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.