Being somewhat of an introvert, I usually keep quiet when I’m in a group or around strangers. Maybe it’s because I have eleven brothers and sisters. One could say I didn’t have a chance to talk so I grew up quiet, or one could say I should be an extrovert because I needed to speak up to be heard. I tend to think I was born with my personality and no outside source influenced the outcome. I am what I am. However, being a teacher has helped me overcome the inability to speak up and be more of an extrovert.
My husband is an extrovert times ten. He sees no stranger and talks to anyone who will listen and reciprocate. Or even if they don’t reciprocate. Being married to him has pulled me out of my introversion somewhat. He worked in a factory for many years, so he knows people everywhere we go and talks to them all. When we go to a restaurant, I often must wait for him to finish talking so we can leave.
I’ve learned to enjoy the interaction between people who share a commonality. For instance, when we’re leaving a restaurant, sometimes I will say to people who are arriving, “There’s no more food. We ate it all.” I enjoy seeing their expressions change from serious or sour to big smiles and laughter. A friend of mine who had to ride a shuttle at a hospital sang, “The Wheels on the Bus” and soon others were singing along. I can readily be pulled into conversations during Black Friday shopping or a sporting event.
I still find it hard to hold a conversation with another introvert unless we have something in common to talk about. I have avoided an acquaintance in a store—not because I didn’t want to talk to them, but because I was concerned that I wouldn’t know what to say. I do enjoy talking to people and can converse with anyone who will keep the conversation going. However, please don’t ask me to keep it going! Let me be my introverted self.