Monday, January 23, 2012

The Extroverted Hermit

I am an extrovert. I mean, wow, you put me in front of people and I schmooze and jabber and entertain until someone binds my jaws with duct tape. The more people, the better. According to the OCEAN test (one of the most commonly administered personality tests) I score in the 99th percentile on extroversion, meaning I take the gold in the motor mouth Olympics. Words people often  use to describe me include friendly, gregarious, and vivacious (it's true, I know a lot of people with big vocabularies).

So it may surprise you to know that I don't necessarily like people. I know, right? What kind of nonsense is this? And to take the absurdity up a notch, I'm a psychologist for science-sake! I literally study people.

Here's the rub. I like persons quite a lot. You, me, one-on-one and we'll laugh and memories will be made. I adore audiences. I mean, seriously, the adoration it goes on and on. Pay attention to meee. However, I often loathe people. And I don't need them very much.*

*With the notable exception of growing my food, building my shelter, and generally providing every single thing I own and use, of course.

Since I've started working at home, many of my friends and family have asked me how I'm coping, dealing with, or otherwise tolerating staying home all the time - you know, away from the attention of others that I so obviously love. Usually I remind them that R and I go out a lot. I talk on the phone with colleagues from work. Blah blah blah, deflection. What I don't say is that I kind of like it. The truth is that people, myself included, can be pretty aggravating.

You know what I mean. They block the entire aisle at the grocery store with their carts. They can't drive well...sometimes they cause accidents and destroy other people's vehicles. They litter. They make silly assumptions. Or they loudly proclaim that Newt Gingrich would make a good president (THE HORROR!). And I'm okay not dealing with that on a regular basis. I mean, even an extrovert can be okay with skipping the crappy behavior.

Or is it just me?

1 comment:

Darrell Miller said...

Ah,.. sounds exactly like myself. I am a retail sales manager, and a damn good one I might add, so dealing with people is my forté. Yet I find myself reading at home, watching movies, or planning video games on my day off. I am one of the most "social butterflies" (I hate that damn phrase by the way) you will ever meet. EVERYONE knows me at the gym I am a member at, and people would rather come back to my store if I'm not working just to shop with me. I hand out my phone number like it's going out of style, but have NEVER had a conversation with any of of those persons... I can go on and on about this weirdness, and my strong dislike for the human race as you have above, but for what? You understand. Just know sir, you are not alone.