I’ve self-identified as an introvert for a few years now, but I can’t remember ever using that knowledge to reshape my behavior. Until recently.
Just this week I went to a graduation celebration, and I took my knitting. Instead of trying to fight my way into the talk I just sat in the vicinity of conversations that were interesting to listen to and made progress on the little cardigan I’m working on.
Years ago I knew a woman who described her outrage and surprise at being the only individual to defend a core tenet of her faith in a group of fellow Mormons. She told me she was contemplating a month- to year-long experiment.
“I’m just going to quit speaking up,” she said. “And I’m going to keep a journal of people’s responses.”
“Well,” I said, trying to be gentle, but wondering how this could provoke notice from other non-responders, “I think that might be giving others too much credit for even noticing the difference.”
I was feeling this way.
Wondering how much it mattered to me that people wouldn’t notice I was different. Not being sure how much explanation I did or didn’t want to offer.
YES I feel very different than I did 5 years ago. Or 11 years ago, when I still lived at home (and family had more opportunity to figure me out).
No, I don’t think I’ve actually changed that much, just quit fighting who it’s easy to be. Started thinking that maybe this is actually who I’ve been created to be…
Who is still allowed to keep changing, so if I’m too confusing now, just love me and wait. You’ll see something new in another six months if you keep paying attention.
Part way through the evening someone noticed
He accused me of being bored with the company, since I wasn’t participating. I bit back my hurt response at being unfairly sniped and retorted, “When I have something to say I will.”
My sister heard. And remembered it, too; longer than I did.
Today she told me how much she liked the line, and how she’s trying to remember and apply the idea in her own communication.
So am I.