Saturday, 25 March 2017

Inside My Head

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? 


Grace said...

Fortunately, or unfortunately, as the case may be, you are NOT weird, you are quite normal. If you like, you can call yourself an ambivert. The weird people are the ones who are always extroverted or always introverted. I absolutely must have alone time, and I do mean alone and silent. OTOH I crave interaction with other human beings. I am terrible with small talk but I can, and do, talk to anyone and everyone (it drives my husband crazy). I'm the social director at the supermarket. And yet - plunk me down at a party and I hang out in the coat room. I hate telephones and my husband and I argue over who is NOT going to answer (can you get that? No, it's for you. How do you know? Caller ID. So can you get it? No. Okay, let it go to voicemail.) I could go on and on - thing is, normal people are both, introvert and extrovert. Hate to burst your bubble.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Grace,

No - I'm not weird (I knew that). But I've not heard of an ambivert - but it makes perfect sense.

We're not too disimilar you and I but I do answer the phone.




Elephant's Child said...

Definitely an introvert. And shy with it. I can talk to other people, I do talk to other people, but I need time on my own to recover.
Someone once told me that an extrovert gets energy from being around other people, while an introvert recovers alone. Which works for me.

River said...

Like you, I'm an introvert with occasional extrovert tendencies, and a streak of shyness. Working as a checkout operator meant I had to learn to talk to people, which helped a lot, but now I'm retired I still choose to play the shy/introvert card and stay home on my own a lot. And I read when traveling on the bus to anywhere so that I don't have to talk to people, which doesn't stop the nosy parkers from asking "what are you reading?" and then carrying on talking for the rest of the trip, usually about how they haven't read a book since leaving school blah blah blah.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

That kind of works for me too - but I sometimes get energy from others - it depends who they are though.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

I've suffered from long journeys on a plane next to an extrovert who can't shut up on more than one occasion. One old lady simply wouldn't take no for an answer - even when I put on the headphones and started watching a movie!