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The Song of the Introvert

You are a threat.

It’s a strong word. I don’t mean that you intend pain, injury, or damage. But I’m an introvert and you – as a new unknown human – are a threat to me. I don’t know what you want and you most definitely want something and until I figure that out, you’re a threat. See…

I have control issues.

I am mostly calm when I am alone in my Cave. My stuff is where I expect it to be, the furniture is how I like it and the walls are blood red – they surround me completely. There are rarely surprises in my Cave and that is how I like it, thank you very much. My Cave is where I avoid the chaos and…

You are chaos.

You are disorder and confusion. I haven’t figured out an eye contact protocol with you yet, and I don’t know what you want so I don’t understand what motivates you so you are unpredictable. You are an unknown, which means you are full of surprises and surprises aren’t the spice of life, they are new data that don’t yet fit in my system and…

I am addled with systems.

My love of calm predictability has come at a cost. I write everything down in a black notebook – no lines. There are boxes next to items that must be tracked, there are stars for ideas that must be remembered. A yellow highlighter and a .5mm Zebra Sarasa gel pen accompany me everywhere because the presence of this notebook is part of my well-defined system of never missing anything. See, paradoxically, while I would likely prefer to be hiding in my Cave, I also love signal and…

You are high signal.

I am fascinated by how you punctuate your sentences with your hands. You pause for as long as it takes to makes sure you are going to say something of value. Sometimes these pauses are maddeningly long. You are fiercely optimistic and state outlandish impossible things. You are fearless in giving feedback to strangers. You are less fearless, but you can deliver the same feedback with a momentary glance. It’s fascinating how all of you have built all of your systems to get through your day. I am fascinated because…

I am insatiably (quietly) curious.

My curiosity is a defense mechanism. I am desperately trying to get back to my Cave where the surprises are scheduled. I have learned the faster I can learn about you, the faster I will figure out what you want, and that will tell me what motivates you, and when I know what motivates you, I will better understand how to communicate with you. I am not trying to manipulate you, I am not trying to pander to you, I am trying to understand you because…

I am an introvert.