Thoughts from here



Here's #321 in my series Posts Based On Bad (And Entirely Intuited) Science. You're welcome.

I was listening to Jonathan Fields's (yes you can, when it's a name) latest Good Life Riff: Life is a contact sport. It's one of those little gems that states the bleedin' obvious* in such a way that you actually hear it. He talks about how easy it is to keep spinning around your plans and ideas in your head, looking for all the answers internally before you dare to send it out into the world when hey...the answers are OUTside. *You have to put this stuff out there to get the feedback and learn. You have to make contact with the outside world.

And so I got to thinking... (because I once watched Sex & The City)...is this sticking point more engrained in introverts?

My own brand of introversion is fairly hard core. I find it difficult to put ANYthing out in the world. Feelings, spoken words, creative output, ideas. I do it, sure, but I can't sustain, I get exhausted very quickly and back I go, inwards, where everything makes sense and I feel strong. Where I believe I'll get all the answers. It's not about fear of failure/success or much of anything else. It's about feeling like a discarded snakeskin within about 45 minutes.

And maybe that makes me very, very good at falling into the trap that Fields describes.

What's the answer? Well, on a social level, if I have been able to spend a lot of time alone - a lot...a big lot - then I'm as up for a small-gathering-of-like-minded-people-with-whom-I-can-discuss-the-big-ideas-and-maybe-listen-to-some-non-intrusive-music as the next guy. I can par-tay. Kind of. I can do 'outwards'.

So perhaps my ability to put my ideas and work outside my head and heart also depends on how well my introvert batteries have been charged. Perhaps I need to understand that my output is not that regular, not that frequent and not even all that sustained. Because I need to spend a disproportionate amount of time on the inside and that. is. fine. Also, while I'm in there, remember that the aim is ultimately to step outside to see what happens next and that 'outside' might only be my front step, which is also fine. Because not everything good and fulfilling is internal or waaaaay out there.

Do you think, perhaps too much, before you 'step outside' or does it come naturally? Have you a method for turning it all inside-out that works for you?

x






11 comments:

  1. First of all, happy birthday! ;-)

    I don't think about stepping outside virtually as much as I used to -- i've been practicing doing it for so long it's now second nature. There's definitely something in that -- the practicing. Every blog post built on the one before. Every course built on the one before. The need to pay my rent also fueled much of it, ya know? :) Personally the work I do is perfect for me because I can do it from home, from behind a screen, using my best skills -- writing and sharing. No need for in-person contact

    Stepping outside in person? That's harder. It's just so exhausting! But if I can do one vaguely socialable thing each week it *does* feed me in some way. I've tried an entire fortnight without seeing a soul and it wasn't good for me. I go within so much I disappear into the black hole of my self, and that's not healthy.

    So, boringly, it's balance, isn't it. And practice. And pushing ourselves a leeeeetle bit out of our comfort zones so we can slowly start to make things happen.

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    1. Hey you : ) You're an absolute inspiration in the world of Introverts Going Outside; I've always loved how you steer that course. I just know that you'll bring the same energy to the in-person experience and with the same degree of success. I'm kind of the other way around. The real life stuff I'm content with. I share my home with two other humans; I work with a close team of three and a wider work family of maybe 25; I'm lucky enough to have my family of origin forever bloody knocking on my door : ) That saves me from the black hole. The work thing...into the unknown...hmmm. And yet, your words remind me, that I have consistently written a blog (under various titles) since 2003. It's extremely comfortable for me and I'm relatively consistent. There's something there for me to think about. xxx

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  2. Interesting. I find I'm increasingly asking myself why I want to share something, in relation to blog/social media and choosing not to. The people I meet face-to-face these days would tend not to hear the deeper stuff I've been dwelling on because, well, I'm guessing it would be too left-field for them. That's actually one of the reasons I signed up for the Sisterhood of the Bones course, to find people who will be receptive, as was the case on the therapy course I did.

