Friday, January 23, 2009

A Textrovert Personified

Textrovert - One who feels an increased sense of bravery over texting, as opposed to in person.

I need to go ahead and do what I've been talking about doing for quite some time. I may or may not suffer from what they now call Social Anxiety Disorder. Or I'm just naturally shy. Either way, I should probably scrounge up some money for the copay and make an appointment with a doctor and see what he or she thinks. Maybe some pills would make me more fun at parties. Or merely less awkward in social settings.

The part that I'm not sure about is when I can't seem to carry on a conversation with people in situations where I don't feel shy at all. I just stand there not sure about what to say next. I don't know what's up with that. Maybe I'm just a quiet guy.

A pill might help in certain situations, but I doubt it will make me a better conversationalist. I approach correctly by taking a sincere interest in the other person, however I lack the gift of gab to keep up. While my brain searches for just the right question, I can almost hear the whir inside, like an old laptop struggling with a slow-spinning hard drive. I'll make that appointment and see what the doctor says.

Anyway, here's a picture of a building that I like:


jon hickman said...

What an interesting post!

I've often found that while I'm not shy, I prefer conversation in groups of three so I don't feel like I have to carry the conversation, but I also have to remind myself that if there are two people talking, *both* are responsible, not just me. So if we're just staring at each other, it's not all my fault.

And of course there's nothing wrong with being a quiet person, as long as you can be quiet without seeming aloof, which is a problem I think I've had.

Anyway, good luck!

Melissa said...

I have some of the same problems. And even worse I don't know how to respond to someone in a crisis. I stand there trying to figure out what to say, do. Should I touch them? Should I put my hand on their shoulder? Sometimes I figure it out but mostly I do nothing but make a face of sympathy, which I do feel, but I am sure looks aloof.

Leesa said...

I've always wondered if I should do the same thing.
Will I get out more? Will I be more adventurous? Would I be better with friends?

I often think I should, but as of yet...nothing.

Good luck on what you decide, I'd like to know the results :)

mf said...

i guess i have s. a. d. (they think they are very clever) as i take pills for it.

i know that brain whir all too well. the pills (paxil) have helped a fair amount. they do calm the anxiety. as you said tho they wont make you a better conversationalist.

w/o the anxiety its made it easier for me to figure out how to be a better conversationalist. ive realized that in the past the brain whir for me was because i was focused too much on the other person. ie anxious about what they are thinking etc. and not paying enough attention to myself and my thoughts(even tho i felt i was trying and just hearing that whir.)

ive had to force myself in some ways to be more aware of myself in these situations even though i start to feel im being selfish. -its always that tricky balance between self and other that has to be figured out- when i do this my responses can become more engaged because im constantly shifting my attention between myself and the other.

that selfish feeling i think comes from this need of mine to take of others first and then maybe take care of myself. im trying to reverse that pattern and be sure to take care of myself first then deal with everyone else. i think this is possible without being selfish. thats what they tell me at least.

after seemingly a lifetime of tortured and awkward conversations i feel a little more at ease sometimes and my shyness seems to be fading a bit.

i hope yr able to get some answers when you go.

chez bez said...

Thanks all for the insightful and caring words. All appreciated and quite interesting.

Heidi said...

I still get that feeling too, and I imagine many of us do, like maybe all of us who weren't naturally the talkers. ..and the talkers, well, some of them have been faking it (confidence) too.

I think I am helped by remembering that no, I don't have to carry the conversation. I find that parties are useful for getting used to carrying on a conversation, because you can flit away toward another conversation if you are running out of steam with the current one. I guess that takes learning a little callousness.

I think it also helps to have a purpose. I suppose that is why I'm one of those people who likes meetings. If I've got a direction to aim my ideas, I really can talk. So maybe with a social conversation, you could have conversation starters particular to you...what is your purpose...what do you really want to know about this person or what might you share in common? Doesn't hurt to flatter too...what better way to do that than say, gee I'd love to take your photo this way, or that way...

And it does take repeated experience/practice to build that level of comfort or ease. So, you have to be OK with feeling uncomfortable for awhile. It is a skill, just like playing an instrument.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

You're not alone, I think many of us are bolder online than face to face. I have a very serious case of social anxiety but my online friends find that hard to imagine because here I am "fine".

Kate said...

I am a talker. I can't deny that, but I stay on the surface. All those conversations in social circles, work settings, I am one version of me, a carefully crafted answer or remark for everything and it seems casual and effortless to those who observe it.

But I am a fraud.

Because I'm just as cautious and tentative as the shy ones. I'm just as fearful and I find I communicate better when I can use only my words, and can hide behind the phone, the laptop, etc.

S said...

Are you pregnant? WOW How could I have missed this one?

Listen, I apologize for being out of line, but I will say this, pills, drugs like that as a last resort only. I think Drs are too quick to pass out the happy pills these days.

I stay home a lot. When I go out, I feel like an idiot who cannot relate to other people. So, I stay home. Is there something wrong with that? Naw!

Snooty Aunt Cynthia said...

Cool building. Hope your housing market has not bottomed out to the degree ours has. I noticed you posted a comment at my brother's blog. He has another blog you might enjoy -- check out Http:// It has some awesome photos of the California desert.

cherrie said...

i agree, sometimes i think im more bolder texting then in person. I'm a talker, but I get uncomfortable face to face at times as well

Newscoma said...

I think you are quite wonderful at parties.
Of course, I'm just plum smitten with you.

P.S. I am a textrovert too, believe it or not. I hate talking on the phone because my hearing is going like my dad's. People don't understand that.
Much love.