Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, what’s a nightmare situation for your respective personality type?
Well for those who may be very new here I am an introvert, and based on my personal experience, the winner of The Introvert’s Nightmare Situation Contest would be First Communions! Except I don’t mean the actual First Holy Communion celebration at church when the child receives the Sacrament of Eucharist for the first time, as a Catholic, I think it is amazing, as long as the child has actually been prepared well and knows what it’s all about and so does their family, because these days this is so often not the case, as people focus on everything else except what’s actually important – whose child will be best dressed, or if all are to be dressed the same than what they should be wearing, how to take the hugest amounts of photos possible during the ceremony, which child should recite a poem, which Mum should thank the priest, which child should thank the mums, whom to invite, what presents should family members get a child, and the poor children are stressed out about loads of little details and excited about what presents they’ll get etc. etc. etc. – which is why I think children should receive Holy Communion individually rather than in large groups like based on grade or age, that Communion age should be younger for most children and the whole Communion party thing should take place the day before or after or whatever makes sense in a given situation but not on the day of the actual Communion. – But that’s a whole different pair of rain boots, as we say in Polish.
Communion parties are usually quite nightmarish though. They usually take place in some sort of a restaurant, because who wants to do that sort of thing at home and prepare all the food or even if they get catering who wants to play waiter and dishwasher all day. My Mum did that with Sofi and ended up with a badly strained leg. Such events are usually a lot more introvert-unfriendly when they take place in a restaurant vs at home, because usually the place isn’t very familiar to you or not at all, so you can’t just sneak out somewhere less peopled as you likely would in a family member’s or friend’s house, you can’t help out in the kitchen or something like that, or even lock yourself in a loo for very long. Taking a French leave may also be more tricky. There are no pets that you could talk to and focus on instead, like when I’m at people’s houses I usually play with their cats or dogs or something but at a restaurant there’s just nothing to do. You can probably go outside for a little while, but soon there’s going to be another course or dessert or something, and you just don’t have such freedom as you could during a similar celebration in a private house, where there may be some sort of a backyard, garden, lawn or whatever where you could de-people a bit. But generally you’re supposed to sit at the table and talk and either keep loading food into yourself or wait for the next delivery. The whole thing usually also takes a lot longer in a restaurant than it does at a house, but even at a house, for some odd reason it tends to take way longer than a birthday or stuff like that. There are usually more people around you, as it may be some sort of collective party for more than one child, or there may be other guests at the place so even if you don’t interact with them, it may also contribute to the whole situation feeling overwhelming. Oh yeah and food. Well I don’t know if this is actually an introvert thing, probably not, but for me eating out is generally a problem for quite a few different reasons. Most importantly in this particular situation though, that I just don’t like to eat in social situations, and that I can’t get quite as much food into myself in one go as most other people seem to be able, so having a two-course lunch plus several different desserts plus snacks plus a huge dinner… I mean how do people even do this?! 😀
So yeah, if you’ve never been to a Communion, trust me, they’re pretty bad on brain batteries. I suppose wedding receptions must be even worse, but I haven’t been to one in a very long time so thankfully don’t have the experience really. Olek (who is also an introvert, though more functional than me and he claims that he just “doesn’t like people”, which I’d say is something different because while I’m very much an introvert I certainly wouldn’t say that I dislike people) has been to a wedding reception last weekend though , and, judging from how he slept pretty much til late afternoon after it, it must have been extremely rough. 🙃
I just asked my Mum this question and thought I’d share her answer too. My Mum is kind of a curious case because I’d say she’s very much an extrovert, whereas she says she feels more like an ambivert and usually a more introvert-leaning one. So I guess she knows better what she is. ANyways, I asked her this and she said that for her as an ambivert, such a nightmare situation would be to be in a group of stranger people that she’s never met before, like the parents-teacher meeting that she’s going to go to tomorrow at Sofi’s school, and having to speak to them all, like introduce an idea that she has and thinks is good, and then if everyone was against her idea and she had to defend it publicly. Or, alternatively, if she had the idea but ended up not sharing it at all for fear of speaking publicly and her idea being criticised, and would then really regret it because, after all, she knows that it was a good idea. I think it’s interesting how there seems to be that sort of dichotomy or inner conflict when you’ve an ambivert. Because if I were in the same situation as an introvert, there would be no dilemma. I am just not going to share the idea, no matter how good it is, and I’m not even going to regret it, because I never share my ideas with stranger people, so I’ll just entertain myself watching them and chuckle internally at how weird they are that they haven’t come up with the same idea as me yet. Whereas here you have this weird push and pull in both directions, although of course it’s not all just a matter of ambiversion but also my Mum’s sensitivity to criticism.
