What is it like to be an extrovert; to live each day with an insatiable need for social interaction; to speak before completing your thoughts; and to feel comfortable with large groups of people regardless of their taste in music?
I am an introvert and want to find out.
I must first prepare for my experiment. I need to learn how extroverts think and what they feel. I’m sitting near the hostess stand at an Olive Garden restaurant, observing them smiling, making eye contact, and greeting each other warmly. Some even talk to strangers, using phrases like, “Hi there,” “Have you eaten here before?” and “You can’t beat the Never Ending Pasta Bowl!”
The day finally comes for me to assume my identity as an extrovert. I wake early, shower, and choose my wardrobe. For the first time in years I do not dress in black. For the first time in years I will leave my beret at home.
As is my normal routine, I eat breakfast while watching “BBC News: Bulgaria.” I finish my tea and turn the TV off. My pulse quickens. Slowly I stand up and prepare to leave the comfort and security of my 800 square foot sanctuary and head into the extrovert world.
Two hours later I reach the outside of my apartment. I lock the door and turn around. Running directly at me is a UPS deliveryman winding up to heave a package on my front step. I take a deep breath. Here goes nothing: “Hey, how ya doin? Thanks so much, buddy! Have a great day!”
I stagger back into my apartment. It was worse than I thought.