Stirring the pot, raising hell and rearing children in the Bay Area

A Shy Extrovert

Posted on Jul 12, 2010 in Featured, Rants |

A Shy Extrovert

You will call bullshit on me before you finish this sentence. You’ll roll your eyes. I know you will. But bullshit you not, it’s true: I’m the shiest extrovert you’ve ever known. Maybe you get it; probably you don’t.

I am a shy extrovert.

“You should meet so-and-so, she is extroverted and bubbly just like you!” Huh? Or one from this week, “You’re not afraid of anything!” And to my face once, “You’re such a people person!”

You don’t know

I am a shy extrovert. I’m not sure how I came about it, but if you know me well enough, you know that I am deathly afraid of crowds, am wildly over-sensitive in social situations and can’t stand to be without @la_gringa at events. I can see myself sometimes, removed from the Me that is chatting away to a stranger whose name I will never remember. I know that I can hold a good conversation and tell a great story of this-or-that. I know that I say too many potty words in public. I can tell a dirty joke. I get hugs when I leave an event — probably from the busboy. Busboys aren’t selling themselves, they’re just working. I like busboys: they are human to me. I’m way to shy to connect to anyone else.

God only knows how many years of cotillion, etiquette class and social scenarios I’ve been presented with. I’ve conversed with Paul McCartney and the cook from Bill’s Cafe. I have interviewed celebrities from here to kingdom-come and had heart-to-hearts with some of the foremost brains I could ever imagine. But that’s work. I’m not my work, as most of you are not.

I’m tired of being called an extrovert. I try to not be offended by the title. You want to know what? I am deathly afraid of people and even more, animals (I am terrified by animals).  They both freak me out. I never can figure out what people are thinking. More importantly, I don’t know what they are thinking of me.  Extroverted people scare the crap out of me. They come right at me, full of bouncy eyes, electric handshake, calling me by name. I can never compete. I don’t do names, my eyes cross easily and I’m not certain at all of why someone wants to speak with me. People are just not my thing.

Engaging people is work. And, unless you are my spouse or one of my dearest friends, you’ll find me super bubbly! bright! conversational! Jesus, how annoying. Want to know what I’m thinking?  I am counting the seconds to sitting at a quiet barstool with my pals, not one of which finds me bubbly.

I’m a quiet extrovert. I don’t like chit chatting any more than you do.