Great tips for everyone in our lives:
My fiance is an extrovert. She is perfectly comfortable approaching a complete stranger to ask if they will take our picture. But, for some reason, she often insists that I be the one to ask. Always worrying about inconveniencing or bothering others, I get very stubborn and insist that she should just do it. “You’re cute and sweet, people will respond better to you!”
I don’t like drawing attention to myself, and I don’t like approaching strangers (nor taking candy from them, natch), so both approaching a stranger and asking them to take a picture of me is not a good combination.
I’m fairly certain I make a bigger deal out of this than there needs to be, but if we’re playing to our strengths, I think the extrovert should be the one to do the dirty work.
I really enjoy taking pictures, but I suck at taking pictures of people. I admire the photographers who can ask complete strangers if they can photograph them. I suppose a photojournalist would have to get used to that. I always hear, too, that most people willingly oblige to the request. Some of the greatest moments are captured in these situations.
Lest I make myself uncomfortable, I’ll just stick to inanimate photography.
My fiance and I started our pre-marital counseling at church last week. She’s a true-blue extrovert; I’m a hardcore introvert. Some people think that extroverts and introverts are not a good match in marriage. But, if I wanted to marry someone who was like me, I’d marry myself.
When I was telling the story of how I met my fiance, the married couple who counsels us picked up on the fact that I like things in a logical, structured order. All I said was that I’m generally organized and like to have a plan; the fact that I’m an accountant didn’t help my case. My fiance is organized in her own way, works with people every day and has plans that change at any time.
From there, the male counselor referred to my temperament as anal-retentive about ten times during the remainder of the session. I’m not really an uptight guy most of the time, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that introvert = anal-retentive. Did you ever notice that introverts don’t refer to themselves as anal-retentive? It’s the extroverts who call us that.
I’d also like to add that I don’t like the adjective anal-retentive in general–it sounds gross.
I’m going to keep track of the anal-retentive count over the next five weeks. I might suggest we find another term for anal-retentive: compulsive character.
One of the things I am most passionate about is reading. This probably comes as no surprise to my fellow introverts, but I become most energized by spending a couple of hours at the bookstore, browsing through aisles of exciting discoveries, with a hot, soy vanilla latte in my grip.
I cannot imagine life without books.
How is it, then, that the majority of Americans haven’t picked up a book since they were a teenager? Justin Zoradi, founder of an international education non-profit, has written an article about how reading promotes empathy and drives innovation. Some of the statistics he cites are the following:
33% of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42% of college graduates never read another book after college.
80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70% of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57% of new books are not read to completion.
Do any of you get flack for being a bookworm? Are the perpetrators generally lacking in empathy for others? I think the connection is rather interesting. Watch the video below, where Raymond Mar, a professor at York University, talks about a link between reading and empathy. In a study of children, Mar found that the more a child reads, the likelier he or she is to be able to understand the emotions of others.
Birthdays. I don’t like them.
It’s not about getting older or some traumatic childhood experience that has hardened me towards birthdays, no. I hate to be the center of attention. I’m not one to make a big deal out of my birthday. I don’t tell people it’s my birthday. My mom, however, makes sure everyone knows. She can’t understand why I don’t ever have plans for my birthday. It makes her sad.
I don’t even like the facebook-attention given to me on my birthday. I got smart last year… The day before my birthday, I disabled the display of my birthday so that no one will be “reminded” about it. Why? Because I don’t want to be inundated with obligatory birthday wishes from acquaintances/people I don’t care about. Further, this helps me to know who my real friends are–the ones who actually remember my birthday without having to login to facebook to find out.
Most of my birthday memories are from when I was a kid. Like any other little boy, I had my friends from school over to play outside, eat Doritos, drink caffeinated beverages, and giggle at each other’s bodily noises all night, pretending to be asleep whenever my mom or dad would check on us. Invariably, one kid will throw up and have their mom come and retrieve them at 2 in the morning.
My adulthood birthday memories merely consist of going out to dinner with a small group of friends. Or, a friend. I just don’t care about celebrating my birth.
This year I turned thirty. I had always had grandiose visions of skydiving on my 30th birthday, maybe because I always thought thirty seemed so far off. I told my fiance that she’d better not throw me a surprise party or do anything that might embarrass me. I would never forgive her. Thankfully, she understands my introvertedness and knows better than to do anything…stupid.
Without making me the center of attention, my fiance gave me the best birthday I’ve ever had. She took me to the Magic Castle in L.A. for dinner and…magic. The kind of birthday recognition received at the Castle was low-key and, dare I say, fun. Our party of four was given a tour by one of the members of the Castle; at the end of our tour, he did a little sleight of hand with a swizzle stick, which I got to keep since I was the birthday boy.
After dinner, our waiter nonchalantly brought out a birthday dessert for me and there was – thank God – no TGIFridays/Applebees/Chilis-like “happy, happy birthday, from all of us to you…” bullshit.
I can only hope all of the other introverts out there are not having to suffer through their own birthday celebrations. Ifif your friends and family know anything about you, they will respect your wishes and give you a birthday you won’t forget. A birthday with no hoopla or public embarrassment, because whether they like it or not, it is your birthday and you should be able to do anything you want to, or most importantly, do not want to.