Tuesday, June 18, 2019

funny... but in need of a strong rebuttal

In reply, I could note that extroverts misuse the word "friend" so that it applies to the 3000 people they supposedly "know" and "care about" on Facebook and other social media. Most of these "friends" won't be there when the extrovert is stricken with cancer, physically brutalized, suddenly handicapped, or rendered homeless. That's going to be a harsh life-lesson for the carefree extrovert, who blithely locates profundity in the swirl of constant social interactions, almost all of which are anything but deep. Extroverts love to talk much more than they love to listen, which is why they're dumber on average. A supposedly African proverb says, "When the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind." And that's what extroverts are good at: producing a lot of wind—sound and fury, signifying nothing. Introverts, who appreciate life far more deeply, are firmly anchored in what's real and what's important. This makes them strong and independent, unlike the needy extroverts, who quickly shrivel and wither when cut off from human attention and interplay. Extroverts are at sea when alone; they have no internal compass and must rely on others to get their bearings in life. Introverts can get confused about where they are and what they want out of existence, but never for long.

Extroverts are fun, without a doubt. They light up a room. They make boring banter less boring (when they're not purposely or inadvertently hijacking and dominating conversations*). They're even capable of having a small circle of true friends. But such folks are the exception: they're the pieces of corn in what is otherwise a steaming pile of shit.

*Admittedly, that can be a problem for certain introverts as well: the ones who think conversation equals pontification, or an opportunity to tell a neverending folksy story. God save me from self-righteous, long-winded lecturers and well-intended-but-deadly-boring raconteurs. My mother used to growl about men who "just go on and on," unaware of the soporific, brain-melting effect they're having on their captive audience. Many of these men are attention-hogging extroverts, but some of them are actually socially retarded introverts.


Charles said...

That supposed African proverb sounds strikingly similar to the second canto of Songs of Flying Dragons, which is incidentally the first piece of verse to be published in hangeul. A quick and dirty translation:

The deep-rooted tree shakes not in the wind; its flowers are good and its fruit plenty.
Waters from a deep spring dry not in a drought but gush forth, flowing in a stream to the sea.

Charles said...

My only criticism would be that no one actually calls anyone anymore, and it kind of drives me crazy.

SJHoneywell said...

I'd like to know when extroversion became the "norm." There are a number of videos/guides like this one--some humorous and some more serious and sympathetic--about helping introverts deal with things like social anxiety. But where's the commentary about getting extroverts to shut the fuck up for a couple of minutes? Why is it the introverts who have to make all of the concessions for the brassy loud people?

I've developed the trait of maintaining a thin sheen of extroversion. It allows me to do things like teach a class and appear completely comfortable, or get through small talk with people I don't know well. But it also allows me to keep my distance from them with anything meaningful or important, and I still need to decompress for an hour or so after a long interaction.

Why have I done this? Because the extroverts won't shut the fuck up and won't leave me the fuck alone.

Kevin Kim said...


One of my few "guilty as charged" moments, while watching the above video, was when the guy talks about the introvert's desire to text rather than talk on the phone. That's me all the way. Tom, that schmoozer, is the opposite—partly because the bastard can't spell for shit when he texts (which makes it ironic that he's an English instructor—a writing teacher who hates writing). 9 times out of 10, if I text Tom, he'll either call me back or send a verbal Kakao message.


I so feel this.

A "thin sheen of extroversion" is a good way of putting it, although I'm also partial to the Keirsey/Bates explanation, derived from Jung, that we have a "shadow side" that comes out in certain situations. I'm a very extroverted, energetic teacher, which has long made my students think I'm a super-outgoing guy. But that's my shadow side, and manifesting that side isn't sustainable much beyond the hours during which I'm teaching. Once I'm done with classes, I retreat to the office and enter my mental cave. Must look weird from the outside, seeing someone go from loud to quiet like that.

Kevin Kim said...

Oh, yeah: as for extroversion being "the norm," I've seen articles claiming that extroverts outnumber introverts 3 to 1.