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    1. Yes, I can relate to that, Alison. I also think that I have a tendency to stay too long in the deeper stuff and then I get my own 'whiplash' where I tire of listening to myself obsess and navel-gaze. Finding places that are a natural home for these things seems a wise move, and I hope one that will stop me flooding everything with this intensity of attention. x

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  3. I am the queen of keeping in my head and never materializing the outcome. Curiously, or not, I'm good about getting out and being social and really good at listening/ letting everyone else talk about themselves so I can avoid my own stuff. I guess I've gotten so good at this that now I get a little miffed that NO ONE ever asks 'what are you working on?' 'what floats your boat...' and I have only myself to be accountable for that.

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    1. Oh I am good at that too. Totally nailed the,'So...what's happening with that Thing X you were talking about? How do you feel about that?' thing. Mostly because I'm genuinely interested, but it's also a great evasive move. I can only do it with people I know because I need something to work with, being crap at small talk. x

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  4. It's interesting to observe everyone's natural rhythms. the input-output one is one of the most interesting i think as it gives such an insight into a person. Definitely feeling that going with what's most natural for you works as a 'battery-recharge' of sorts, propelling you gently into what is perhaps a bit more unnatural or difficult. I'm mostly more of an output girl. but this definitely wouldn't be possible without all the time i spend on my own reflecting and allowing myself to take gentle, quiet time to be inspired and to plan. i guess i've reached a pretty equal balance.
    Just discovered your blog, love it!

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    1. Mutual blog love - you make me want to dust off my hoop : ) x

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  5. ah, once again, tripping the same moonbeam. totally could've written this. *sigh*

    personally, i don't always overthink the share -- i got good at just hurling myself out there and trusting in the net appearing -- my issue is the sustainability. which is still connected to the mad hurling off edges....i think. whether it's online or in-person, sociability is still sociability and i still find it a tremendous drain on my introverted resources.

    lately, i've been having conversations with myself about whether my issue lies in trying to fit my digital introversion into the digital extroversion business model -- which, as we know, won't work. doesn't work. didn't work.

    SO, i ask myself......can i adapt my own way-of-being in the same way i adapt to real-life interactions? who says it has to be a case of being constantly ON? who says the only way to "succeed" in our sharing is to be perpetually tweeting, posting, liking, instagramming?

    and i'm basing all of this on the fact that i will *never* be able to share the bits of myself that are deepest and wildest with any real life personage because i live in the middle of nowhere and the only somewhere nearby is populated by hard-core churchy types that i'm guessing would have me strapped to a stake on a woodpile in a heartbeat....<--- not really, they're lovely people, but you get my drift. it's online or bust.

    right now, i'm just bust. :)

    xoxo

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    1. 'SO, i ask myself......can i adapt my own way-of-being in the same way i adapt to real-life interactions? who says it has to be a case of being constantly ON? who says the only way to "succeed" in our sharing is to be perpetually tweeting, posting, liking, instagramming?'

      Exactomundo, my friend. Exact. O. Mundo. I love that some people are able to do that because I love them and I get to see lots of and about them. But I have to see that it's okay if some weeks I put something out every day and then go quiet for a month. Also, who cares? I'm not the freakin' UN press office. I'm some weird woman who lives in the country and was born, it seems, to contemplate and witness the Whole. Yes I have a constant stream of philosophy running through me, and yes I do like to believe that in some tiny way I can contribute to a better world. The two need not be directly related or similarly paced. And I don't have to say it all out loud.I don't even know what I'm talking about anymore. At this point it's all just feelings and senses so I'll shut up : ) x

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  6. Arrived at this late, but I'm nodding vigorously. My introversion is definitely hardcore too - and the accompanying exhaustion that comes from Being In the World, is for me, one of my greatest challenges.

    My private, hard-to-get-to-knowness means that much of my online life is quite guarded, but not it doesn't wear a shiny, protective armour, nor is it pretty, something I see with so many pro-bloggers, (and that's not a pejorative, nor a put-down of what they do, because I admire that polish and poise). I could never be consistent with that, pushing myself out there - it would be totally unsustainable for me.

    But being online is also a release valve for me, and so I dive in, because in life I hold so much close. x

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Thank you, I love it when we talk.