Just another post about introversion

So you’re an introvert. Me too. You like to observe what’s going on and you carefully process your opinions about the present topic. You are quietly brilliant.

Quietly.

You probably had really poor participation grades in school. I did.

Here’s how it goes. You’re in a conversation – and by in I mean there’s at least two other people there, and they’re doing most of the talking, but you’re catching every word and you’re really into the topic at hand. You feel really involved, even though you probably haven’t said much, if anything. You formulate something you want to say – it’s definitely relevant and insightful – and politely wait for the person who’s talking to finish their latest statement so that you can jump in. They finish – here’s your chance! – but somebody else immediately starts talking, barely even after the last word has died.

You missed your opportunity. But you’re patient. What you have to say is really going to contribute, so you just hang on to it until the next available moment. Except…now the subject has changed. It’s changed ever so slightly, but suddenly your pithy contribution will no longer be relevant.

It’s a good opinion, though, so you shelve it for the time when that topic comes around again. You continue to mull it over and it reminds you of something else, which connects to another topic, and something occurs to you about that topic, and there’s a lull in the conversation, and then you feel strangely compelled to do what you almost never do:

You spontaneously speak your mind. You didn’t think about it beforehand, but something clever just occurred to you and you felt like it was important to share, especially since you missed a chance to contribute earlier.

But the problem is, what you just volunteered out loud, while clearly (to you) the result of a logical thought pattern, appears to be completely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

What’s the explanation? your companions wonder. She’s always got her head in the clouds; she’s absent-minded; she’s socially awkward.

Well. You don’t mind. It was a stimulating conversation and it really got you thinking. You’re still thinking about it.

So what are you going to do about it? Are you going to continue to sit comfortably on the edge of conversations waiting for your (polite) golden moment? Are you going to steel yourself up before you leave your house in the morning, telling yourself “I will speak up, I will speak up today”? Or are you going to remain quiet and just write a blog about it instead?

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