. . . all I needed to sustain my life of introversion was a human-sized hamster ball! I don’t know why I did not think of this sooner! I want to thank my friend, Sara Bowker Belden, for sharing this story on Facebook: http://themetapicture.com/how-to-interact-with-the-introverted/. If you have an introvert in your life, this is a good little infograph for you for gleaning a little insight into their behavior. I just wish I had seen it a little earlier in my life.
Who would have thought that by placing myself in a gigantic hamster ball I could have avoid some of those uncomfortable moments in my life when I really did not want to have any interaction with others . . . I could have just rolled off into the sunset by myself.
The information shared in the infograph explains that it is all about energy. Introverts create their own energy; extrovert gather their energy from others around them. Introverts like “alone” time as it is when they are re-energizing themselves; extraverts like “people time” because that is where they gather their energy. Introverts tend to seem to be stand-offish; extraverts are party animals soaking up the energy of those around them. Introverts really do not care for this and see such behavior as invasive, obnoxious, and rude . . . but, that is just the way that each is wired, and it is sure draining on introverts.
Thus, introverts attempt to protect their energy by sealing themselves off in a great big hamster ball that is practically impenetrable. Ever attempt to cozy up to someone who was an introvert and hit a brick wall? Yeah, that is that hamster ball. It is all about the personal space . . . where an extrovert knows very little about personal face as they are always right there within inches of everyone, the introvert carries a yard stick to keep the space. It is not so much to measure what is a safe distance as it is to whack someone when he or she gets into that personal space. A human-size hamster ball would negate the need for carrying a yard stick around all of the time.
I work in an office in which I have let everyone know that I am an introvert . . . they don’t believe it. They kind of see me as being extroverted . . . but, that is because I have come to find that the majority of them are pretty nice, safe people who I enjoy . . . in spurts. With them I can be talkative and appear to be extrovert . . . but, I am not. I am a sneak attacker . . . I pick and choose those moments when I want interaction. They are moments when I initiate the contact . . . that I step out of the hamster ball into the world of the extravert . . . those moments when I feel comfortable. The bottom line is I am pretty happy sitting in my office doing my own thing. It is my choice, not theirs. It looks extrovert, but it is really introversion at work . . . it is a choice I am making. As they often say, a good offense is the best defense.
The infograph goes on to share a method to interact with introverts . . . if that is something people want to do. It is simple, open the door . . . leave the door open . . . and, wait. Wait to see if the introvert will walk in and interact. Say hello . . . be friendly, polite, and relaxed . . . then go back to whatever else it was that you were doing. This is basically setting the trap and a good portion of it is waiting to see if the introvert takes the bait. If the introvert feels that you are safe, that he or she will be safe . . . they will walk in the door.
I appreciate what the infograph concludes with . . . things folks need to remember about introverts:
- · Respect personal space (that invisible human-size hamster ball no one but introvert see).
- · That energy is limited . . . and, introverts guard that energy with their lives.
- · Don’t demand energy spent on you from introverts when you don’t need it . . . don’t be an energy sapper . . . an energy sucking vampire!
- · Don’t take silence as an insult—it isn’t! We introverts will let you know when we don’t like you. We will run over you with our hamster balls.
- · Introverts get lonely, too. Yeah, we do. Like all humans, we need a little human touch to make it through the day. Just ask first, otherwise you might get your arm broken when you attempt to give us a hug that we are not prepared for . . . that would be terrible!
There you have it . . . a short little primer on introversion and how to crack through the elusive hamster ball of introversion. I will be prepared for the onslaught . . . but, it sure would be a heck of a lot easier if I could just find out where they sell those human-size hamster balls!