Tolerance



I'm an introvert. I make no attempts to portray myself any differently, and don't think I could do so passably even if I wanted.

I like people. But new people, new situations, groups of people – those sort of things are manageable for me, but stressful, and I've maintained a "comfortableness" in my life by avoiding a lot of things that I know would drain me. I think to an outsider (definitely to an extrovert, probably even to many introverts) it would look like I'm sacrificing something, or missing out on something. Maybe.
Maybe not.

Lately I've been having a harder time tuning people out. Conversations around me seem to be getting longer, louder… stupider.

I'm noticing more and more how difficult it is for people to be quiet. I don't understand this compulsion so many people have to talk, without really having anything to say. I know that as a recipient of the noise, I find it hard to concentrate, so I have begun to assume that the source of the noise is relying on their incessant speech as a way to escape having to think, or to distract from an uncomfortable void which a normal person would usually have filled with thoughts.

A couple of days ago I left work early. After a 35 minute period, of which almost 30 of those minutes involved an assault from all directions by nonsense, I had to call it a day.

"Enlightened" cultures value silence and meditation, and see their importance for both mental and spiritual health.
We are so screwed.

It's friggin' annoying, and a bit frightening.

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3 Comments »

  1. Cactus Joe (98 comments) said,

    I have a theory. A coworker and I decided that introverts are people whose brains work and they basically have a huge party going on IN their heads, thoughts, ideas, songs, imagination, theories of this nature, etc. But extroverts for whatever reason lack this inner maelstrom and thus have to seek external stimuli. The thing is that introverts, because of inner brain activity, understand how extroverts are and so avoid them. But extroverts lack this empathic sensibility, so they constantly try to get introverts to go do things with them and are not sensitive to the inner way of the introvert.

    Also, we have another coworker who has no inner monolog. None. This is a slightly different thing because I think he is an introvert. He just can't keep his inner mental party IN. So he speaks everything that comes through his mind to no one in particular, and it's so bloody annoying.

    July 18, 2013 @ 7:20 am


  2. sparx (882 comments) said,

    So he speaks everything that comes through his mind to no one in particular, and it's so bloody annoying.

    That's interesting. I should clarify (not because of your response, but after rereading my post) that my take isn't "extroverts are annoying". There is a small percentage of extroverts that seem to suffer from the inability to control their speech, and your example is a perfect case of an introvert suffering the same ailment, and being equally obnoxious (maybe even more-so, since it's most likely a one sided conversation.)

    I find myself sometimes, when there's no one around, speaking my thoughts – it seems to help clarify things. I get really annoyed at myself when I repeat a thought that I had, when I speak the inner-monologue after it has occurred mentally. This is usually followed by me thinking "you don't need to say it if you've already thought it" – the interesting thing is that I usually also say that out loud after thinking it.

    On the introvert/extrovert scale, Cactus Joe is an odd one. Clearly a deep-thinking and aware introvert, but with a secondary persona that is about as extroverted as you can get.

    I read something awhile ago, I can't remember exactly what it was or where, but part of it was talking about how some introverts are drawn towards theatre and acting because they enjoy "getting into character" and that it's easier for an introvert to pretend to be extroverted than an extrovert pretending to be an introvert.
    There was a second point from the same article that I was going to mention, but I've completely blanked on what it was.

    July 18, 2013 @ 8:17 am


  3. sparx (882 comments) said,

    Oh, I just remembered.
    It was something about the estimated ratio of introverts:extroverts being closer to 1:1 than the 1:4 commonly claimed. Part of the discrepancy was due to testing bias/limits, reporting bias, and also a perception by introverts that the "extroverted" answers were more "correct".

    July 18, 2013 @ 8:22 am


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