Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Extrovert (or something like that)

Ever have a moment when your over-sharing gets you into an extremely uncomfortable situation? I bet you introverts out there can't say you have had too many of those moments. Well, then there is me, the eternal extrovert. I get myself into pickles frequently. Often times I find myself apologizing for things that come out of my mouth because I strike this fine balance of appropriate/inappropriate. When I don't share though, I find myself over thinking everything!!! So the most recent time I got myself into a bind with my over sharing (oh did I mention this moment was extremely uncomfortable), I got in my car to hear some lyrics from my new favorite Macklemore.

"Underneath this fragile frame, Lives a battle between pride and shame."

I couldn't help but reflect back upon that uncomfortable, extroverted fed conversation, or over share when I heard those lyrics.

Let me put this all into context (it will get back to the couch or athlete at the end, I promise)...

Over this summer I have been having discussion after discussion about introverts vs. extroverts... Here's the thing, as this discussion has heated up with people, I have seen more and more research, cartoons and articles about the topic. This is the cartoon that put me over the edge and has made me say to myself (or I should say EVERYONE), what about what the extroverts need??? What has been frustrating to me is that everything I have read focuses on the introvert. I have read about how to treat the introvert, how to interact with the introvert, how to carry on conversations with the introvert, how to love the introvert, etc.. On top of it, someone actually told me that they are an introvert and I need to figure out how to deal with them. What the heck... Life is about compromise and bending. I'll bend half way for people but I'm not going to bend all the way all the time.

So, here is the question I pose to you... What about the extrovert??? I think there are very few articles about us because we are too busy having human interactions with our friends to sit behind a computer and write about our feelings on the topic. Well, since I like to blog, I figured I would write down my plight with being an extrovert...

If you know me, you know that I will tell you anything, just ask. I feel proud of the fact that I am an open book but when those uncomfortable conversations come to light I walk a balance between pride and shame (similar to those lyrics I mentioned above, although I have no clue what that song is really about). I am proud of the fact that I can share myself with people, but I have shame because some of those things I share might be unpopular or uncomfortable.

My extroverted nature makes me more vulnerable and more likely to be judged. Everything that is spoken aloud can be judged. Other lyrics from this Macklemore song:

"Open to interpretation, if your judgin' I don't want it."

Now, there are a lucky few of us in the world who have friends who will listen to everything you say and not judge you. I'm one of the lucky few, but it doesn't make things easier. Sometimes I want to tell my friends how to treat an extrovert. We want you to be excited with us, we want you to know we process information in a different way and gain energy from just being with you and because of that we want you to show up and give us a hug and tell us about your day, we want to be acknowledged, we want you to come out of your introverted bubble and interact and most importantly we don't want to be judged because our processing might be considered over sharing. I'll meet you introverts half way, but trust me when I tell you something because I trust you!!!

This is where I bring it back to the athlete on the couch and over share. None of you probably care, but I do... This blog is one big experiment in my extroverted nature. I don't know the difference as to why introverts and extroverts blog, but I can tell you that I blog because it gives me a way to write down what I have already processed to its' death with friends so that there is finality to it.

In this moment similar to the lyrics above, I am vacillating between pride and shame. I have broadcast to all of you that I was going to do this half marathon in November regardless, but I'm not. Like the introvert vs. extrovert, there is a moment when you have to accept that they aren't the same, they process differently and that is OK. There is no shame to being an introvert/extrovert/5k runner/half marathon runner/ultra marathon runner. The only time you can really feel shame is by doing what is not right for you and after a long discussion with my closest friend/running buddy I discovered that this half marathon is simply not in the cards for me. I'm going to hold my head up tall and be proud of knowing my limits. My friend and I are going to keep running and enjoy every run because we can...

So next time you are worried about how people will perceive you and your decision to run/not run a race, or because you share or don't share, remember that proud is what you should feel every time you are faced with a difficult situation. After all, introverts and extroverts all have the same feelings flowing through them, they just process the information differently.


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