Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Forced Introvert or Extrovert?

I don't have much recollection of my childhood meaning perhaps the time when my mind was forming itself.
I remember when my grandfather came home, we (me and my sister) used to go to him and open our palms and he would drop in the change he had in his pocket. What I don't remember was that when he came, all the ladies of the house went behind curtains or to other rooms out of his sight. Mom tells me I followed suit, whereas my younger sister would bravely go to him and ask him," what did you bring for me?" And dada would drop some changes in her hands, seeing this I would hurry from behind the curtain and also ask for my share. So I was shy! This was a revelation!

There were many instances which confused me about me, if I went shopping for example, I would never enter a shop unless I really had to buy whereas my sister did not mind entering and asking for the prices and leave without buying. After my marriage, I wore the clothes my in laws bought for me without bothering if I looked good in it, if it was my taste. My sister once commented, how can you wear whatever they give you? You don't have to take in everything they give you. Have your say!

I always thought I was the stronger one than my sister. I was a little headstrong of course, but I let people run all over me, because I think behind all the headstrong and stubborn nature my primary instinct was of a people pleaser. I used to "say", I don't care to anyone and everyone, but that was just a show off and convince myself that I really didn't care, when I was just denying myself my own emotions. I recently read a lot of articles regarding introversion and extroversion and I am perplexed about my true nature?

I was most definitely an extrovert, a bubbly gregarious person, always saying yes to everyone, generous to a fault! My father would time and again remind me not to overdo myself. Ask my friends or open my true confessions book my friends filled in for me, they will all vouch for the same. Now why I say I was and use the past tense is because I think I have changed or transitioned to more of an introvert. I tend to like only selected people and others get on my nerves. I can't stand dual nature.  Most of all, I can't stand extroverts! I am shocked!

I have had the past month home alone for reasons I don't want to discuss here. But, time has flown, and I have not really craved company and enjoyed the peace so much, I am scared I will get addicted to it. The few days that my sister in law visited, we chatted and gossiped alot and by the end of the third day, my throat was paining!

I am even contemplating a solo trip in order to get to know what I really am. Somewhere while I was growing up I have let people influence me and in my desire to explore and curiosity to know more, I think I have lost myself and up until now, I thought someone else would complete me, perhaps my better half, someone to steer me, but I was wrong. In this journey of life, one is fortunate to find such a companion and if not then also, life must go on and maybe it will be a better life with no more outer influences and I will hopefully and most certainly be able to find me as I was born to be!

I think I was shy as a child but I saw that shyness doesn't gain merit. I remember when I was in class I and I had to go to the toilet, twice I did it in the classroom because I was so scared of the class teacher. The time that I would have asked her I would have rehearsed the speech a hundred times to myself.."may I go to toilet please?" I had to buy a school badge from the school office and I kept loitering outside the office but didn't have to courage to go and get it, and ultimately a cousin who was in the same school as me solved my dilemma. I want to say a little more about this cousin, this girl was 4 years my senior and an extrovert and I admired her tenacity and her boldness and I wanted to be everything that she was I took the same subject in class 9 as her because I wanted to be her!

Somehow when we are a child we are what we are and growing up we see certain things..and we like certain people we want to emulate and in the process lose ourselves. If we have it in us we can surely emulate and find success in life. My last blog on "practice what you preach" is about this. When we become something we aren't made to become we face failures in life, life then becomes a struggle. A different analogy to explain this is, in the movie 3 idiots where every parent aspires the son to become what he or she wants but not what the son wants or can become? So what happens is that the child is just a mediocre person in life whereas if he had been allowed to follow his instinct he would have carved out a niche for himself and lived happily!

Before marriage, during school life I selected my own friends, it is ironical to note that my friends, almost all of them were introverts, and I was the only wild one amongst them. My identity identified with an introvert and while I like extroverts because the world is for the extrovert and by the extrovert and of the extrovert!
My survival instinct was ruled over by wanting to be a people pleaser, hence I made many friends, I enjoyed big parties and my high energy or call it self denial never let me feel stressed out!
My obsession or deep craving to be acknowledged and praised pumped up my expectations for whatever I did. Involuntarily I started sacrificing myself, and still do. All this built huge pent up reserves of frustration of living too much for others and when I let it all out , it took a moment to break whatever god relations I had built up. In the end, people don't look at me as if I am a people pleaser! (and they are right because in reality deep inside my id is not a people pleaser, and my reactions or outbursts prove it rightly, it is my ego which wants to please people) I can't change overnight, but now consciously I tend to stop myself from going overboard, which also backfires because my huge reserves of energy makes me restless and unemployed.. so here I am writing my energies off!! haha!

Anyways, I have decided I am going to stop living in denial and be myself. My last blog on "Oh girl, be yourself" is on similar lines but different topic. You may want to take a look at that. I will take up one issue at a time and try to resolve or untangle my life and try to learn from the failures and hence be more successful now onwards..

The question if I am in extrovert or introvert, also rather depends on who I am with?
There is this one Walter Mischel who says that our being an extrovert or introvert largely depends on situational causes! I want to believe in him for now, and his findings resonate with me and answers my question of whether I am an extro or intro!
Maybe I am both, perhaps I am an extro if I like you and an intro if I don't like you! Perhaps I am just too moody!! I hope I find my answers one day...



Links to read
http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/personalityelem.htm
http://www.authentic-systems.com/featured-articles/sociopath-extrovert/
www.simplypsychology.org/defense-mechanisms.html

1 comment:

  1. The extrovert or introvert nature of a person is determined by the kind of people you are surrounded with at a given point of time. You will always be an introvert to certain relations in life, whereas you become an extrovert in relations where you are allowed to breathe and be yourself. Both of these state of mind Is present in every human! You cannot be 100% extrovert or a 100% introvert.

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