I am a self-proclaimed introvert. That means most people who know me personally heard me explain the following:
- I get my energy from solitude, as opposed to social interaction.
- Being around crowds for extended periods of time exert my energy.
- I prefer small groups and one-on-one interactions.
- As a general rule, I am more bored sitting by a social event than sitting alone in my bedroom.
- I usually reply faster with text messages than returning phone calls.
- Small talk is the devil’s creation to end me.
- Do not touch me unless I welcome it. (This may seem like a given to all humans, but you’d be surprised…)
- Being an introvert does not mean I am shy. (Even when I act like it.)
- Being an introvert does not mean I am socially awkward. (Even if sometimes… umm… yeah.)
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Notice how introverts like to announce their introvert-ism, while extroverts generally don’t. I expect this is because the majority of the population are extroverts, therefore it is a societal expectation, while the introverts are the black sheep who are fond of their distinct wool.
This is not intended to be an introvert lament. (Oh being an introvert is so painful! I just want to be alone and people want to spend time with me! Oh boo hoo, life is so hard.) Besides, in this day and age, introverts are making a comeback online where you can share ideas, interact with people, even make money without leaving the house. We are taking over the Internet. Beware!
Along with other perks, introverts are noted for their great listening skills. People tend to tell us things like:
“You’re so easy to talk to!”
“You’re such a great listener!”
“I love talking to you.”
“I feel like I can tell you anything.”
This is wonderful to hear from someone we care about, but less so when it’s from a random person we don’t like.
While listening is a skill that should be developed, most introverts seem to have this area covered. Except we sometimes don’t.
I speak for myself here. Let’s say a friend calls to vent about a certain issue. The courteous thing to do is keep quiet and let her speak. This may seem like I am thoughtful and savvy, while the truth is I have no idea what to say at all. So I remain silent, inserting the occasional: “Oh my gosh…” “That’s awful…” So the person knows I’m listening.
During this conversation, my brain flows a little like this: There’s a lapse in her speech! What should I say now? I just said ‘oh my gosh.’ Fine, I’ll say ‘that’s awful.’ Wow, I feel so bad she’s going through such a hard time. But don’t tell her that; people don’t like to feel pitied. Ah, I haven’t said anything for too long. I’ll say ‘oh my gosh’ again…
This tactic does not always work. Many times towards the end of a rant or cry, the person will pause and say, “Well? What are you thinking? Say something.” I know the person wants to hear encouragement, advice, affirmation. Here is my turn to respond with love and kindness. And my mind goes, “Fugetydifiget?”
Since my words escape me, I must steal from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass to explain what I actually wish to say in this situation:
“Oh, don’t go on like that,” cried the poor Queen, wringing her hands in despair. “Consider what a great girl you are. Consider what a long way you’ve come to-day. Consider what o’clock it is. Consider anything, only don’t cry!”
Despite confessing this to the friend who may recognize herself from the above example, she still continues to confide in me. Learn from her, never to give up on your listener, introvert or extrovert. We try to please and comfort, so go easy on us when we say the wrong thing; I’ll be the first to admit, I do occasionally say stupidity.
So I’ll bake you some cookies to make up for it, and… fugetydifiget.
Drizzled Pumpkin Cookies
- 2 cups gluten-free oat flour
- 1 cup gluten-free oats
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup 72% dark chocolate chunks
- Preheat the oven 350 degrees.
- Whisk the dry ingredients into a bowl.
- Add the almond butter, pumpkin, and maple syrup.
- Mix until combined with a spoon or your hands.
- Roll into balls and flatten into cookies onto lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until the bottom of the cookies are slightly browned.
- As they cool, melt the chocolate and drizzle it over the cookies with a knife or fork.
- Allow the chocolate to harden and enjoy!
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.