How about your nightmare situation? 🙂
11 thoughts on “Question of the day.”
Anything that involved making small talk with people I didn’t have anything in common with.
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Oh yes, that’s an awful situation to find yourself in.
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I didn’t know all that stuff about communion! I grew up Episcopalian and was baptised twice (Episcopalian and Baptist), but there was never a first communion thing. Huh. I can see how it would be stressful!
For me as an introvert, I get overwhelmed by social gatherings in which people overlook me or ignore me. It’s hard to describe, but like if I talk to someone and they obviously couldn’t care less and don’t engage me. That torments me on some level. Like I’m not being seen or heard. Like I’m inferior. As an introvert, I think that’s the worst thing for me!
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Yeah, certainly not all Christian denominations have Communion, and even many of those that do still understand it a bit differently than we do in Catholicism, as they seem to see it more like a symbol of something, so I’d imagine First Communions aren’t celebratedd so festively in every denomination.
Oh yeah, I sometimes do feel the same when people ignore me or something like that, though I have a really weird relationship with getting attention from people so it depends on a lot of things and other times I have no problem with people ignoring me or am even happy with it.
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I feel your mother’s aversion/sensitivity to criticism – especially the sort which would make me defend myself [rather than come in the role of being an advocate or activist].
To use the words from other People of the Book – pilpul!
[though I will be fair. People like to focus on things and zones that they can control especially in an amorphous thing as faith].
And – yes – Meg – the contempt and the dismissal.
This extrovert [well, this last thing on the matter told me I was one of them 80 percent of the time – strictly on the energy questions – I do not draw onto myself nor INTO myself and self-reflection I do find uncomfortable] does not like Emperor’s New Clothes situations.
They press my justice/caring buttons to an extent I can barely control them.
“Justice; justice; caring; caring; justice” [like Vygotsky’s and Luria’s “stop” and “go”/”press”/”don’t press” buttons you can imagine them as.
Some of those situations have been book talks and spelling bees.
Also art shows and drama/theatre presentations.
Anywhere where the boundaries of assessment and judgement are permeable [and that is why in Myer-Briggsville I am a Perceiver].
First communions [and indeed confirmations] do have a way of wasting brain batteries.
When you talked about the lack of freedom in a church – it is not much better in cemeteries – particularly the ones on uneven ground and that have a tendency to mud.
And then the whole STAY ON THE PATH.
[Emilia: I love the “different pair of rain boots” expression! Something like the “kettle of fish”?]
Fortunately I was able to wear colours as the dead person involved was a very colourful woman and I know she would have wanted us to be stylish and comfortable. And speedy!
Ashley: I think I can find something in common with anybody – or they can find it within me – with some judicious digging.
It may not be through conversation necessarily.
Plus generalement: interior situations without exterior/sensory stimulation.
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Pilpul, this was a new word to me and I love how it sounds! 😀
Actually in my experience confirmations are a lot less draining, as there are usually far fewer people present, they’re a lot shorter and not quite so focused on the external details, they aren’t particularly festive over here at all compared to Communions. Though I suppose it may be different in other denominations where there is no Communion and more emphasis is thus placed on Confirmation.
Just to be exact, I didn’t really mean it about being in a church when I mentioned lack of freedom, it was about the Communion party afterwards and being stuck for hours on end at a restaurant. I definitely don’t have the same problem with being in a church, as, at least in the Catholic ones, you don’t have to interact with people generally. And especially now that my family and I have been going only to Traditional Latin Mass, it’s super introvert-friendly.
But yes, I do get it about cemeteries, and they can be particularly tricky to navigate blindly. 😀
Yes, the pair of rain boots expression is a direct equivalent of the English kettle of fish.
I think you make a good point that you can find something in common with anybody and I think it would be true for most if not all people that we all could find something in common with each other, but this won’t necessarily be able to show up during regular small talk.
