An Olive Branch to Extraverts

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Previously I went off on my Introvert Rant, and while I unleashed my annoyance at the extroverted world, I’d like to take a few words to sing the praises of the kind, compassionate and loyal extravert people that I have known in my life, and THANK THEIR ASSES for saving me in many an awkward situation!

To further explain, it isn’t so much the nature of extroversion by itself that ruffles the feathers of introverts, it is mostly the experience of the minority of extraverts who like to poke at us, like teenagers poking a stick at a dead animal in the woods to see if it’ll react….

This obnoxious type is incredulous at the person who isn’t bellowing at the same volume as he, and targets us with thinly veiled ridicule or unanswerable questions for his amusement.  We don’t like that.  The obnoxious extravert has little if any empathy, and DEFINATELY no sensitivity, and fancies himself the social head honcho based on his ability to badger who he sees fit.  We don’t like that.

This is NOT the type that I’m referring to when I say I’m about to sing the praises of extroverts!  I would like to honor the RESPECTFUL PEOPLE WHO HAPPEN TO BE EXTROVERTED (the good friend, the person whose empathy for others outweighs the chance to get a laugh at their expense, the person who tries their best to be kind in all situations).

And there are many reasons that the world needs extroverts…

1. ENTERTAINMENT

Like abandoned streets in the midst of a catastrophic disaster, our world would probably be pretty dead in terms of entertainment or nightlife if there were no extroverts to complete this stuff!  I cannot imagine the current glittering array of entertainment options that pulsates through modern life if extraverts didn’t work together to create it.  I’m not sure that all of the festivals, concerts, carnivals, and social activities that we take for granted would exist without the concerted organized work of extroverts.

The typical introvert prefers solo work, and while she may have a cornucopia of technical or creative visions in her head, she is not going to enjoy the extensive interaction with others that would be required to coordinate the execution of such plans.  It’s hard to imagine that any of these spectacles would come to fruition without all the zealous people management skill and interpersonal coordination of extroverts.

2. FUN

And what about all of those magical college and high school parties that us introverts attended – shy but misty-eyed, scared but thankful to have the vehicle for whatever shenanigans might ensue – back when life was ruled by rose-colored glasses??  These would most likely never have taken place if it weren’t for crazy extroverts who could never seem to get enough of other people’s company.  Thank you, crazy extroverts.  I met a lot of people I would never have met because of you (and I’m certain many a Hallmark love story was launched as a result of a get together planned by an extrovert).

On the same note, I can’t count the number of times when I didn’t want to venture outside of the confines of my own mind let alone get ready, go out, and be social, and an extraverted friend encouraged, coerced or cajoled me into doing just that and I ended up having a PHENOMENAL time!

3. SOCIAL HELP

Extraverts often carry us through awkward situations.  Though many introverts are social and can be majorly outgoing and engaging in relevant environments that feel natural to us, there are unfortunately some excruciating obligatory invites that tax even the most skilled among us.  Though I always completely respect the host and all in attendance at such gatherings, I can still be very uncomfortable at such events.  During these events, I have been thankful to be rescued by loyal extroverted companions who threw me a lifeline, picked up the conversational slack, and carried me through the night like a well-stocked cargo boat on an episode of Naked and Afraid.

4. CAREER HELP

Extroverts possess an awe-inspiring ability to create opportunity for themselves and for others.  Curious creatures they are, extroverts don’t find it awkward to call someone they knew in a past lifetime and ask for a business favor, in a mysterious ritual called “networking”.  I have sat quietly in bemused awe as chatty extroverted friends announced they would contact an ex-colleague on my behalf regarding a business or job opportunity.

I have wondered silently how long it was since the last time they had talked to that person, but then dismissed the thought knowing full well that extroverts are oblivious to the constraints of time and unfamiliarity that hamper the interactions of introverts.  For me, the thought of contacting anyone not in my immediate and current circle to ask for anything feels unbearably unnatural and disingenuous, and I’m annoyed at the requirement among professionals to do so.  I am therefore thankful for extraverted buddies who feel that calling someone they haven’t spoken to in four years is as natural as making their morning coffee.

So, notwithstanding the less refined insensitive type, I treasure the attributes of the fun and respectful extroverts that are my friends, as well as those who have passed through my life and helped me with their extroverted ways.  If you ever want me to write a kick-ass diatribe, just ask….even if I knew you in a past lifetime…

I humbly present this olive branch and hope this tribute, in conjunction with my Introvert Rant, might spark the critical thought that will provide the foundation for a bridge of understanding between two opposite ends of the population.

Disclaimer:  This olive branch does NOT bar me from any future introvert rants, as I can’t guarantee that my introverted mind won’t go off on another tangent sparked by worldly extravert requirements…

 

 

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