One Small Talk for Extroverts, One Giant Pain in the Neck for Introverts

interrogate_01
I’m only going to ask one more time: How have you been?

Introverts hate small talk. It feels phony, it forces you to make eye contact and it’s exhausting. If only there was a better way to find out how co-workers you barely know feel about the weather.

 

Unfortunately, there isn’t. Until Apple, Google or Amazon develop a device that talks to the people we want to ignore, the chore will be left to us.

The good news is introverts are smart and resourceful. Also, their rich inner lives make it easier to tune in and out as someone drones on about their granite countertops or which Hampton Inn has the best continental breakfast. (Any introvert knows it’s the one in Denville, NJ.) It’s amazing how far an occasional nod accompanied by “Really” or “That’s interesting” will get you. In the meantime, you can focus on more important things like “Did this woman get a nose job?”

 

Introvert Porn Star Seeks Solitude In Swinging Setting

Shy_Skyler_01by Shy Skyler

Dear Diary,

Today I begin my new job as a porn star. I’m hoping that being an introvert won’t prevent me from succeeding. At the very least, it can’t be worse than my last job as a court jester at a Saudi Arabian Renaissance Faire.

8:00 A.M. – I arrive on time and am very nervous. The room is full of naked strangers. I hang out by the donuts and a crate of condoms, hoping no one will notice me. Finally, a woman with a tattoo on her buttock, pierced nipples and horse blinders approaches me. She introduces herself: “Hi, I’m Betty the company accountant.” I’m nervous at first, but she’s very friendly and intuitive. We have an interesting conversation about tax shelters and multiple orgasms caused by excessive trampoline play.

9:15 A.M. – I meet my co-star for the morning. Her name is Ina “In My Face” Carona, and she’s immediately in my face with insipid questions like, “How long is your penis?” and “Would you like to have a threesome with a UPS man?” Just once I’d like to meet someone who enjoys talking about more meaningful things like Zen and the art of anonymous restroom sex.

9:45 A.M. – During our first scene, the director keeps telling me to grunt and groan more. Small and insignificant moaning has never been easy for me, so I start panting T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” After eight minutes, they assume I’m having a seizure and call 911.

10:15 A.M. – During a scenario in which I’m servicing a naughty nurse and a transgender pizza delivery person, a mixed-race dominatrix keeps asking me, “Why are you so quiet?” Finally, I can’t take it any longer and scream, “Because I’m an introverted cabana boy, dammit!” I thought I ruined the scene, but the director yelled, “That’s great! Use it!”

10:45 A.M. – They want me to join in a group sex scene. At his point, I’m totally exhausted by all this human interaction. I’d like nothing more than to go home and have sex with myself, but I have no choice. The orgy starts. I’m sitting by myself on a couch reading a magazine. The next thing I know, I’m body surfing over two sets of chubby twins. I must admit, I’m enjoying it, but after coming up for air the third time I’m ready to go home. I pretend to pull a hamstring while servicing the hostess on a chandelier, then slip out the back door and drive back to my apartment.

11:37 A.M. – Back home at last! I close the front door, fall into my large, comfortable reading chair and decompress. Nicole, my cat strolls across the room without showing the slightest inclination she wants to be stroked. She really gets me.

 

Introvert Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

introvert_all_of_fame_02Introvert Hall of Fame executive director, Regina Reclusaconti announced this year’s inductees. Some notable honorees include:

  • Helen “Muffin” English – Longtime White House correspondent English never asked a question for 32 years until her final day when she demanded to know the location of the ladies room.
  • Thelma Anne Louise – Sears and Roebuck employee Louise is the only cashier in history to process over a million sales transactions without engaging a customer in small talk. The closest she came to idle chatter was in 1968 when she told a shopper, “Your fly is down.”
  • Myra “Cloudy” Myers –  Myers maintained a 4.00 grade point average from kindergarten through graduate school while constantly staring out the classroom window. She has since founded a charity for indigent former teachers who said she’d never amount to anything.
  • Hank “Got My Back” Reardon – The master of avoiding attention, Reardon has never met a back wall he didn’t cling to. His motto: Have obstructed view, will travel. Hank is the only chairman of a Fortune 500 company to address shareholders from a janitor’s closet.
  • Ernie “Frozen Call” Dawkins – In an unintentional groundbreaking experiment, telemarketer Dawkins proved that staring at a phone while in a cold sweat for 8 hours a day is not conducive to selling vinyl siding.
  • Cecil “Sweaty Palms” Singletary – Dating maven Singletary has driven over 100,000 miles around the city blocks to avoid arriving at singles mixers early. His circular travels also earned him an inadvertent induction into the Stalkers Hall of Fame.
  • Ilia Onandon – NPR talk show host Onandon has interviewed one guest since 1985: himself. Few will forget his 2003 Valentine’s Day discussion in which he proposed to his inner voice and was rejected.

