On introversion

I am almost 100% introverted. You know that whole FOMO thing? I have literally never experienced that in my entire life. My version of it was always FOBI. Fear Of Being Invited. Because if I ever got invited anywhere, I either had to make an excruciatingly uncomfortable excuse, or worse … I had to go.

On occasion, to avoid the pain of explaining, I found myself saying yes, and spending the intervening period hoping for a natural disaster.

I am 46 today, and better equipped to say no. Moreover, I am pretty comfortable finding my own in-head party if I have to succumb to the pressure to be ‘sociable’.

And since I have always been magnetically drawn to extroverts, that’s been a pretty common state of affairs for me. I don’t get it, either.

When I was 16 however, it was a living state of purgatory. Everyone loved parties. I loved books. Everyone loved people. I loved books. Everyone loved to dance. I loved, very specifically, not dancing, And books.

Happiness, to me has always been displayed in the wrong aisle.

It’s an awkward, but quite real confession that for many years, the people who fascinated me the most were the ones in my head, most notably Honest Eddie B, Catalina and Jack Ireland, the central characters of my woefully failed novel, Equateur. Self-promoting punt intended. Buy it. You’ll be very original if you do.

But when the final draft of that book finally played out and I almost Illyadically-corageously decided to publish it, my favourite people left my head forever. They’ve never come back.

Okay, I hear you, he thinks he’s Russell Crowe …

Far from it though. I don’t think I’m nuts. Or even all that odd. I’m just exceptionally good at building comfort zones. I am like an introvert bitten by the Peter Parker spider. I’m THAT good at it.

And that’s the thing, really. Introversion is a weird thing to those who don’t experience it. It’s perceived as being unfriendly, aloof, cold, boring, and all kinds of other things. It displays itself badly at parties. Which is why I have mostly tried to avoid them.

But actually it’s about building comfort zones. You ask what is cool about a place, I ask what is potentially threatening about it. You ask what is exciting, I ask what is has the potential for discomfort. They say you should step out of your comfort zone, and I agree,

But unless you live it the way I do, you’ll never fully understand what my comfort zone is. All it boils down to is this: I am happy (conceptually) to bungee, I am just not happy to spend the next two hours talking about how awesome it was, with you. When the dancing starts, you can be sure I have already long-since passed the time when I want to go home.