Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I'm Better in Writing

I wish I could communicate through writing. 

I mean, I do communicate through writing (hence this old blog) but I wish I could solely communicate in writing.  It suits me better.  I feel like I am my true self when hidden behind the safety of a computer screen or pen and paper.  As soon as I have to talk face-to-face with people I become self-conscious, stumble over words and try to figure out which eye I am supposed to be looking at (does that happen to anyone else?)

Phil always makes fun of me because I hate answering the phone or opening the door.  Just send me a text or leave me a note and we're good.  But expect me to talk?  Stressful.  

Through years of customer service at my parent's ice cream store, I have learned how to be polite and make small talk, but it's still something I have to force myself to do.  It doesn't come naturally.  There have been plenty of times in my life (mostly in high school) when people thought I was mean or snobby and in fact, I'm just shy!  I think about people all the time, wonder how they are doing, pray for them, but to actually pick up a phone and let them know that?  Too much.  Send them an email or text? Yes, please.

Sometimes people who read my blog (and also know me in real life) will say things like "You're so {insert compliment} on the blog"  to which I reply, "Yes I'm better in writing!"  To those who only know me through my writing - lucky you! - I'm sure I would disappoint you in person.  I'm not trying to get sympathy, just being reeeeal.

I guess I'm just an introvert who wishes she could be an extrovert.  I love being around social butterflies and listening to others talk.  I even sometimes like to go out of my house to events every once in a while.  I just come home feeling exhausted from being "on".  

I think it's great that my husband and I balance each other out with our personalities.  He's always pushing me to be more social and I'm always asking him to put on pajamas and watch TV.  Ha!  Perhaps I'm bringing him down?

Sooooo, are you an introvert or an extrovert?  More importantly....do you like that about yourself?  Or, like me, do you struggle with wanting to change it?


  1. Oh I am so similar! I'm actually avoiding a few phone calls I have to make this morning because I just hate talking on the phone, especially with people I don't know. It's a real chore for me. I always err on the side of email with clients because of it! I think I'm ok with being an introvert though... I just feel like the world isn't ok with it sometimes.

  2. I feel like I'm kindof the opposite. Having a blog is a struggle sometimes because I read what I just wrote and feel like it doesnt represent what I wanted. Practice makes better, though, right? Being pegged as snobby when it is just shyness happens to me too. "I often find my self inadequate to recommend myself to others." (And now I just revealed myself as a nig Jane Austen nerd. Can I climb under the blanket like in the cartoon above?)

  3. I am totally like you. I feel like maybe I come across as more of an extrovert on my blog, because I enjoy writing, but really, I'm a horrible introvert. I find it hard to make friends (hence my lack of friends where I live :( ) sometimes I get scared that people think I'm stuck up since I don't talk to them, but honestly, I'm just too nervous to think of what to say! I'm horrid at starting conversations.

    It's like that with Steve and I too, he's so much better at being social than I am. If we go somewhere new, I always stick by his side so I don't get stuck by myself!

  4. I can totally do the social center of attention, life of the party thing but I find my mouth gets me in trouble at times. So in a stressful or tense situation (funeral visitation, argument with family member, etc) I do better if I can write it out. I can say exactly what I mean when I send a sympathy card but standing there, shaking a family member's hand and offering sympathy in person always finds me stumbling over my words and ending with something like, "So sorry for your loss...but it's really nice to see you." WTHeck? Socially awkward! And in an argument I usually strike to injure so it's just better if I have a delete button close at hand. I reread an "argument email" to the hubs 150 times before hitting send. Meanwhile in the heat of the debate whatever pops in comes directly out. Ouch!

  5. Colleen, did I just write this post?...No, wait a minute--YOU did! And yet it could definitely have been written by me! We are kindred spirits. I always say exactly what you said: "I'm better in writing." That medium suits me better, too.

    I'm an introvert who enjoys being around extroverts and wishes she was more like them. If I'm in a crowd, I rarely offer any comments (preferring to listen to those people I find much more interesting!). If I feel all eyes on me, I get self-conscious, my throat goes dry, and I stumble over words. Eye contact is a challenge. I feel the most free to express myself when I'm sitting at my laptop. So you're not alone.

    I recently told my husband that after "meeting" all these great bloggers in recent months, it would be fun to ACTUALLY meet them--but I'd probably be too nervous, thinking I'd disappoint them in person!

