Saturday, September 4, 2010

And I thought I was just weird...

I'm finding it interesting that all the ads after my last post are about anger-management. **sigh**

I found out something interesting today. I follow a blog by a pastor named Ron Edmonston, and he has been writing a short series of blog posts about introverted/extroverted characteristics. Today he talked about how introverts and extroverts listen.

I've been finding the whole series really interesting, because I am an introvert and it is always nice to find out that character traits that one struggles with are actually natural and normal. I just always thought I was weird. Which I absolutely still could be. But not because I am an introvert.

It's amazing how understanding each other can make us kinder and more accepting. Marc is a full-blown, over-the-top extrovert. It's a lovely thing to watch him connect with people, everybody, anybody. He turns into a puddle of goo in front of an audience, but recently he came with me to my 25th high school reunion and I never once had to worry about him being bored or not having anyone to talk to. He can make connections with complete strangers with little effort.

This amazes me because I can't do it. Or at least, I'm not very good at it. I am much more comfortable in front of a crowd than trying to socialize one on one at parties. I don't do small talk well. It always feels lame to me, talking about the weather and stuff. I make myself do it, and its getting easier, but I often walk away from social interactions wincing because I am certain I sounded like a complete dweeb. Going to someone's high school reunion, where I wouldn't know anyone, would easily be on my top 10 list of things that just might kill me. Right up there with another heart attack and being buried alive by gangsters. On the other hand, speaking in front of a crowd of 1000 would be on my bucket list, the list of things I dream of doing before anything on the top 10 list of things that might kill me actually happens, and kills me.

This latest article cleared up an issue that has been irritating me for a long time. When Marc and I watch movies, and there are sad or moving scenes, I like my emotional reaction to be very quiet and private. If I cry, I don't want any one watching or commenting on it. Marc, on the other hand, immediately looks at me to see if I am crying along with him. And if I am not, he wants to know why, hard-hearted shrew that I am. He mops his face dramatically, moans about how he hates chick-flick weep-fests, and just in general wants to share the experience with me. Call me selfish, but I don't want to share. I want to slide down in my seat and sobble my way into a handful of tissues in complete and utter solitude. If someone is watching, my emotions choke and I end up not engaging in the story or feeling the emotions. And it irritates me.

Now I understand why I am like this. And I have explained it to Marc. Logic dictates that the problem should be solved. Marc is still going to want to share and I am still going to hold my emotions close. I'm trusting that understanding each other will make a difference.

I should add a disclaimer here - contrary to anything that Marc will ever admit in public, he does enjoy a good weepy movie at times. Still, I have endured enough Clint Eastwood/Sly Stallone/The Rock/Bruce Willis blood-fest movies to be fully convinced that Marc's macho genes are firmly in place. Like, seriously.

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