How do you feel? Excited?
I would love to be one of those people who feel excited. Who just want to get out there and see people and get squiffy and dance like an eejit and generally have a brilliant time.
In fact, I generally just feel a bit anxious. Little bit nervous. Little bit - oh god, I'm tired, and in fact, I'd much rather just watch telly or write a bit and then go to bed. Can't I see these people one by one over the next few weeks?
I don't like noise. I don't like crowds. I hate making small talk. In meetings at work, I get incredibly stressed when the conversation goes round and round and the same things are being said. It's an effing waste of time and sodding exhausting. Art galleries are fine if they're not busy (ie, crap) but if there are lots of people there (ie, if they're any good at all), I whizz round at top speed and learn and see nothing. Just a fuzzy art blur.
I hate external business meetings where there's that mingling thing beforehand. If I'm forced to go, I sit in the toilet for 20 minutes until the meeting starts. At one awful event I was forced to talk to someone fairly important and all I could do was comment on his tie. Bridget Jones comes to mind.
I know - I sound like a right old crabby hag. I'm not, I promise. Well, I am a bit. But if we met I think you'd think I was ok. I smile a lot. I ask a lot of questions, generally to hide the fact that I have nothing to say about myself. It's not that I don't like people - I just don't like them all together. One by one, or in pairs even, is fine. As long as they're quiet. And move slowly.
I'm pinned as an extrovert by others, which is the weird thing. It may be because, in a situation where I'm comfortable with everyone, I don't mind being a bit odd. Speaking out of turn. Piping up. Being silly. But put me in a crowd and I fade miserably away.
The Huffington Post did a great article on this (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/20/introverts-signs-am-i-introverted_n_3721431.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular), Number 10 - the shutting down one - is the one that I'd most like to change. It's irritating when my brain has plainly switched off and everyone else's is ticking along nicely, thank you. But if there's too much to take in all at once, it just...drowns.
And how is all this related to my divorce? That's a bloody good question. My ex husband is also an introvert. But because I was the more 'extrovert looking' introvert, I had to do all the extroverty things - like speaking French in France (UGH!), talking to the builder (ARGH!), and even paying the babysitter (GAH!) which he pointblank refused to do because he is a scaredy cat ninny, and he thought that it would be easier to shuffle the responsibility onto me.
I hated it. And he knew it. But he did it anyway.
And that, my dear reader, is one of the reasons I left him. Sucks boo.
Follow me on Twitter and I'll love you forever: @avapiaf1