This week’s column

Pub­li­ca­tion: Free­dom — OCR - Pla­cen­tia News-Times; Date:March 17, 2017; Sec­tion: News; Page Num­ber: 2

Going out with an intro­verted personality

Most folks iden­tify as being either extro­verts or intro­verts. Extro­verts want to spend Sat­ur­day night par­ty­ing. Intro­verts want to spend it at home.

I’m learn­ing, how­ever, that even this descrip­tion has shades of gray. Some of my extro­verted friends love to be sur­rounded by peo­ple, but don’t like a lot of noise and chaos. My intro­verted friends pre­fer their soli­tude, how­ever, they do seek out other people’s company.

To be fair, they’re writ­ers, so most of the time, they’re search­ing for char­ac­ters to put in their novels.

My hus­band is an intro­verted extro­vert. He loves a party. If you invite him, he’ll be there. If he’s invited to two par­ties on the same date, he will attempt to attend both. If there are three par­ties on that day, he will drive me crazy, try­ing to go to all of them.

Once he’s at the party, he sits qui­etly, pre­fer­ring to observe the chaos with­out being part of it.

I am an extro­verted intro­vert. I like being alone, which is impor­tant for a writer. Although I love my fam­ily, I still enjoy the quiet of the house when they’re not here.

That being said, I am unafraid of pub­lic speak­ing, and will hap­pily stand in front of a crowd and talk about my pas­sions. When I’m in the mid­dle of lead­ing a work­shop, or work­ing at my booth at the Her­itage Day fes­ti­val, I think I must be a true extrovert.

Then I get home and sleep for an entire day, and real­ize that I’m not. It takes a lot of energy to talk to peo­ple. My moment in the pub­lic spot­light usu­ally exhausts my inner introvert.

This week, I had the plea­sure of attend­ing a book club as their guest speaker. Book clubs are both fun and fright­en­ing for me. I’ve spo­ken at 3 dif­fer­ent groups, and have always had a great time, but I will never for­get the author-friend who told me of being asked to speak at a book club.

She hap­pily skipped off to the lovely pri­vate home and met the group of women, who pro­ceeded to tell her how much they hated her book and that she was a dread­ful writer. Each time I’m invited to a book club, I’m wait­ing for that par­tic­u­lar shoe to drop.

But I’ll still show up, if you invite me (hint: leav­ing a trail of wine bot­tles to your door usu­ally works).

This club was a lively group of about 10 women, who asked me ques­tions about every­thing from the writ­ing process, to the plots of my books. It’s a rare treat for an author, to be able to explain what they were think­ing when they wrote something.

The top­ics of the evening roamed, from books to pets to fam­i­lies and favorite TV shows. A gor­geous buf­fet of food was served, along with the wine, although I was too busy talk­ing to partake.

I still had things to do when I got home. Laun­dry needed to be put away, emails needed to be sent, and I needed to write my col­umn. But my fun and ener­getic evening had drained me.

Instead, I snug­gled into the recliner with a plate of scram­bled eggs, and watched a cook­ing show. It was a won­der­ful evening for the extro­vert. Now it was the introvert’s turn to enjoy life.

Long­time Pla­cen­tia res­i­dent Gayle Car­line tracks those moments that shape her days as a wife, mom, com­puter whiz and horse­woman. E-mail her at [email protected].

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