Friday, June 3, 2016

TToT116: Talk Therapy. If only there were a therapist in this group!kh

This week flew by. Short weeks often seem to drag, but not this one. I blinked and it was Friday.

This was also a week where several pieces fell into place. Nothing major, nothing to jump up and down about, but a few appointments scheduled, some online stuff taken care of, a few menial tasks checked off the list. And many of these tasks involved interacting with people--speaking in front of a group, making phone calls--situations I usually try to avoid at all costs. But now they are mostly done. And I am thankful.

And that last bit reminds me of a series of thoughts I've been having recently. I was recently elected to a position in my chorus that requires me to be social, speak to strangers, address the chorus as a whole. When asked, my response was, "Don't you want someone who isn't antisocial?"

Antisocial was just a joke, but I am a very strong introvert. I hate crowds, meeting new people makes my hands sweaty, and I can count the people on one hand with whom I can have a conversation without a certain amount of physical and mental tension--the sense that I must concentrate hard on how I should act because any second I might inadvertently break the unspoken rules by following an impulse. All this, of course, leads me to feel exhausted after social encounters and often prefer time alone; hence, introvert.

But when I asked around in the chorus, I realized everyone there thinks I am an extrovert. I've been contradicted and told I don't know what the word introvert means! (Wanna make me furious? Insist you know me better than I know myself.) In a conversation at the bar after rehearsal one Tuesday, I brought up the topic and was asked, "So it's all just an act with us?"

Yes. And no.

It is an act because I put on a face for rehearsal every week. It's not a face I could keep up for a full day or night after night, but I can do one night a week for chorus rehearsal where all that singing is producing endorphins out the wazoo anyway.

But it is not an act because it is me doing it, and I do like the people I am with. I have learned and developed these social skills over the last 40 years, sometimes with very careful study.

And then there's the whole question of whether I ever was really as introverted as I thought or (and?) whether I just suffered from social anxiety. Where is the non-overlap between social anxiety and introversion?

And all of this makes me think of the persona I present via the blogosphere. Do I seem like an introvert? Probably not because I am not face to face with you. And those of you I have actually met (sob, not Christine), I wonder how you would categorize me.

And now that I've turned my TToT post into a talk therapy session, I'm gonna say there are ten thankfuls in there amongst the ability to be introspective, the acquisition and upkeep of worthwhile friendships, the regard of peers, and the expectation of intelligent and thoughtful responses, there's ten thankfuls. Plus all that stuff I took care of.

Oh, and Leo and I went strawberry picking.

Ten Things of Thankful


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