i am me?
do you ever wonder who you really are- like what things are inherently 'you' and what traits are just false opinions of yourself? or are all your characteristics mere opinions, with no real evidence of truth? what can i blame on genetics, and what must i take responsibility for?
sometimes i wish for traits that i'm not sure i'll ever have. i would like to be more of an extrovert, that enjoys being the center of attention. currently, i have been afraid of public speaking since about 8th grade, feel overwhelmed when i don't have enough alone time, and i'd usually rather stay in with a few friends and do art than go out and party (though from time to time i crave to let loose, and eh hem... get tanked and dance!). i'm pretty sure psychology would say 'you're an introvert', and 'you have such and such abilities because you are reflective and analytical', etc.
ok, so i'm an introvert. i'd rather spend time with just a few people, i enjoy solitary activities like screen printing and writing, and i do tend to feel drained when i must keep up social interaction for extended periods of time. but then i think to myself...
if one has the capability to change 'negative' qualities about oneself, can one become more of an extrovert? sometimes i feel very envious of my that friends that can party all night, are genuinely interested in talking to a stranger, and will just try something before standing back and observing it.
perhaps i should just stop viewing my lack of 'socialability' as negative, and begin embracing all of me. i think one of the main problems for me is my jealousy towards extroverts! why can't i be that outgoing?? why must i stand back here and and plan and process the situation before joining it??
science says that introverts have more blood flow in the frontal lobes of the brain- where internal processing and problem solving take place. but science also recognizes that human beings are very complex; and can act like an introvert in one case, then act like an extrovert in another. i don't want to stereotype myself, and think i always have to act in a certain way- especially when i know if i act more extroverted that i may have more to gain in some situations.
i just read a bit about personality types, and was reminded that extroverts are definitely more favored in western society. i totally agree, and think a lot of my negative feelings towards introversion may stem from my experiences at school. the american education system most definitely needs an upgrade (this is a whole other blog or book in itself), but i definitely remember feelings of being an outcast or a dork because i wasn't as 'popular'; because i was quiet and would rather read a book or draw than lead tag at recess or give a report in front of the class. teachers would write on my report card 'very intelligent, BUT very quiet'. like being quiet is a bad thing.
i actually had to see the school "psychologist" (im putting that in quotation marks because she was terrible) because i was too shy and scared to go to a sleepaway camp field trip in 5th grade. she told me i would regret this for the rest of my life, and would always feel left out when fellow students talked about it. guess what? i felt left out for about a week, and then no one even remembered i didn't go to camp jewell. fuck, i still wouldn't want to go to camp jewell, and would resent anyone that told me i was strange for not wanting to be surrounded by people for 120 hours straight.
i've also lost a few friends because of my introverted personality. of course with time, now i realize those people most likely weren't the best friends for me if they wouldn't let me simply be me; but it most surely is a tricky balance if one friend is more introverted and the other is more extroverted. learning to give one another the space to be alone or social is highly important in relationships like this, and is a great learning experience for both personality types. hehe so extroverts, i admire and welcome you, but please give me some space!
so back to my first question- should i attempt to change aspects of my introversion that i find not very useful? well, i guess first i need to consider if i think they are harmful, or if i am responding to conditioning to view these traits as negative? man, if only i had grown up in japan i might be a real gem haha ;) introversion is very much favored there...
well i know there isn't an answer for me right now, but i do enjoy asking myself these questions. i love to learn about myself and how i relate to the world. please, if anyone has any suggestions for me, please let me know! thank you <3 xoxo