A Mile in Extrovert Shoes

For the past year I have put a lot of emotional energy into trying to understand why the majority of people on the extrovert – introvert spectrum need validation from each other like they need oxygen. And I’ve come to the conclusion that the more extroverted a person it’s ridiculous to tell them that “it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks,” because of course it does to them.

I started this mile in the shoes of an extrovert after the 2016 election when almost all of my friends and regular contacts were up in arms, fighting with each other, each other’s relatives and friends, their own relatives and friends, and strangers as well. I couldn’t understand why all the rhetoric and anger around having a madman in the White House was causing so much estrangement. And I cut myself off from people to stay out of the fray. From my point of view, once the horrible thing happens, it is what it is and you make choices and actions based on that reality and not based on how you wish it were.

It’s easy for me as an introvert to think that way because since I likely am not going to assert myself into leading society into rebellion, I am also likely to believe nobody would listen to me anyway. However, that last seemed not to be true in the wake of the new presidency. It was a “for us or against us” type of situation in many constantly angry people’s minds. I even felt like because I refused to participate in all of the unbridled rage, some of my white liberal friends (particularly and surprisingly, white men) treated me like I, a black woman who statistically am the sh*t of society, am the face of the great white father enemy (any of the patriarchal ilk who have lived off the fat of the land are equally sociopathic, bloated and grotesque as dead fish – take your pick), and it’s all my fault as much as it is the patriarchy, their martinets, and all the bubbas and skinheads. I have been slapped in the face by that attitude numerous times. It’s been shocking and infuriating.

I am a person who probably could go off by myself in the desert and be happy as a scorpion. But since my paradise is inside me because I’ve cultivated it all my life (which admittedly is not as difficult for an introvert), I don’t need to go off by myself to the desert.

But if I was going to stick around and try to maintain some of my relationships in jeopardy, I have needed to try to understand why it matters so much to more extroverted people what other people think; and why “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” ain’t so.

So I have spent the last year trying to understand why it ain’t so. I am now a kinder, gentler introvert who wouldn’t be an extrovert for all the laurels at Cannes but who won’t be mean to you for being an extrovert mad at the world.

#sylviatoyindustries #Election2016 #politics #neoliberalism #introvert #extroverts #frenemies #friends #empathy