Cassie McCall is a classic introvert. She used to struggle in social situations that required small talk. “Hearing ‘Hi, how you doing?’ made me nauseated. No one ever simply asked about my blood sugar levels.”
Fortunately, Cassie has found an easy way to avoid small talk. She’s mastered a serene facial expression that sends a clear message: I am all-knowing. I have better things to do with my life than talk to you about the weather.
Rather than be offended by her stone-like demeanor, most people are eager to engage her in a deeper conversation. “They think I’m an all-powerful soul who knows every secret of the universe. Heck, I couldn’t tell you why they sell underwear in three-packs instead of two.”
Cassie has become more socially active since perfecting her omniscient gaze. No longer does she avoid parties and muffler shop openings where she’d normally be forced to talk with people about their plans for vacation. “Before, I would panic if someone asked me where I’m from. Now I turn my head slowly, look out a window, and shed a single tear. In no time we’re chatting about the futility of life.”
Cassie McCall believes all introverts have the ability to avoid small talk. “Most extroverts are freaked out by our quietness. Don’t worry if someone asks ‘How they hanging?’ You can say anything as long as you say it with an empty stare. Then sit back and wait for an invitation to give a TED Talk.”
Introverts hate being the center of attention. They feel more comfortable off to the side, engaging in witty repartee with the nearest lampshade.
Famous introverts, the poor wretches, must often face the terrifying gaze of adoring crowds. How they have dealt with this personal nightmare can provide insight for all introverts.
Albert Einstein – Whenever I get nervous about an audience looking at me, I immediately explain my theory of relativity in detail. Within seconds, most of them doze off.
Abraham Lincoln – During the first Me–Douglas debate, I tried to overcome my anxieties by imagining everyone in the audience was naked. It was working until a very heavy and hairy gentleman sat down in the front row. I became nauseated during my Martin Van Buren impersonation and lost my train of thought. What relaxes me now is imagining I’m alone in a log cabin binge-reading Shakespeare.
Eleanor Roosevelt – I’ve always been nervous in large crowds – particularly Roosevelt family reunions. But my Uncle Teddy gave me the greatest advice: “Speak softly and maybe people won’t notice you.”
Mahatma Gandhi – It’s a lot easier to fast when the alternative is eating in a crowded restaurant with people looking at me and thinking, “I thought he was fasting.”
Charles Darwin – I used to wonder why people staring at me didn’t kill me. Then I came up with this theory about introverts called Survival of the Moodiest.
Marylyn Monroe – I’ve always felt very self-conscious when people gazed at my skimpily-dressed body. Why do I force myself to endure such pain and torment? Then the answer hit me: It beats slinging hash.
Jimmy Hendrix – People are looking at me? Man, I thought those were gerbils.