Sunday, February 26, 2012

Introvert Lies

This morning I chose not to go to church. I'd been planning on going with Jacob up to the church he's working with this year, but I had a busy yesterday (although a fun one) and realized I really wasn't up for social interaction this morning. I needed to just sit at home in my dorm room with my headphones on and relax so I would be mentally and emotionally rested for the homework I have to do the rest of the day.

Last night when I texted Jacob to tell him I wasn't going to make it, the text initially ended, "If for some reason people ask why I'm not there, feel free to lie and tell them I'm not feeling good." When I reread the text before I sent it, I decided I should probably erase that section. I don't want anybody else to start telling introvert lies for me.

Introvert lies are the things that introverts tell people when they don't have the time or the inclination to tell the story fully enough to be understood. My most common introvert lies:

"I think I'm going to go home. I'm feeling a little sick."
"I have a ton of work to do, so I think I'm just going to eat in my room."
"Actually, my arthritis is acting up and I'm really sore, so please don't touch me today."

These are the polite ways of getting out of things and situations that are overwhelming me at the moment. These are excuses people understand. Compare them with what those statements really mean:

"I think I'm going to head home now. I'm feeling fine. I just need to be alone. Nothing's wrong. I just need to be by myself for awhile. The party was great, and I had a great time, and I love hanging out with you guys, but now I'm done. Of course I'm not mad at you. I came, I had fun, I'm starting to be too socially exhausted to have fun, and now it's time for me to go."

"I know I made dinner plans to eat with you guys, but when I got up to go, I suddenly realized that the last thing in the world I wanted right now was to go out and interact with people. It was such a strong reaction, I got a little light-headed. I'm pretty drained from school today. So I'm just going to stay here and soak up some me-time. I still like you guys and would love to have dinner with you some other time, but just not tonight."

"You are not a close enough friend to have not earned the right to touch me. Even if you *were*, I really need for you to ask me first. It really, really bothers me when you run up and hug me without any warning, and it makes me distrust you. So don't. Touch. Me. Not just 'today,' but pretty much 'ever.' At least without asking. Thanks."

Not only are those long explanations, they're ones most people don't understand. They sound rude. People assume I don't like them, or that I'm angry with them, or that I have a terrible time hanging out with them. I don't even dislike people who unexpectedly hug - I just want them to stop doing it, and I can't find a good way of asking without going into much longer, more detailed stories than I want. Even then, it doesn't stop them from feeling a little hurt.

This doesn't apply to everyone. Not everyone reacts to it badly. Sometimes I'll start explaining to someone why I don't want to go to a certain event everyone's going to, and they'll instantly nod and say, "Oh, yeah. I get that. You go do your own thing." And I am extremely grateful. But a lot of the time, I don't know if people will get it, and it's time-consuming to figure it out.

That's when the lies come out.

Everyone understands leaving a party because they have a lot of work waiting for them at home. Far fewer people understand leaving a party because although it's been fun, they've hit their social peak and they're just ready to go.

Skipping out on church is acceptable and understandable if you're sick. It's less so if it's just because you need to spend time on your own.

You save a lot of hurt feelings and misunderstandings if you just offer them a reason you don't have to explain.

I'd rather not tell introvert lies. Growing up in church, I was taught a lot about how white lies are still lies - if you lie to save somebody's feelings, it's still wrong. It's a little harder to figure out what to do, though, when the lies are told not because the truth is unpleasant, but because the truth is complicated. Am I really obligated to go into the entire spiel every time, especially with people I barely know?

These days I try to find phrases that are at least a little closer to the truth. "I'm tired" is a good one, because when I say that I usually mean I'm socially tired, but they'll assume I mean I'm physically tired (an understandable reason). But it's still a difficult process, and there are still a lot of times when a lie will slip out because I can't think of a polite or easy-to-understand way to say what I really mean.

It's exhausting being an introvert in an extroverted culture. I often worry that by covering up my real reasons for bowing out of things, I'm enabling that culture to continue. But it takes so much work and so much energy to reassure people that my introverted nature really doesn't mean I dislike them.

(This isn't meant to be handy tips for introverts about lying or anything. That's a terrible blog idea. It's just an observation on something I've noticed about myself and about how I deal with the world around me.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Top 5, Bottom 5: Flickchart Top 250

Flickchart not only keeps track of your personal rankings, but it also takes everyone's rankings to try and figure out what the best-ranked movies are of all time. Some of those movies I love. Some of them I... don't. So I figured I'd use my Top 5, Bottom 5 format to find out where I'm in sync with the movie-watching community and where I'm doing my own thing. I'll be looking for my highest-ranked and lowest-ranked movies that are in Flickchart's global top 250.