    This post did me lots of good. I think you're such a funny, cool blogger--and regardless of what you say, I don't think I'd be the least bit disappointed if I met you in person. (If you met me, on the other hand...) :)

  6. Dude. this is so interesting. I have always described myself as a complicated extrovert. Although I can get up and talk to large groups of people, a strength of mine is relational ministry and I think I can carry on a good conversation, I also have a crud-ton of intense introverted characteristics as well.
    I need long periods of time alone in order to be able to have the energy to be with people. I would rather be with my family (aaron and the kids) than huge groups of friends. I struggle at parities with extended family and social expectations.
    And, for real I have actual phone anxiety. I detest talking to people on the phone (except a small handful) to the point where it is almost a phobia. My stomach hurts, my hands shake, my voices shakes, I get headaches after. I mean, it is CRAZINESS. I think, with the phone, my normal social 'cues' are taken away (body language, etc...)so I feel quite exposed. It's weird.

    Isn't it interesting how God has made us!

  7. I am a total introvert and I am OK with that! My husband is an extrovert, so we compliment each other. I am perfectly happy just being at home and quiet and there are days I really do not care if I interact with others . . . is that weird? There are times I have struggled with it, but overall, I have learned that that is just who I am.

  8. I am an introvert that wants to be more of a extrovert. Actually, I am a lot like the way you describe yourself. People thought I was mean/snobby in high school, when really it was shyness and a lack of self confidence. With age, I have become a little more confident, but it is still hard for me to step out of my comfort zone. I am working on it, but it is stressful, like the meme suggests. I totally get the turtle!

  9. YOu and I both know I'm the "talker" but honestly, I struggle with that part of my personality. I always feel like I'm talking too much or saying the wrong thing or my mouth in just about to get me into trouble or people are just politely listening when they're really thinking, "Oh.my.goodness...please.just.shut.up.already" and for all my extrovertedness, I struggled in school and still get tired from being "on" in social circles. I'd rather just stay home and watch t.v. with my hubby. I'm afraid I'll screw up my kids because I DON"T want to go out and "do things" like "the Martins"... isn't that funny? I always think you are the active/social ones in real life! I guess we all struggle to some extent... except Shaun. He doesn't. He's totally happy just being himself and never thinks to wish he's someone else. Ahhh... the freedom of that!

  10. I would never have guessed that about you! I am more introverted, but love to be with people. Does that make sense? I think it's great how you and your husband balance each other out. Obviously it's working wonders!

  11. I feel like on any given day I can be either! Though my phone-phobia remains constant...looks like it's more common than I thought! I need time alone to feel normal but depending on the circumstances I feel like I can be outgoing in a group or feel completely out of place and overwhelmed. I don't necessarily feel like I need to change but I would like to have a better understanding of myself. I DO think I would like my husband to change...he doesn't need that alone time and is always up for talking even when I'm in my early morning waking up hour. He still hasn't learned. :)
    I definitely relate to being able to express myself better when I am writing...though sometimes I read past things I've written and I'm all like, "I wrote ThAT??"

  12. Do I even need to tell you that I'm an extrovert? I didn't think so. But I'm an extrovert who loves loves loves introverts.

  13. Oh, great subject! I have always thought you an extrovert!!

    I have always been an extrovert. Until these past few years, I've seen myself change and become a introvert-wannabe. I love being home. I don't like going places, parties etc...I don't like the small talk. I'm not good at it. I feel as you described in the beginning, stumbling over my words. Or even worse, I don't talk at all, and then feel bad afterward that I didn't say whatever to whoever. Like Easter, My soon to be sister in law had her parents over at my parents, and I barely talked to her..she's quiet and so much younger and I just don't know what to say to her. (I want to warn her to not marry into our crazy family--but I know my brother loves her and I want him to be happy) I wished I'd have asked her more questions about the upcoming wedding, etc....but am so distracted by the kiddos, and my world is so different than theirs...6 kids, boring for her.

    And then there's the people that do read my blog, when I see them, what do I say? They know everything already, it feels weird.

    Then there's the times where I've said too much, like running into someone at a store, I've probably talked their ears off (adult conversation!!) I usually pray that I see no one at the store I know, so I can get in and out quicker.

    OH, gosh, I have that phone and door phobia too!!!! I hardly ever answer the phone, I'd rather let people leave msgs and if it's important enough, I"ll call back. I'm terrible at calling friends or anyone. I feel like I'm bothering them! I always start the conversation with, "I'm sorry to bother you, but..." I even hate making doctor appts.

