My “You’re Not An Introvert” Moment Of The Day

I’m an introvert. That should be obvious based on the fact that I’m writing on a blog rather than discussing this in a social context. If you’re wondering how I rationalize my writing out thoughts I know are going to be read by other people, mostly I do it by ignoring the fact that I actually have readers. In my mind, I’m always talking to myself.

Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that can’t stop Talking was one of the best books I’ve ever read. It helped me understand and reconcile two very different aspects of my personality. I recommend the book to everybody I know, both introverts (in order to better understand themselves) and extroverts (to better understand those of us on the opposite end of the spectrum).

The book club that meets at my library is going to be discussing Quiet at next month’s meeting, so we have a large stack of copies at our information desk for people to check out. For the most part, people are either interested in the book or else have already read it. Today, though, I had a little exchange that really raised my eyebrow (and to be honest, a bit of my ire):

Person: “Is this next month’s book club book?”

Co-worker: “Yeah, it’s about introverts.”

Person: “Oh, I can’t stand introverts. I really can’t stand them. I don’t like them at all.”

Me: “Well, you know, I’m an introvert.”

Co-worker: “So am I.”

Person: “NO, you’re not. You’re not introverts.”

Me and co-worker: (speechless silence)

Person: “I don’t like introverts at all, because they don’t hold up their end of the bargain in a conversation. You have to do all the talking. I don’t like that.”

Me: “I’m actually a very introverted person.”

Person: “You’re not. You always talk to me.”

Me: “Yes, well, that’s sort of my job. I’m considerably less social on my own time.”

Person: “Well, I don’t think you’re an introvert. You’re not.”

Me: “You’re right. I’m glad you know me so well. Anyway, you should read the book. It’s a great way to understand more about introverts.”

Person: “I don’t want to read that. I don’t care about understanding introverts. I don’t like them.”

And scene.

Also? Sigh.