This week, I stumbled across introvert-expert Susan Cain’s blog, the Quiet Revolution. Naturally, I became engrossed in it, and eventually signed up for regular updates.
One blog, written by guest blogger Sophia Dembling, was particularly hard for me to read. Like looking in the mirror for the first time in a long time, and seeing a flaw that has formed while I wasn’t paying attention.
If you can spare a moment, read The Social Introvert: Introverted, or Just Rude?…
I’ve been called stuck-up before. I’ve been called timid. My nickname in school was ‘Mouse’. As teenager, my then-future-husband called me ‘Mousy Princess’. But I was never called rude.
In her article, Ms. Dembling reveals how us introverts can sometimes come across as being rude. But sometimes we really are just plain rude. I realized, as I read her words, that I am guilty of these tiny habits of rudeness, and that they have affected and continue to affect my relationships.
I get a text message from you – and I don’t respond immediately. Sometimes my hands are full and I can’t respond right then, but I eventually forget to respond all together. It’s rude.
I get a phone call, and if I can’t answer, I don’t call back. I don’t like talking on the phone, it makes me shy and nervous, so at best, I might send a text message or an email… if I remember. That’s rude too.
When I see someone in the store, I’m a typical runner. I’m not prepared for this social interaction, my hair’s a mess, I don’t know what to talk about, and I can’t remember your kid’s name, so I duck and hide in the electrical aisle until you’re gone. It’s anti-social and… rude.
Later though, I think about you. I do. I kick myself, and wish I’d called back. I wish I’d stopped you in the store to find out how you are. And as I realize just how much I miss you, I look at my phone, finger hovering over the message button, wondering if it’s too late…
I owe a lot of apologies to a lot of people that I’ve unintentionally been rude to. I didn’t mean to be, but after reading that blog, seeing myself in that mirror, I realize that my introversion is no excuse for being rude.
My next blog will involve something funny. Like a LolCat. But for now, for all my friends: I love you, and I am sorry. As I write this, names and faces appear before my mind’s eye, and I have to tell you: you are more precious to me than I’ve probably let you believe. My introversion is no reflection of how worthy of my attention you are.
I am sorry.