When Introverts Get Carried Away

I realize that this particular subject of “When Introverts Get Carried Away” could create enough material to fill a book of many pages, but for now I’ll keep it to a blog article. Maybe the wild life of an introvert is only interesting to me because much of it happens inside my own head.

What if, however, some of this inner excitement shows on the outside? What if we put ourselves out there and “go wild”? That is what this article is really about. When introverts go wild, there are a number of things that can happen. And most of them result in needing a nap, or some time by ourselves on our own private island. My own private island…that would be nice.

The basic idea is that the introvert leaves their inner world to participate in their outer world, and the outer world may get a glimpse of what was going on inside the introvert’s mind. This could be scary for all of us, or extremely enlightening. Maybe “world peace” finally comes to be; provided the introverts who participated in solving this issue are allowed time on their private islands afterward.

Wait just a minute, you say: Introverts? Getting carried away? Or Going “wild”??  That doesn’t make any sense. Surely there are other substances involved if that’s happening. What does that even mean? Is it even possible? That’s like trying to get me to imagine how large an expanding universe is, or…world peace!

I’ll tell you what it means for an introvert to get carried away, what some of the consequences might be, and some meandering in-between, because that is one of the ways in which an introvert might go wild first.

What does it mean for an introvert to get Carried Away?

It could be that maybe this introvert extroverted a bit too much and they have extended themselves beyond their normal parameters of self-control. They’ve put their book down and started talking. Fasten your seat-belts; nail down the furniture; you’re about to experience something extraordinary! As you can imagine, there are consequences for the introvert as well as the world at large (although they may never know it) for this outlandish behaviour. We’ll get into those later. 

This morning, I am writing this article in my local coffee shop. This constitutes “going wild” for me these days because I’ve been working inside my home for the past several weeks. Like any good introvert, I didn’t come to this decision to work in the coffee shop on a whim. I put some thought into it. I’ve been meaning to do this for weeks, but either didn’t feel like it, or had online meetings (don’t get me started on those soul-sucking online meetings…bleh). If I were to get carried away, I’d do something like sing along with the music playing in the coffee shop; not just out loud, but loud enough to be heard over anyone else singing (or just talking normally)

So, one of the ways introverts go wild is to follow- through on the things that we’ve imagined doing; Like going out for an hour. There are eight people in this shop right now! It’s going to get wild in here! Especially if anyone doubles-up on their regular caffeine order! I’m drinking an herbal favourite right now, because I have to limit my wildness so I don’t get thrown out of here. I would literally be carried away.  I’m not minding this wild behaviour I’m exhibiting of being out and about and around people. Don’t be surprised, though, if some of their conversation ends up in this blog article. If at any point, this stops making sense, that’s what happened. Yes, that’s what happened.

Given the restrictions that have been in place and the general anxiety about that situation which shall not be named, this being out writing at a coffee shop is a new thing again. It used to be something that I’d do once in a while for a change of scenery, and it’s been so long that what was once old is new again. It feels familiar, yet strange; calming and anxiety inducing all at once. Thank goodness I’m sticking to the herbal tea today (gosh it tastes good – I mean it). And it’s inspiring my writing.

Socializing more than one day a week

Socializing is one of the ways that an introvert shows their wild side, but let’s not get carried away. If I were to get carried away with the socializing, I’d invite more than one person over for brunch. We do things like go out for dinner, or meet someone for a drink. We may even venture out dancing and hang out in a group that includes “strangers”. Some may even get carried away and try to make up for the time lost over the past couple of years and this could result in more than one social activity within a week. Maybe there are even more than two, which is really getting carried away. What often happens afterward is a few weeks of not doing anything (with people outside our regular social circle). This may prove to be “too wild” for some and in that case there’s no catching up on so-called lost socializing time.

Putting oneself “out there” some extra times

When I’m talking about putting myself “out there” – which is something often recommended to introverts in particular for some reason – it could be any number of things such as participating in meetings, taking a course, talking to strangers (e.g. at the gym), going out, being out and about or even interacting with people for longer than the allotted time on our internal timers. Some of us do have an internal timer for how long we can comfortably and coherently interact with others. It’s kind of like Cinderella at midnight when her fancy carriage turns back into a pumpkin. This is the time when an introvert has had enough and they stop talking, or disappear entirely. Wildness over.

Let’s say we stay past the time the internal “stop socializing now” alarm goes off; this is the wild part; this is where we get carried away and things get dodgy. We’re being funny, outgoing, engaging, or at least we’re trying to be. But, the milk has gone off, so-to-speak, and the funny words in our heads and the engaging enlightening stories are not being said properly. Who knows what people are actually hearing? We can see it in others’ faces: “has she been drinking? What language is that? I thought she only spoke English!” It’s none of those things: we’re trying to keep it together and it’s just that the alarm has gone off, and we didn’t notice. It’s time to go.

We forgot about the time it takes to find our coat and how many people will be between where we are and the exit. And they all want to talk a couple more minutes! An extra five minutes turns into thirty minutes, and the next thing you know we’ve gotten carried away. It’s time to disappear and we left our cloak of invisibility in the car.

We get feeling lonely

Guess what: even introverts have their limits as to being completely alone. We do get tired of talking to ourselves sometimes. We are definitely ones for balance. Where things get wild is when we start getting that lonely feeling and we start calling people on the phone, let’s say. What happens is we start calling people, we call one person too many (so, maybe two in total) or one talks a too long and boom, we have now got carried away by conversation! We’re over our limit, and we’re too nice to say “I’ve had enough of listening to you, I’m hanging up now”, so it goes on. What happens, as a way to protect ourselves from what could very well be a boring story is we stop listening. The internal radio starts to play, and we’re smiling and nodding to the person on the other end of the phone who can’t see us. And finally, a brief silence and with a quick “Good story, I’d better let you go before my bladder explodes. Talk soon (probably not though)” and we’re off.

As you can probably tell, I may be exaggerating a little bit for effect. Or am I? Things can run off the proverbial cliff rather quickly for us introverts. One thing is that even though we can get rather carried away sometimes, as many of us do enjoy socializing and being among other people  to an extent, there is definitely a limit. So, if you’re an introvert, having a friend or two who understands it’s nothing personal and that you just need your “me time” so as not to harm yourself or others really works well. This person doesn’t say “You’re being quiet” or “Haven’t heard from you in a while”. They simply say “I’m glad you came out. It was nice to see you. Have a good sleep”, that is if they happen to notice you’re about to disappear.  If not, they know you simply slipped out the back before you got carried away. They’re not worried one bit, and that makes you smile.

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E-mail kathryn@kathrynreichheld.ca Hours Contact me anytime and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
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