Solitude

I’ve been thinking some about solitude. This past weekend I spent 5 AM Saturday till 9 PM Sunday without talking or communicating with anyone practically. Everyone around me was speaking a different language and I was not connected to email or phones. And I was pretty much at peace with myself – indeed, I enjoy my own company and can easily entertain myself with my own thoughts (or a good book, of course). But this 48 hour stint of solitude made me reflect on the common personality question: Are you an introvert or extrovert? I think to the outside world I am perceived as highly extroverted – I thrive on social interactions and communication skills are my strong suits. I would consider myself charismatic. (I will dutifully add that in 8th grade I was voted "Most Popular," which I think says something BAD about me at that point in my life…the popular kids from middle school usually turn out to be the jerks and bullies later on. I will also add that charisma is highly overrated.)

At the same time I see myself as concurrently introverted. Many of my school peers seem to only operate when interacting with friends. Friends, friends, friends. If you’re not hanging out with someone, then life sucks. There are many times when I would much rather be alone than with others. Perhaps when my school peers are alone they are trapped amidst their own thoughts and opinions, and they don’t like them. When I’m alone I am trapped in a metaphysical Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, with each door leading to another room filled with ideas, problems, solutions, arguments, analyses. In my opinion you cannot truly think deeply when you are surrounded by others.

So I guess I’m somewhere in the middle of the introvert/extrovert continuum – I get an intellectual and emotional high off of social interactions while also prospering when I’m alone.

2 Responses to Solitude

  1. Elena Butler says:

    I’ve also thought about whether I’m an introvert or an extrovert, but when I tell people that I’m undecided, they look at me incredulously and tell me I’m definitely an extrovert. I still consider myself a fundamentally shy person (but one who is good at hiding it), but on the other hand, I really enjoy people. So I’m in the middle too, but for different reasons.

  2. shanon riley says:

    incredulously- ha
    I think you are lying about “most popular” you might have taken the guys picture for the yearbook & asked him a few brief questions on how wonderful it must feel to be so….popular- but there is no way. Its amazing what we can start to believe our own little stupid white lies after awhile, or is it ‘a while’ because you would know that & most popular would never let anyone know that because the people around you do not want to feel like idiots..
    I moved around a lot so I missed a few rules when it comes to grammar.
    Charisma, my friend, you are right on the money..
    It only helps when you are in the entertainment industry, or maybe when you are getting a job but thats tricky too- if you are not working close to that person or they are of the opposite sex, then you are fine, otherwise go easy on the ‘charm’.
    I feel what you are saying- my best quality is that I make the best first impression. Thats really my only quality other than my teeth :).. i kid u.
    but unfortunately, just like all good fun yummy shit in the world is bad for you, so is being too smart, being too cute, being too perfect if you will..
    I am reading this great book called ‘the 48 laws of power” by robert greene- get it, you are smart dude & will go far.
    When I am *alone, or anywhere I feel like Im walking on a different plane- maybe you are there too.

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