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[personal profile] cjwatson
[personal profile] jack borrowed a prompt from elsewhere and asked me: "If you could change one assumption that people you encounter frequently make, what would you change?"

I find this a pretty difficult prompt, because for the most part either people tend to peg me pretty much correctly, or it's not something I mind. (Sometimes people assume that I'm broadly atheist/agnostic, but it doesn't come up that often, and to be honest I tend to feel that there are so many baseline culturally-Christian assumptions in our society that I find it hard to get too worked up about this.) By being straight, white, male, middle-class, cis, and so on I hit a lot of the defaults. Occasionally people mishear my accent as Scottish, but this hardly seems like something worth spending a valuable wish on correcting.

The best thing I can think of would be for people to understand introversion/extroversion better. A while back I ran across the "recharging" model, and have been finding it very helpful not only for understanding my own behaviour but for improving my model of other people's. Roughly, the idea here is that introverts sometimes need to spend time alone to recharge from social interaction, while extroverts sometimes need social interaction to recharge from time spent alone. In this sense I'm primarily an introvert: I sometimes need to go off and (metaphorically or literally) curl up with a book by myself in order to recharge my batteries. This doesn't mean I don't like or indeed love the people I'm not spending time with at that point, just that I need other things too. But a friend of mine described me (and himself to a lesser extent) as a "well-trained introvert": unlike the stereotype, I don't necessarily need to hide off in the corner in social situations, even though I might never be the life and soul of the party as such. I just need to have time to go and recharge afterwards.

It's not all a one-way street, though, because I wouldn't in fact really be happy if you put me in a log cabin with my family, a decent library, and an internet connection for the rest of my life; it would be just fine for a while but I do sometimes find that I get lonely (a thing that is mostly new since I started working from home, since now I don't generally have casual contact with other humans throughout the day other than my family) and need to chat to friends. Of course this isn't at all that I don't like and love my family, just that there are other people I also like and want to spend time with sometimes!

This has turned into more of a care-and-feeding-of-the-lesser-spotted-[personal profile] cjwatson than quite an answer to [personal profile] jack's original prompt as such, but hopefully it's helpful anyway. And I'm not at all sure I have this all figured out for myself either; it's something I've been thinking about recently.

This post is part of my December days series. Please prompt me!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-12-23 05:38 pm (UTC)
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
From: [personal profile] liv
I find the concept of introversion / extraversion that is based on what drains or boosts your energy, rather than how much you generally enjoy socializing, is very useful indeed. Being able to bear in mind that I'm basically more extroverted than anybody else I know and having some clue what introverts in general need has done a lot to avoid mismatched expectations.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-12-24 10:56 pm (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
The problem with the introvert/extrovert distinction, in my book, is it is treated as a binary, and it's really a spectrum. No, a *dot plot*, and i'm not even sure what is on the y axis, but something about types of social interaction perhaps?

My ex-gf, a woman wiser than her years in some respect, thought she'd invented the word 'ambivert' (turns out this is a pre-existing word, and it says a lot that that gets no airtime in the intro versus extrovert kerfuffles online).

(no subject)

Date: 2014-12-23 12:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoti.livejournal.com
That sounds like heaven. I'll go and you can stay over at weekends? And maybe an occasional friendly visitor.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-12-23 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cartesiandaemon.livejournal.com
Yeah, I often feel similarly, and I think that's a really good answer to the prompt.

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