Even Introverts Need Company Sometimes
I’ve known for years that I’m an introvert.
As a kid, I loved to curl up with a good book.
Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement. I used to carry a book around pretty much everywhere. At coffee time after church, I’d normally be found reading.
I’ve lost the reading habit a bit over the years (though almost any time I’m on a plane, in a doctor’s waiting room or similar, I’ll have a book in my hands). And I’m also, slowly, starting to realise that other people aren’t so bad.
In fact, sometimes, company is kinda nice.
Introverts & Working From Home – A Good Idea?
We’ve had a cold and rainy winter here in the UK, and some days, the only person I’ve spoken to is my husband Paul. I’ve not even managed to leave the house and say “hi” to the cashier at the local grocery store.
You’d think that working from home would be ideal for me. I don’t have to crush up against the commuting hordes, I don’t have to make small talk with colleagues, I don’t even get phone calls, most days.
The thing is, though, I find that I need other people. Sure, I also need plenty of time on my own – to think, to create – but I also need to get out of my own head once in a while.
Introverts & the Internet
My parents got an internet connection at home when I was 13. I spent rather a lot of my teen years online.
At first, I was fairly passive – I read Star Trek comics and Star Trek fan fiction (yes, if anything, I was more of a geek back then). And then I got the hang of email and chatrooms and instant messenger and online gaming.
It was a real lifeline for me. I found it easy to interact through text, and I made some great friendships. And to me, online friends are just as “real” as offline ones. In fact, it’s easier to skip the small talk and get straight into interesting conversations online.
Nowadays, while I might not talk out loud to people, I spend a fair amount of time emailing and Tweeting and writing forum posts. If I want a break from my work, it’s easy to jump on Twitter or Facebook and catch up with friends.
And it’s great. Most of the time, it’s exactly what I need: pleasant, low-pressure company, where I can easily duck out and get back into my own head when I want to.
But sometimes, it’s just not enough.
Which is why I’m hyper already about South by South West. For an introvert, I seem to have a heck of a lot of parties to go to and people to hang out with. I’m really excited about seeing Thursday again (I’ll even say “aluminium” for her). I’m excited about meeting some new people, like our recent guest poster Karl Staib.
The online world is fantastic for me … because it lets me form great connections which mean that when I meet people offline, it’s not awkward at all. It’s like greeting old friends.
Post image from Flickr by Ed Yourdon
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