I've been reading Quiet by Susan Cain which is about introversion in an extroverted world. My husband is an extreme introvert and I am one who was taught to behave like an extrovert. My mother is an extreme extrovert who does not understand introversion at all. Until recently she thought that I may require medication to help me function better in this world...to which I disagree...I feel I only need long periods of solitude and quiet.
It's been interesting to see the differences in my husband and myself - he can function quite well with very little sleep (apparently common in introverts) but can tolerate noise, doesn't even notice it, whereas it is absolutely exhausting to me (another trait common in introverts) and so I find living in a rapidly growing city a challenge. I feel that at this point in my life I have found a healthy balance...I work in a public library a few times a week but the rest of my time is spent at home in silence - baking, reading, caring for my home and family, and mostly painting. I still have the opportunity to meet people with my public speaking and exhibits but, mostly, I can remain happily in my sanctuary. As much as I love being part of a wonderful community, I don't always want to be seen.
There was an interesting chapter in this novel that refers to evangelical churches being created for extroverted people. I find (my) church to be difficult for me because it is no longer a place of contemplation. The music and sound system are loud and the congregation are expected to be involved at all times which I find to be difficult, and the hand-shaking and small talk at the beginning of each service causes me stress. Yes, I am friendly, but I personally need a time of reflection and rejuvination. It's interesting to see how extroverts are bored and drained by that type of atmosphere and I am filled by it.
This book has certainly been food for thought - helping me to understand both my husband and myself a little better. And also helping me to understand those extroverts in my world a little better, too.
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