I am weird.
What do you mean:“I know”?
No – really – I am. The persona you see on this blog is that of a confident arse who loves to be the centre of attention, happily dealing with all the shit that is hurled in his direction, beating it aside with a big stick while saying:
“Is that all you’ve got? Come on – gimme some more.”
The reality is something slightly different. No – come on, Dave, let’s be honest - the reality is totally different.
Deep inside me there is an extrovert buried alive within all of the neuroses that I keep hidden from public view. The extrovert does manage to free himself every now again surfacing on this blog far more than he does in real life.
The reality of the situation is that the introvert is more prevalent, as is the shy monster.
I therefore consider myself to be an introvert with extrovert tendencies and a streak of shyness.
In my head, the extrovert and the introvert are locked in an eternal battle for domination, with the introvert being the dominant species. The shy monster is a free radical that tips the balance in the favour of one or the other depending on many other factors such as stress, depression, euphoria, alcohol, grumpiness, tiredness etc. and with all of my fears and shortcomings also joining in the melee alongside my ego, you can imagine that it gets pretty messy in my head.
Hence the reason why I think I am weird.
My daily mood, and the way people see me on a day to day basis, is governed by one of the main two protagonists and how they have fared in their latest internal conflict.
The introvert may have hurled a paranoia bomb at the extrovert and rendered him useless, turning me into a neurotic mess.
The extrovert might have exploded a rapture grenade in the faces of the shy monster and the introvert and turned me into a rampant livewire.
I can do nothing about it.
Sometimes I wake up full of the joys of spring and attack my day with a huge grin on my face and a deep desire to run up to the nearest person and inflict myself upon them.
Can you imagine a gawking loon with mad hair grinning at you with a grotesque grin on his face?
Other days, my neuroses dominate and I find myself wanting to bask in my own weirdness – like now as I write this semi-serious character assassination of myself.
Deep down we’ve all got these beasts roaming around in our minds. I know a rampant extrovert and his neuroses surface when he finds himself on his own or when he’s not the centre of attention. There is not a hint of shyness in his body. However, he sometimes struggles at social events where everyone is focussing on somebody else – for example at a wedding, when he is upstaged by the bride and groom.
He wants to shout “Look at me! Look at me! ME! ME! ME! I’M OVER HERE!!!!!” but he can’t.
Bizarrely the introvert feels slightly more comfortable in those situations. I think everybody needs some “me” time where they are on their own and can bask in their own company. I also know at least one fellow introvert and people like that generally sometimes expose themselves to social gatherings where they are surrounded by people. The difference is that they effectively “show their face” for a short while, turning up late and leaving early so that they can spend time alone later.
I’m not that bad. I love social gatherings with friends and, sometimes I love being the centre of attention – albeit briefly – before returning home later to enjoy my own company.
Note – when I say “my own company” I really mean “with Mrs PM” because she is the only person I allow into my own little world. My introvert nature includes her and I am totally happy spending my “me” time with her by my side.
That said, I can also enjoy total isolation, like now, as I type this post with only Devin Townsend’s music and a sleeping fat cat for company.
The one thing I have confused in the past are introversion and shyness. I used to tell people that I was an introvert when really I meant that I was shy. It’s only when I was at university that I discovered the difference between the two thanks to somebody who explained that liking your own company isn’t shyness.
I don’t think introversion can be beaten. Shyness can – and I am in a position now where I have almost conquered this little beast. Sadly, when I need to be alone, shyness becomes prevalent again and I am less willing to engage with new people because I want to be alone.
If you are shy, the best thing you can do is just talk to people. As uncomfortable as that sounds, believe me it works. The way I see it is that people will judge you whether you like it or not. Not every stranger is a hostile person and most people will engage. Moreover, that person may be as shy as you.
In my opinion, if a person doesn’t like me, it’s their loss because ultimately I consider myself to be a nice guy. The truth is that the vast majority of strangers are also nice people and will love talking to you. If I am feeling confident and able to talk to a stranger, I find that they will almost always talk back.
Certainly if they are an extrovert, the chances are you won’t be able to shut them up.
In conclusion, I don’t know whether having a dominant introvert beast in my head is a good thing or not. I’m certainly very happy as an introvert but I also love it when the extrovert pops up and allows me to take on the world.
Finally, dear reader, over to you.
Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Or a bit of both?
Are you shy or can you talk to anybody?