At the honorees request, the formal induction will be conducted by registered mail.

$ol’s $uper $ilent $pecials

salesman_01Hi Friend, You’re an intelligent introvert.

  • Do you value silence?
  • Do you desire tranquility?
  • Do you crave serenity?
  • Do you want to save money?

You’re in luck!

This week is my annual Super Silence Explosion!!!

Check out these fabulous deals:

  • $1 buys you a moment of silence without having to contemplate a dear friend or relative’s passing.
  • $5 gets you a complete trip through a supermarket checkout line without being forced to discuss dairy products with chatty shoppers.
  • $25 earns you the right to read a book on a park bench without people assuming you’re trying to be noticed.
  • $100 gives you permission to report to Homeland Security without guilt the guy who keeps going “pssssst” in the library.
  • $250 entitles you to an entire dinner without anyone asking, “Why are you do quiet?”
  • $500 purchases a roomy isolation tank with WiFi and a fully-stocked mini bar.
  • $1000 sends you to a some-expenses-paid vacation on the abandoned tropical island.

Our experienced sales staff is eager help you achieve inner calm at rock bottom prices.

So what are you waiting for? Come on down!

Introvert Myths

introvert_myths_02

Google the word “introvert” and you’ll find countless websites waxing poetic about these moody wonders. Are they quiet spiritual souls or personality-deficient party poopers? The truth lies somewhere in between. The following clarifies a few introvert myths.

Myth Reality
Introverts are quiet because they always think about deep and spiritual things. Some introverts need a lot of time thinking about  whether to have pepperoni or sausage pizza.
Introverts hate small talk because it bores them. Some introverts love discussing how much the hosts paid for their house.
Introverts are great writers. Some introverts are great at writing home for money.
Introverts hate being in crowds. Some introverts like to rub gently against passengers on crowded subways.
Human interaction exhausts introverts. Some introverts don’t want you to know they love watching TV for hours while eating junk food.
Introverts are good at seeing the big picture. Some introverts think the big picture involves government control of our tooth paste reserves.
Introverts have a constant, rich and fascinating inner monologue. Some introverts can bore even themselves.
Introverts are very sensitive people. Some introverts will ask you to pass the ketchup while you’re telling them your dog passed away.
Introverts intrigue people. Some introverts scare people.
Introverts have the most interesting friends. Some introverts can’t distinguish between fascinating and certifiably insane.

Don’t Help! I Need Nobody

introvert_roommate_03Cecile Sowhat

Being introverted used to bother me. As the years pass, however, I’ve grown more comfortable in my reclusive skin – even when my eczema flares up.

I used to think, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I so averse to social interaction?” Then I realized the one person who can make me happy has been in my head all the time. I may seem like a quiet soul, but put me in a room with my own thoughts and you can’t shut us up.

I love sitting all day in a chair while contemplating back support and Barcaloungers. The fire department occasionally breaks down my door to see if I’m alive. That’s enough social stimulation for me.

There was a time I tried to fit in with the rest of the world. I even belonged to a sorority in college. My sisters meant well, but there’s a name for that kind of non-stop friendliness, affection and emotional support: hazing.

Relationships have always been challenging. I dated one woman for three years. We were inseparable until she returned from her job overseas. She was a great gal but I felt lost without our long periods of separation, plus I missed the mind-blowing long-distance sexting.

My parents are extroverts and have never understood me. How else can you explain them fixing me up with Frank Sinatra Jr.? (Nice guy, though. When it became obvious we weren’t hitting it off, he sent me Nancy’s phone number.) It’s only been recently I’ve been able to look at them indirectly in the eye and say, “Mom, Dad, I love you.”

A wise man – okay, a pretty bright lyricist – once said, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” For some people maybe, but not if you don’t mind a fireman’s ax crashing through your door now and then.

Cecile Singular wrote the best-selling book, Become a Millionaire without Leaving Your Closet.

 

 

Backseat to Basics

back_of_classroom_04For many introverts, home is where the heart is sitting behind the other hearts.

