Friday, February 15, 2013

Thinking Outside The Box Of An Introvert

As I've grown older, I've become more appreciative of my upbringing. My brother and I were raised in the back of a convenient store. We saw things that many were not able to see up close. As I mentioned recently, we lived far into the country in a county of just over 1,000.

It seemed that most of the people in my immediate neighborhood were quite elderly. They were also survivors of the depression and in a lot of ways they never really got over a lifestyle of not having or of having today but not having tomorrow. The people were all very shrewd with their money in ways that we don't even realize today with our own tight budgets.

I look back with fondness and learned a lot from the people of the Tidewater/Sharps area. I learned how to interact and learned to understand social sensibilities of a diverse group of people. That and the strong push of my parents to teach me a culture of respect, I'd like to think I'm fairly sociable and outgoing.

Yet over the past few years, I've accepted that I am truly an introvert. By an introvert I do not mean that I'm some kind of social recluse, quite the opposite. I have found myself often uncomfortable in large crowds or in unfamiliar circumstances. Once comfortable, my outlook improves and my own classic approachable self.

What I have also found is that I'm not alone with this condition, for lack of better words. There are many of us who find ourselves with a strong preference to avoid heavy social interaction. The chart above does hint at coddling this condition, but I would suggest pushing some boundaries and exposing ourselves to situations that require us to find our hidden extrovert.

It really did help me to come to terms about myself. I fought the geek in me all through my 20's. I fought being introverted through my 30's. Now that I've embraced both, now that I've constructed that box, I can now start thinking outside of it and really begin some solid daily improvement. It's a worthwhile effort.