In 48 hours, I will begin a social experiment that both excites me, and also frightens the dickens out of me. And it will last for almost four days.
From the very first time I began to socially interact with people, I’ve been identified and have identified myself as an extrovert. Yet one of the very hardest things for me to do is this thing called “networking,” or making polite conversation with people I don’t know. And now I know why – I’m an ambivert – neither an extrovert or an introvert, but parts of both, like most of us are. And in the process of discovering this, I learned that extrovert/ introvert doesn’t mean outgoing vs. shy, but where we get our energy from. I was bummed there was no chocovert – I’d be there for sure.
In doing some research, I stumbled upon this article and rather than quote pieces of it, I’m simply sharing the link. (Don’t let the career part scare you off of reading it.) If you don’t want to read the entire article, scroll down to the sections on How to Care For an Introvert/ Extrovert – I think you’ll find it interesting and perhaps helpful in working / living with or parenting someone who may display some of the tendencies. Maybe you’ll even learn more about yourself. I wish I’d known this stuff when I was working.
So what’s my experiment? I’m headed to the Erma Bombeck Writing Workshop which only happens every other year, and sold out this year in six hours. This is a huge event for humor and human interest writers, and I can’t wait! I attended in 2014, and loved the workshops and speakers, but didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to meet and get to know more people. Fortunately, through Facebook and Twitter, I’m going into this one slightly ahead of the last time, BUT, it will still take everything I have to initiate any kind of sustaining conversation, and that’s the experiment. I do have my list of starter questions in mind, and I’ve written across my left palm, LISTEN, and my right palm, DO NOT INTERRUPT. I just need a third hand that says ENOUGH OF THE STORY. Can I change 60+ years of behavior? I’ll see. Fortunately, beakers and Bunsen burners aren’t required to measure the result.
In addition to soaking in as much as I can, my primary goal for this workshop is simple – be less of a wallflower than I was two years ago. I’ll let you know next week how the experiment worked. I do know, I will return tired, but it will be a good tired, filled with many new writing friends I hope.