I am wondering if I should try to track down some sort of introverts meet-up group.
It’s not that I want to wear this label like a flag or turn it into an identity, but it becomes clearer every day that this is a huge faultline in human worldviews, and that it’s tough for strong introverts to appreciate and connect with strong extroverts and vice-versa.
I’ve been thinking about music this evening and realizing that in fact, all of the music that I like is ultimately “introvert” music; the lyrics—when they exist—are about what is happening inside the writer, not what is happening in the world. The latter I tend to find vacuous, though it has many admirers—presumably mainly extroverts.
The same goes for reading. Digging into popular blogs, I find that I am so incredibly bored by those that simply post reviews or talk about the events of the day without reflection on what is happening inside the writer. I constantly find myself wanting to yell out, “yes, but what did you think and feel, and why?!”
— § —
In general, extroverts tend to do everything with a single word, a single note.
They are “in love.”
They “had a lot of fun.”
Something “made them so mad.”
To me, these aren’t feelings or responses, they’re evasions. What, prey, is “in love?” The phrase is meaningless. It can describe nearly anything. It tells me nothing about the parties—the hopes, dreams, insecurities, the attached memories, forms of cognition, ways of understanding other people and their place in the world, and so on.
I don’t want “in love” or “was so mad,” I want paragraphs and paragraphs on the nuances, not sensory details, but intuitions and realizations, amusements and repressions. I want to see behind the curtain. I am interested in private headspace and private heartspace, not public encyclopedia entries that are so “universal” that they in fact tell me nothing and lack all specificity.
If there is one thing that humans are, it is specific. Individual. I tend to think that extroverts don’t connect with this very well; it doesn’t do anything for them. Introverts are the opposite; your story about what happened today means nothing to me unless it is firmly grounded in an exposition about your innermost soul, and it is only by this sort of exposition that my attention can be held at length.
For extroverts, twenty words in a row on an innermost soul is cause to roll eyes; forty words in a row is reason to break off a friendship. They are moved by the dolphins and the deliciousness of the food and the fact that everyone had an “amazing” time, whatever that could possibly mean—and let’s face it, it could mean anything at all.
— § —
Is there any way to bridge this sort of gap? The older I get, the less likely I think that there is.