Worst Kept Secret


Don't worry the Extravert will be on stage shortly...

Don’t worry the Extravert will be on stage shortly…

I spent the day at a Transmedia Conference today.

For those of you who follow this blog with some regularity you might’ve noticed that this is indeed the second Transmedia Conference that I have attended in as many days. I mention this because the two conferences were very different in format: one being largely panel based where speakers discussed a topic and we, the audience, listened and the other being much more participatory in fairly large groups.

“Breaking Into Groups” is probably one of my least favorite phrases in the vocabulary of education. “Breaking Into Groups” means getting out of my chair. It means joining a group of strangers and forming a hierarchy based on who seems to be the most outspoken rather than who actually knows the most. It means fighting to get my point of view heard and risk that point of view being wrong or ridiculous in front of a small public or else risk having no say at all in what The Group decides.

I was lamenting this fact to a fellow conference attendee: that I hated “Breaking Into Groups” because as an Introvert I don’t like to do my thinking out loud and in public.

“Oh,” He said. “You don’t seem like an Introvert at all.”

I feel like I write about Introversion all the time: if I read a book about it that book frames my experience for weeks afterwards. This is something that I give a lot of thought to- not because it bothers me, but because it fascinates me. Introversion is just something that doesn’t get talked about. It’s similar to being In The Closet: you can either be proud of the way you are or embarrassed by it but once it is public knowledge people are going to look at your differently.

I happen to be quite proud to be an Introvert and not at all conflicted about it. Ironically, however, the older I get the better I am at compensating for my Introversion- to the point that people just assume I am an Extravert. The more I become aware of my own weaknesses: hesitance to engage strangers in small talk, dislike of thinking-out-loud, fatigue from continuous social contact, and a tendency to think deep (and sometimes dark) thoughts on deep (and sometimes dark) topics- the better I am at compensating for these traits and, as a result, hiding them.

Introversion is becoming my worst kept secret.

Anyway this is all just a long-winded lead up to an article I came across this evening that talks about how this isn’t all that uncommon in Creative Personalities: to have these conflicting personality elements.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-barry-kaufman/creative-people_b_829563.html

In particular the article discussed performers who have huge Extraverted stage personalities and intense private Introvert personalities as well. The sample group that they interviewed were heavy metal performers at Ozzfest.

I love that.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on April 13, 2013.

One Response to “Worst Kept Secret”

  1. I need to know your secret, I have gotten much worse at hiding my introversion as I get older. Even 6 years ago I was so much better. I will have to refer back to your reception post for tips more often

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