier. I feel like a tongue-tied idiot.  It seems that words flow straight from my brain to my fingers and bypass my mouth completely. I can write perfectly coherently but half the time I can barely string a sentence together out loud.

If you put me together with an extrovert, things are great. Extroverts tend to bring out introverts naturally and easily. But if you put me together with another introvert that I don't know... oh god, the torture. My brain freezes, and, so I am assuming, does the brain of the other person. I sit there in a panic trying desperately to think of something to talk about. How about that weather? Oh crap I already talked about the weather! But there is a lot of weather, surely I can squeeze some more juice out of that one?

We usually end up in strained silence, with me still trying to think of something to say, and my brain in a total seizure. I just have no small talk inside of me.

Introverts tend to be discriminated against in life, obviously, because we don't assert ourselves. I definitely felt that my school teachers disliked us quieter folk, and they often  told us that to get anywhere in life we had to be more outgoing. Oh well, so much for that.

I used to think I should change, but now I can't be bothered. I like me, social retardedness and all. You just have to give me a chance. A friendship with me is like a good, smelly, mould infested cheese; it improves markedly with age.


Louisa said...

I'm a bit of both, depending on what mood I'm in. I will tell you what works really well when you don't feel like talking or don't have anything specific to say - but still want to make nice with new people: don't talk, just ask questions.

Whatever they say find something in there and whack them with an open ended question...makes them do all the hard work of coming up with chatter while you just get to be the appreciative audience. Plus people love talking about themselves, so they come away from the experinec feeling special cause you took an interest in whatever they were babling about.

Being Brazen said...

you totally didnt strike me as an introvert...

LadyFi said...

Ha ha! I have a great idea! When you sit with an introvert, then start writing down your conversation with pen and paper. THen hand over the pen and paper to the other introvert. That way you can really have a great talk without .. talking!

Your remark about teachers not liking the quiet students - bah! humbug! Totally wrong! Teachers love quiet kids, because they don't disrupt class and are not cheeky except in their heads.

I was always being thrown out of class for not being a quiet student.

Mandrake said...

After being a near-alcoholic in varsity i've come out of my shell. But i always amaze myself when i meet unfamiliar company. I'm quiet for the first hour or so because i'm still trying to figure them out, then i normalise into a chatter-box again.

And my secret is that i don't really care what people think of me, this allows me to ramble on and on and on.

Hope that helps

Tamara said...

I too would not have thought you to be an introvert.

But I'm like Louisa - I ask questions to get the person chatting. Then I usually have to apologise because I sound like I'm interrogating the poor person. Occupational hazard, I'm afraid.

Prixie said...

i totally hear and feel you, soul sister! and i say that cos well, its like i am reading about myself!
thats more than half the reason why i will hate to put a face to bloggers, i mean, im so quiet in real life! the written word works better than the spoken word!

Rox said...

I'm also somewhere in between. A lot of people assume I'm aloof or bitchy when they meet me - not as much these days as when I was in my early 20's though.

Still, I tend to hold back a bit when I don't know people, unless I'm out drinking, lol... but when I get to know people then I compensate more than enough by talking a shitload.

A lot of it is about faking it though - when I got into public relations I learned to network and mingle, and to make aimless conversation with random people. I actually find it fun now, but again it depends on my mood.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... I think it's one of those things. I'm painfully shy when people I meet intimidate me. I am intimidating myself; so you can only imagine. Only I look like a complete dork because I'll be talking to people all over the room and laughing and then all of a sudden silence. I just feel like something in my stomach completely cramps up; like I don't want to exist. It's so weird. And it's literally for as long as that person who intimidates me has that hold on me. It's never longer than a conversation.

But I am a generally happy person. I try not to let the niggling introvertedness to get me. I am like Lady Fi in that sense; teachers used to love my contributions to class when I wasn't being a stitch and not listening because I was having a juicy conversation. lol.

You know what? us extroverts need introverts or no one would listen. ;P

Anonymous said...

*Hand in the air* Introvert here.

I actually hate meeting new people. I never know what to say and am almost always intimidated. But like you said - if there's an extrovert it's not that bad because they make up what I lack in terms of conversation.

BUT if I get to know someone well enough, and settle in and feel comfortable then I don't mind talking a lot. :)

Jarrai said...

People when they first meet me think i am shy...apparently i have a "shy" look. I am a better listener than a speaker but speak up i can (when the need arises! lol

Being an introvert is very cool..and intresting in a mysterious kind of way :)

po said...

Louisa: good advice: but if I get brain siezure, then I might forget what questions to ask!

BB: I think I am a writing extrovert

ladyfi: there would not be much to write on that piece of paper!!

mandrake: I have no babble! well I do, but only with people I know well

po said...

Tamara: I always forget to ask questions and then realise that the whole time we are talking about me! oops!

Prixie: yes for me the written word is better too. I can express myself much more clearly.

rox: yeah, some people call me an ice queen. Which is so not true. Just really shy.

Paula: haha love it! Glad we introverts have our uses.

sleepyjane: me too. I hate going to parties where I dont know anyone. It is my idea of hell.

Jarrai: hmm, I like the idea of being mysterious. But I dont think people find me mysterious, I am too blatantly honest and open!

Medio Pomelo said...

I love meeting new people and I generally enjoy being thrown into a room full of strangers. I think I have more problem talking to people I know very well and who are knowledgeable because then I start panicking about others finding out just how little I know about stuff that's happening to the world...

kyknoord said...

Everyone has a story. Interrogation techniques are great for breaking the ice.

Miss Definitely Maybe said...

im an introvert extrovert lol
loud and brass if you know me
timid and shy if you dont
okay i lied about the timid thing
but you get the drift

po said...

miss definitely maybe: you remind me of Katy Perry's song: hot and then cold, yes and no, in and out, up and down?

Kyknoord: I have to get my questions lined up beforehand so I dont go blank and forget, which is what usually happens!

6000 said...

Oh good. I'll persevere then, cos I was about to give on you like I gave up on stupid, pointless, shitty Twitter.

It's self-presevation that makes scientists introverts. If we told the real world what we were up to, it would scare them shitless.

P.S. Word Verificiation = Micicicin. Isn't that an antibiotic?

Goblin said...

Also an introvert here. I never get it quite right. Either I don't say anything and people assume I'm being a bitch...or I get too much courage and start talking about the most random stuff on the planet and I scare the heck out of people :P

But you know what, being an introvert rocks Po-meister. You'll never be annoying like some of those extras ;)

po said...

6000: I have been twittering all day. Oh dear. All this interwebs stuff is an introvert's dream because I never actually have to talk to anyone.

Goblin: hehe I can be extremely annoying. But yeah, I get that bitch thing alot too.