(A quick apology for the delay – small problem about being allergic to nearly every type of bug is that, well, any season but winter is rough)
In my last post, I gave an overview to my Umbrella Theory. As an introvert, my theory goes something like this: I can either open the umbrella and present a social side to the world (at the cost of being exhausted), or I can leave the umbrella closed and remain socially uncomfortable (and usually become tired even faster in any social situation). I have become a huge fan of the open side of the Umbrella Theory, and I’ve decided to break down a few more of the Pros in day-to-day life.
Pro #1: With an open umbrella, my energy level can stay level far longer. As long as I am the one doing the opening, then I have established some semblance of control over the (social) situation. With some control, I can then deflect more of the unwanted energy around me. The result? I can typically manage up to an hour of standard small talk and sometimes I can even walk away with a new friend.
Pro #2: The Umbrella Theory, when properly implemented, helps me to survive my job. I am completely convinced that telephone conversations are worse than face to face. When I left my last customer service job, it took me, quite literally, three months to answer my personal phone again. Unfortunately, by that point, those who had been friends thought I didn’t want to remain friends. Now, I answer the phone even more than before (largely because now I work full time, my last customer service job was part time). And yet I’m not nearly exhausted and I can make time on weekends to actually respond to phone calls 0 thought texting is always preferred. And it is thanks to my developed ability to turn the socializing around on the strangers. If we can either keep it purely professional (and under five minutes) all the better. If we can’t, then tell me about your last trip to the coast, and we’ll find common ground. You also love Port Townsend? You don’t say! In this way, a full time job doing something I would ordinarily hate, is made palatable.
Pro #3: Even introverts like to “know” people. Our favorite people are usually old friends, family, or a good book, but we do not, despite misconceptions, like to just be loners. I happen to love to get to know someone new whom I can relate to. I met a lady just the other day who ended up being from Germany which is where I was born. If not for the Umbrella Theory, I might never have known that my physical therapist had also been to Barcelona and fully supported me retiring there (the con to that particular example will come in my next posting).
Without opening my umbrella, I would never know anyone outside of my limited circle, and that circle would slowly shrink – from personal experience. And so if the umbrella in my hand happens to offer a bit of protection while at the same time offering me a chance to know you, then come on over if I’m smiling, but stay far, far away if I’m reading. After all, I am an introvert, and the umbrella has to be open for any of this to work.
Happy, safe 4th to everyone!
Next up will be my own rebuttal (I’m also a Gemini, so it’s always easy to present two sides of the argument.)