It’s been a hot, muggy July here in Toronto so far. My lungs aren’t a fan of breathing oven air so I’ve been absorbing this book.
Introverts, I’m sure you know how this conversation goes:
“You’re so quiet!”
“Is everything okay?”
“Don’t you want to come out of your shell?”
*tap, tap, tap* “What are you doing in there?”
“Don’t you want to share your thoughts?”
“Not at the moment.”
Lather, rinse, repeat.
One of the best points made in this book is that shells aren’t bad, they aren’t a character flaw. As I was reading I thought about turtles, snails, crabs, and armadillos. Without their shells they’d never survive!
It’s as ok to have one as it is to befriend everyone you meet but too often those of us who live in the west are taught the opposite. As a kid I brushed away the annoyance of other people treating my personality as something that needed to be fixed. There were specific situations in which I wished I was more outgoing, of course, but I couldn’t understand why being talkative and extroverted were valued so much more. If everybody is vying to be the centre of attention no one will end up there. The life of any party needs at least a few people to pay attention to what he or she is doing.
I wonder what the people who make comments about coming out of your shell would say if we turned the tables on them?
Why do you ask so many questions?
Well, have you ever tried to be quieter?
Why do you have so many opinions?
I’ve been sorely tempted to try this. The only thing stopping me is that I don’t think (most) people realize how grating the come out of your shell! conversation becomes over time.
What do you think?