Friday, December 3, 2010

Extrovert, I am not

I like people. Really.
I just don't get a kick out of large gatherings. I'm not energized by constant and multiple connections happening simultaneously. Give me an evening with one or two close friends where actually listening can happen – now, that appeals to me…most of the time.
This is the hard part of working in a socially engaging environment. It is doubly hard when I have to host open houses every month. Not only am I playing host, I'm also selling a product. I have to be 'on my game' and dance with whatever partners show up. These events happen in the evening – the time of day that I am usually happily home and getting ready for bed. These events are rather repetitive, held in the same location with the same format. To change them up would require more work on my part. I don't want more work. What I want is someone else to handle these events. I want to get the simple luxury of just showing up.
I have a story in my head that someone who is more extroverted might actually enjoy these events. That energy and love of impromptu social gatherings with strangers would brighten the room up with an appreciation for what might be co-created. There are folks who have that natural ability to bring a group together and get them excited to share the same space for a short while. I'm not one of them.
In the end, I have to pretend to be much more engaged than I want to be. I have to smile and actively listen when I really want to be home sharing quiet space with the man that I love. Pretending doesn't sit all that well with me anymore – not at this point in my life. I no longer assume that I have to be anything other than myself in any circumstances. These events, therefore, drain me.
It's good to know – I've been giving myself time to really get clear about this part of my job for a year now. I wanted to know if my reluctance was simply that of someone who had never had to host these kinds of events before – or if it was an intrinsic reaction that wasn't going to go away. I may have to keep doing exactly what I am doing – but perhaps in the future I can make sure to take the time and space to manage my own needs.


  1. Beautiful insight. So, what next? I feel a similar situation in my work. How long will I keep telling myself that even though I'm in situations every day that are bad energy for me, or go against the core of who I am...that it's for my good, to grow to learn. I think I've learned enough. :) I hope we both continue to find ourselves, what we need, and then intentionally create our lives to our "greatest" good and not just the 50% OK, good enough. I think in many ways, my comments here are really just a pep talk to myself. ;) Hope there is something in there for you as well. xoxo Beth

  2. I love your thoughtful comments!
    What's next? The clarity I got in writing that allowed me to gently set my feelings to the side and really look at these events more objectively. Started asking questions that might change how often we do these events. Curiosity is wonderful. That's some of the good that comes out of these kinds of situations - practicing self reflection - and then figuring out better ways to be healthy.