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  • Writer's pictureDana Webster

Introvert PSA

Updated: Mar 1

Paul likes to share the story about the time we went to an Eagles concert. The opening act was the Dixie Chicks. I slept through it. Woke up just in time to watch Glenn Fry and the boys walk across the stage. Why? Because I am an introvert and I have limited capacity for stimulation. I mean, already with the crowds, the flashing lights, the noise, not to mention the fact that it was at night and way past my bedtime. So, a quick cat nap before the main act was just what I needed to refill the energy tank.

Over the course of my introverted life, I have slept through a Rush concert at the CNE, fallen asleep at parties, at the dinner table, on the subway during rush hour, in a plane, train and automobile. You name the overstimulating environment, I've slept through it.

Because my sleep cycle now is so problematic (thanks, menopause), maybe the key for me is to get overstimulated at bedtime rather than follow the prevailing sleep hygiene advice which is to turn off screens, keep the room dark, take a hot bath, and listen to soothing sounds. Perhaps, instead, I should blast some Skinny Puppy, invite a dozen or so extroverts over and head bang for an hour before bed. I dunno. Might put me right out.

I found an interesting tidbit I hadn't previously known:

Makes sense to me.

It's hard to be an introvert in a world of extroversion. I'm okay with it now, at 60, but growing up introverted was a challenge. I was labelled shy, stuck-up, sensitive and anti-social. People saw me as a loner who didn't need friendship. In some ways, that was true. I was pretty okay just being by myself but introverts also need social stimulation. We just need it to be less loud, less long, and less frequent.

I'm not the kind of friend who would want to hear from you all day, every day. I've heard it said that social media is a good place for introverts to hang out because so little interaction is actually required. But, I don't agree. To my mind, wading into social media is like being at Costco on a Saturday morning when there's a sale on toilet paper. WAY too many people to bump up against, to maneuver around, to wait in line behind, to have to be in the physical presence of, to have to be in consideration of.

Winter is a time for introversion and I've learned to take full advantage of it. It is the season for hibernation, for quiet reflection, for early bedtimes, and a built-in excuse not to go out (talking about the weather, here). It's almost like Mother Nature planned this fallow time just for us. We'll be moving into the dawning of extroversion again with the coming of Spring, the season that helps me to gear up for Summer which is the made-in-heaven season for extroverts.

The coexistence of introverts and extroverts and, because we live in a fully inclusive society now, ambiverts is just one of the many things that make life interesting. N'est pas?

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