    I think it's changed for me because life is so busy and jampacked with personalities with 6 kids, I just don't have time for, um, new friends. Or sometimes even friends. But online is so much easier. I get what I need from it. It's an odd thing. I know we need physical real people, but you are all real...there's just no junk with it, like I can sit here in my pj's, no makeup and even have broccoli in my teeth and it's ok with online people. (haha)

    1. Jamie Jo...I think I love you! LOL (My favorite part...I usually pray that I see no one at the store I know, so I can get in and out quicker.) Oh my...that is soooooooooo me! I'm sure i drive people nuts.

    2. my kindred spirit! ...you know that you & I would have NO problem chatting away, though.

  14. I'm definitely an introvert but really value friendships, and interestingly meeting web friends is wonderful because we get to skip the icky (for me) awkward small talk stage because we already have a frame of reference and things to talk about.

    If we ever met in the flesh I'm sure I would like as much as I do now if not more, plus you could tell me where to get the best ice cream!!

  15. Interesting. I think I'm a shy extrovert or a mix of introvert/extrovert...which is kinda weird. I HATE talking on the phone..but really enjoy talking in person and hanging out with friends and getting out and doing things. I don't enjoy crowds of people or big parties so much, but I LOVE small social gatherings with just a few friends.

    I also do need my quiet/alone time though...so I definitely have an introverted side.

  16. Ha! Rob and I were just talking about this yesterday, so weird!! We are both introverts (INFJ, to be exact), and if there is a way to contact someone without calling or seeing them, we find it! Rob says that this is totally our time period, with all the email/texting opportunities.
    My most comfortable environment is home with Rob, but I do occasionally like to go out and see people. I don't like very big parties, though -- I like small gatherings where I can really visit with people I like. When I first meet people, I am always so awkward and then I replay whole conversations in my head and think, "What was I thinking?! Why did I say that?! They must think I'm an idiot!"
    This is why we need to visit each other -- we could just sit in the same room and read a book or watch a movie and then recap it on our blogs. ;-)

  17. I am an introvert as well and waaaaaaay better in writing than in person!

  18. Another introvert here. I'm also much better in writing. *much* My mom (a classic extrovert) and I actually wrote to one another in a journal to get me through the worst of adolescence. And small talk is the worst. If you don't have anything real to say to people, why are you talking with them at all? I mean, I get it, but still ... Uggg...I value deep relationships, and personal interactions, but don't do well in large social settings.

  19. I'm like you! Writing is my strong point because I have time to think and reflect before anything comes out. My husband is the opposite.

  20. I am an introvert who likes being an introvert.

    Here is a TED talk that I was so fascinated by, which you might enjoy:

    Basically, this woman's research is showing that body language can cause a physical change in your body. I don't remember if she ever used the word 'extrovert' but the way I remember the video is that you can use your body language to actually attain more extroverted qualities (as opposed to only *feeling* more extroverted, you actually *become* it).

  21. I was very shy as a kid. I felt it held me back in a huge way regarding school functions. I am way too worried about what others think.

    I worry about what people think about my blog!

    My husband and I are both hermits. We surrounded ourselves with 40 acres of woods without a neighbor in sight. I cannot see one house from our place. Our driveway is a quarter mile long. Having people over is just work. The house has to be super clean and tons more food. I use to volunteer like crazy but have cut way back because of my baby...now toddler.

    HOWEVER, I would love to talk and talk and talk to anyone who wants too. I find other people have some great stories...just ask the right questions.

  22. I'm an extrovert...*sigh*

    I hate that about myself.

    I too get weary going to social gatherings b/c it takes all my strength NOT to monopolize a conversation. I have pep talks with myself..."for the love of all that is good, Valerie, PLEASE let someone else talk."

    I reveal waaaaay too much about myself publicly...this drives my husband and parents nuts! And I find bloggers that are more "quiet" to draw me in.

    So, I guess I'm an extrovert who really desires to be an introvert. I pray on this often! Great post.

  23. Definitely an introvert. I like the idea of being an extrovert, but when it comes to the execution (showing up somewhere unannounced, hosting people at my house, parties where I don't know people well, small talk in general) I tend to want to stay safely home. Thank goodness for the blogosphere, where I can interact from my screen with much less awkwardness than in person! :)

  24. Introvert here. When we moved I decided to make myself uncomfortable so that I could make friends but I am mostly happy at home.

