Worlds of imagination by Sara B. Gauldin

Peeking Out- Introversion in an Extroverted Society

Introversion and ExtroversionAs an introvert, I frequently take time to observe the social patterns and habits of others. I can tell a lot about a person by how they posture themselves. Some individuals place a far greater value on the image that they allow other people to perceive than others. Personally, I tend to fall under the category of less -is- more in terms of public presentation. People’s reactions to one another are the most intriguing part of people watching.


All of us; myself included have a public self and a private self. Most of us have more than one version of the person we present to others and the need for the separate genres of an individual’s identity are trained and dictated by society from an early age. As infants we learn what is appropriate and what is allowed in the context of our home and our families. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be raised in industrialized nation learned key social skills, such as potty training and the appropriate way to be fed and to accept food. These practices in the USA are in no way universal, but we think of them as commonplace. As we age, we must learn an entirely new set of standards attached to the institution of education. The rules and expectations at school will natural differ on some points when compared to the standards at home. This is normal and to be expected; yet learning that there is more than one set of appropriate behaviors is a difficult but critical lesson for some children. These lessons in context continue to expand in breadth as an individual ages. The manner in which a professional comports themselves in a business venue will be entirely different that the same individual may behave at a social or family gathering.
While all of the pretenses are normal and natural it can create some issues as we go. There will be times in all of our lives that we come across persons who are fundamentally different from us, not outwardly, but on a deeper intrinsic level. It is this element of differing fundamental framework that I find especially difficult to navigate. It is easy to ascertain the image that an individual wants you to see; but the scaffolding of values, principles, morals, academics and general attitudes about all elements of life lurk beneath this façade like an ever present mine field.


When probed by situations beyond an individual’s comfort level specific differences can lead to major rifts between individuals who are not so different in other respects. Being able to see others’ point of view does not give you the background to truly appreciate what the person’s learned behaviors, attitudes and experiences have done to shape the person they are under the mask that they present to the world. Of course there are many individuals more skilled than myself at navigating these mine fields.


Personally I am reasonable self-assured that I have tested most of the beliefs I have and tempered them with experience. I feel my beliefs and values are valid. The ironic thing is; so does everybody else. So if we desire a peaceful existence with our fellow man, on either a minute or grade scale we must be willing to accept that people are fundamentally different than us, and that is okay. We are made up of the sum of our experiences, and no two individuals are the same. This being said, I will leave off my thoughts here and attempt to mend fences; fundamental differences of self, when stumbled upon will knock you flat every time.

Don’t miss Sara B. Gauldin’s amazing books! Click HERE!

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This entry was posted on July 22, 2013 by in What Crosses My Mind and tagged , , , , , .
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