Pilpul is indeed a wonderful word – both for what it sounds like and what it means. Those people know the Talmud really well – the Oral; the Written and the Commentaries – and they are SUPPOSED to study it in a BALANCED fashion. The yesihavi in New York, though! [and indeed in Melbourne and Sydney…]
I thought a little more in the shower about my extrovert dilemma/nightmare.
It can be summed up like this:
“When people take my jokes seriously and my serious words/thoughts/feelings as jokes”.
And this is indeed a hazard of what you characterise as “regular small talk” in your reply to me.
Seems that a Confirmation in much of Polish Catholicism is more business-like.
And the interactions again can be very – scripted.
I got the sense that if I knew how to stand up and how to sit down – and the “when” and the “where” powers – Catholic church would be for me.
A young man of my acquaintance had Confirmation a year or two ago.
Thank you for putting the pair of rainboots into context.
Parties and restaurants I do understand.
There are ways to scan for entrances; exits; toilets and counters. Indeed tipping.
And I think of a young man who has just been to Sardinia with 7 of his mates/friendship group – he had not taken such a trip since his early or mid-twenties.
He has seen so many beaches and buildings and taken cheap – very cheap – public transport there.
The largest public gathering ever is Ahameen which is in Iran in particular. Because of the 11 days moving in the lunisolar calendars it came up on 16 September this year. It is a gathering of Sh’ia Islam and it is about the mourning of Ashaka. I found out about it because the English Wikipedia had it as its observance or holiday and then historical events of the day and some deathdays and birthdays.
[I noticed that it was also in a lot of south-east Asia like Bangladesh].
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yeah, that can feel quite weird when people take jokes as something serious or vice versa, happens to me as an introvert quite a lot too and I agree that it can be more of a problem in regular small talk when you don’t know how the other person is going to react or what their sense of humour is like, nor do they know you very well in that regard.
Hm, perhaps in a way, especially when someone doesn’t really have much faith, a Catholic Confirmation could indeed feel kind of business-like compared to the overly external celebrations of First Communion.
Haha, yeah, Mass can be very scripted, but on TLM (Traditional Latin Mass) which in many regards seems more so than the Novus Ordo one, you don’t really have to know when to sit or stand or kneel or what to say when, you may just as well simply kneel and pray internally. That was what I did at the beginning when we moved to TLM as it’s difficult to follow what people do when you can’t actually see what they do, and when you don’t have a missal like I didn’t then. And even now I don’t always stand when people do due to hypotension. And it’s far from being the most important thing in the Catholic Church, so it can be even for people who don’t get it as long as they actually believe, love God and act accordingly.
Wow, Ahameen sounds very interesting but also I feel for all the introverts participating in such a large gathering! :O
Sort of like the difference between church and registry weddings – to talk about another rite of passage.
and then there are forest and beach weddings and receptions.
[thinking: the forest would be good for introverts!]
Good you are able to *sit* and find your *rest* – there was a great article in today’s GOOD WEEKEND about cognitive rest by Amelia Lester.
[hypotension does have a way of grabbing people by the goat!]
[that was a problem for Gran’mere too].
Believe – love – act [in terms of your love for God and people and your belief].
Shared this blog with some other people.
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Here is a quote from Joshua Doležal after he went to Prague for a writers’ workshop and retreat:
“It was a joy to embrace my family after a month away. My son vibrated with excitement when I picked up him from daycare, and my daughters both leaped into my arms when I surprised them at their theatre camp. Without a doubt, they are my home, my real life. Yet the month abroad also fed me in ways that I sorely needed. I heard a preacher say once that you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian, but that if you are a Christian, you’ll want to go to church. The same is true for most writers. You can write for weeks, months, alone at your desk, but at some point you’ll crave community with other artists. It is the basic impulse that drives readers and writers alike: to know that we are not alone.”
Amelia Lester on *cognitive rest* :
hope we all find it – extroverts; introverts; ambiverts…
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Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Wow, I don’t think I’ve heard the term cognitive rest before, nor about someone being prescribed this by a doctor. Would be freakishly difficult to do for someone like me who’s a constant ruminator and has to fidget with my brain cells all the time, but yes, we all probably do need it these days.