    And I think you are the same on the blog as in person. But only because you were comfortable enough to be yourself around me. I'm socially awkward if I don't feel comfortable around the person and resort to nervous laughing or inadvertently insulting the other person...

  25. Died laughing at this. Only because that is SO ME and hence why you and I are greatest buddies via screens. I have never been an extrovert. Sure, I may have wanted to be one, tried to be one, here and there but then I just settle in to ME. Again, why hubby and I are great together. He's generally an introvert who can BS and be polite and all business-y and such when needed. Know what though? He probably makes me look like an extrovert to other people. ha!
    I think though my curse of being more introvert is that I hunker down in winter and then when my family finally emerges in spring, we feel odd. Weird, I know. Another curse is that I therefore think way.too.much. Sometimes the thinking can drive even me nuts.
    I guess this is where working part time for the church, being a marriage course speaker and meeting with engaged couples prior to marriage, pushes me out of my comfort levels. Somehow though being that these are 'churchy' situations and not so much 'social' ones, I feel more comfortable.
    And, judging by the length of my comment here, you can see that I clearly am much better on the computer screen. Not IRL. Tehehe....

  26. Wow! Hot topic! I love reading this stuff. I never would have guessed this about you. Actually, you have kind of a shy (beautiful!) smile, so maybe if I thought hard I would get that. I am an extrovert in social situations where I am comfortable, but I have a reeeeeeally hard time with phone communication. In most cases I would rather die than make a phone call! I think I need to be able to smile at someone and see their face. Is that crazy?

  27. I am a talker and very social but I actually think I'm an introvert because I get drained and need that alone/home time to recover.

  28. Wow, looks like lots of us bloggers are introverts! It totally makes sense, though, now that I think about it!

  29. Love your candor :). I am sanguine-phlegmatic, so in lay mens terms, extrovert first and then introvert. Although matt really thinks it is other way around, because I am extremely phlegmatic in the home :).

  30. This pretty much sounds just like I wrote it! I am SUCH an introvert and I often get completely tongue tied when I talk about something on the spot. However, my husband can't get me to stop talking.

    I like the time to think about and write things out. It's funny seeing how many of us are introverted!!

  31. Love this! Haha I think I'm Phil and Bill is you. And Katie too, maybe that's why we get along so well. Do we need to chat about trip to the water place? Or do you guys want to not spend the money and stay at mom's the whole time? Either way is great!

  32. wow, I'm gonna have to come back to read all these comments.

    But, yes-this is me! I really am so much like you. My husband is a major extrovert too. I was attracted to him because of his extreme outgoing personality. But sometimes now-15 years later I find it annoying. Do you ever? I mean we can't get out of a car or go to a store without him talking to 20 people! and he never hides anything back either to the point of embarrassment. Everyone on the planet knows everything about us...lol. But its good because he always goes up to complete strangers and says, "hey will you pray for me?? I need help in this area of my life" While I would be so embarrassed.

    But yes, I get so stressed. Internally stressed to knots and upset stomach at the thought of actually communicating in public. But, my husband forces me to talk to everyone--so its good-- but its not. if you kwim. Anyway--he just invited this stranger and his wife to our house for dinner this weekend and I am stressed thinking--omg what am I going to say to these people??? He loves this stuff, I get stressed. I will do it but I have to FORCE myself to be nice and polite and cordial.

    I do not think there is anything wrong at all with this personality type, its just who we are. Its fine...but in this world we do have to learn to reach out to others to meet others needs. letting ourselves just be introverts and not reach out to people is not really what God wants--you know the whole "don't hide your light under a bushel" so its just a challenge that God gave us that we have to work with.

    And people used to think I was a stuck up @# in highschool...then I always got Wow--I didn't know you were actually this nice, I thought you were a snob!

  33. Total extrovert...all the way, baby.

  34. I think I'm more of an extrovert. But I do understand the 'feeling shy' part.
    I find that trying to focus on someones right eye over the left is difficult....So I stare at their nose.
    Great post. This is something about you that surprised me.
    After all these years, you still surprise me. :)

  35. Such a struggle for me too! I take the stairs to avoid people but claim its for exercise. :) I loves this book. It helped me to understand me more. Read it in your free time (ha!). http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8520610


Talk to me...