When introverts enter a classroom – or any room – many look for that one special seat in the back. It beckons: “Come, sit, relax, away from the maddening class.”

Contrary to popular opinion, observing the world from the rearmost view isn’t so bad. Are you really concerned that your dying words will be, “Why wasn’t I friendlier with that girl in sophomore geometry class who always sat in the front row and did her homework on time?”

If you choose to be a back sitter, here are some tips to make your stay more enjoyable.

  • Sit behind a large person. They’re great shields and provide effective soundproofing.
  • Always have at least 10 excuses handy for when you’re caught staring out the window. For example: a) I think I just figured out a cure for cancer. b) That’s exactly how the sky looked on the day I was placed in an orphanage.
  • Never sit behind a student who participates enthusiastically in class. Watching an arm continually rise for attention causes severe exhaustion.
  • If your lifelong dream is be a ventriloquist, never use students sitting more than 10-feet away as practice dummies.
  • As a courtesy, always share your seat with other introverts. Simply get up, point to the chair, and of course, avoid eye contact.

 

Pre-Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries

painter
What was the best time of your life – high school, college, your 20s, 30s or 40s?

Many introverts would go back to a womb of one’s own.

Why?

  • It’s the only time you could relax without bracing for human interaction – unless you were a twin or part of the Octomom’s brood.
  • Being alone was as normal as avoiding eye contact with everybody and everything, mainly because there wasn’t anybody or anything.
  • Life in the womb was the first and last time you were part of the “in” crowd, albeit a very small crowd.
  • You could be unapproachable to your heart’s content because no one approached you.
  • There was no agonizing small talk. Not once did anyone ask, “Nice womb, who’s your decorator?”
  • There were no self-doubts because there wasn’t a family therapist telling your parents, “There’s something wrong with that kid.”
  • No one asked, “Why are you so quiet?” Just as well since you didn’t know how to speak.

In short, it was the most normal you will ever feel – until a doctor slapped you while attempting to make small talk.

Regrets, Don’t Have a Few

relaxed-monkeyDo you feel being an introvert has caused you to miss good opportunities in life?

Really? Think about the bad ones you’ve avoided.

You weren’t popular in high school. But you didn’t marry Bunny the head cheerleader who now weighs 250 pounds and travels the child beauty pageant circuit with her Honey Boo Boo-ish daughter.

Your aversion to eye contact may have cost you the CEO job at your hedge fund company. It may have also saved you from an SEC indictment.

With a few more connections you might’ve found a famous film director to read your screenplay. At least you didn’t have to deal with rejection when Arnold Schwarzenegger passed on “Conan the Technical Writer.”

If you were more sociable you’d be less lonely. But you never would’ve bonded with the voice in your head.

You’ve always struggled with job interviews. In the long run, however, it forced you to pursue your real dream: freelance dulcimer player.

It’s been hard to meet men because they think you’re aloof and unapproachable. Luckily, it’s made things easier at your Sexaholics Anonymous meetings.

There’s never been a hiring demand for day dreamers. Just as well. The time sheets and weekly status meetings would’ve ruined the fun.

You may think a lifetime of sitting in the back of the room has gotten you nowhere. But it’s allowed you to flourish as an under-the-breath wise cracker extraordinaire.

Your quietness makes people feel uncomfortable. It still comes in handy on rare occasions when people misinterpret your silence for wisdom.

So maybe your life would be different if you were more sociable. But better? What could be better than sitting alone contemplating if it could be better?

Good Introvert Job / Bad Introvert Job

 

Good Job for Introvert  Bad Job for Introvert 
 working_alone_01  clown-car
Enchanted forest freelance musician Carpooling clown
I contemplate beauty and nature. I contemplate extracting my nose from a colleague’s armpit.
I express myself through art. Sometimes it feels so good to beat Mr. Goobers with a rubber chicken.
I wake up at the break of dawn ready to begin my day. I hate commuting. Why do they always take the long way to the tent?
I treasure quiet moments with my dear chipmunk, Elijah. If I have to speak to one more guy with a big red nose…
Spending time alone in the woods makes me feel charged and alive. Fifteen seconds in the car with these Bozos and I’m ready to explode like a bad human cannonball.
Every creature in the forest respects my space. Every day, some clown “accidentally” grabs my groin.
When the last ray of sunlight disappears over the hills I lie back in a soft bed of moss and dream. After quitting time I’m in no mood for Karaoke Clown Night.