Top 5:
1. Casablanca (my #1, global #80). Not surprised here. Casablanca's a great movie - and one that's widely considered to be a great movie.
2. Annie Hall (my #4, global #154). Woody Allen's masterpiece, IMHO, and it looks like a lot of other people agree.
3. This Is Spinal Tap (my #7, global #226). Now I'm curious how it compares globally to, say, Best in Show or Waiting For Guffman.
4. Sunset Blvd. (my #8, global #227). Really? My #7 and #8 are right next to each other in the global rankings too? Looks like the world has spoken. Spinal Tap really is just a single degree better than Sunset Blvd.
5. The Truman Show (my #9, global #213). I think it's great that there's so much love for this movie. It's wonderfully done.

Bottom 5:
1. The Wild Bunch (my #1516, global #239). I tried to watch this movie last year. I say "tried" because although I succeeded, it was a struggle the whole way. Westerns are just NOT my thing. I was too bored with it even to find places where I could acknowledge it was well-made.
2. The Goonies (my #1397, global #219). It seems this movie offers nothing for the people who didn't see it as a child, because I saw it when I was 19 or so and thought, "Well, this is pretty lame."
3. Dr. Strangelove (my #1387, global #68). Usually with Stanley Kubrick movies, I love half of it and hate the other half. But this one just didn't work for me. I didn't think it was funny or interesting at any point. Not a big Peter Sellers fan, though.
4. The Bourne Identity (my #1380, global #93). Again, this is a genre problem. No matter how good it is, it's still a pretty straightforward action movie, which means I'd rather watch almost anything else.
5. Braveheart (my #1304, global #129). William Wallace is so not a hero in this movie. He's just a dude who's mad his girlfriend died, so he goes off looking for vengeance. Aside from the final death scene, which was kinda cool, this movie does nothing for me.

I'm pretty in sync overall, though. I found 5 movies in Flickchart's top 250 before I even read past my personal top 10, while I had to go about 350 movies into my worst movies list to find 5 films Flickcharters loved but I hated. Not bad.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Anti-Love Mix 2012!

Every year in February I create an anti-love mix, full of songs I've discovered in the past year that focus on unrequited love, unhealthy relationships, break-ups... even the occasional "some day my prince will come" type song. I used to worry that I'd get all mushy someday when I was in an actual relationship and not make these anymore, but turns out that is so not happening. Because sad love songs are awesome.

This year's mix has an unusual amount of covers, so I'm not sure what happened there. I also didn't add nearly as many new songs to my library this year as I usually do, so I didn't have as large a pool of songs to choose from that I have in years past, but there definitely a few that I can see adding into my regular anti-love song rotation. (My personal favorites: #9 and #17, which I kind of listened to obsessively over the past year.)

Anyway. On to the 4th Annual Anti-Love Mix!

1. Taylor the Latte Boy (Alan Cumming). I always like starting my anti-love mixes off with some upbeat or innocent unrequited love songs, and this is one of the best. I discovered this cover version this year and fell in love with it. Alan Cumming's voice is so unique and I love his take on the song.

2. Fallin' For You (Colbie Caillat). An adorable little song about that moment when you *think* you're starting to develop feelings for someone, but you're not sure yet. I apparently included this on my happy love songs mix two years ago, but I've rediscovered it as an unrequited love song since then. Reclaiming it for the sad side!

3. When Words Fail (the musical Shrek). The musical version of Shrek has some really great songs, and this is one of my favorites, as Shrek tries to work up the nerve to tell Princess Fiona how he feels, only to realize that it's probably not going to come out at all the way he wants it to.

4. I Should've Been After You (Rooney). This song kinda sounds like it belongs in a rom com, during a sudden "whoa, THAT'S the one I love" montage. But a happy montage, not a sad one.

5. Misery- Acoustic Version (Maroon 5). The upbeat original song is fun and dancey, but I like this rather mournful version a lot too... certainly more for this mix.

6. My Man (Lea Michele, from Glee). A classic unrequited love song, and one of my favorites. While I'm usually not a Lea Michele fan, I think she does a pretty fantastic job with this song, so I chose to include it in this year's mix.

7. Please Don't Make Me Love You (the musical Dracula). This song is a lot like My Man, about an inescapable love that takes over you almost against your will, except in this song the woman isn't quite as surrendered to the idea.

8. Never Fall In Love (the musical Elf). A little more light-hearted than the previous one, in the style of a self-deprecating torch song, we have this entertaining little song from the recent musical version of Elf, which is pretty boring except for this song. Some relationships just don't work very well.

9. Happy, Happy, Happy (Groovelily). My go-to "EVERYONE HAS SOMEONE BUT ME" song last year. The song itself is actually about being jealous about someone else's career accomplishments, but it works awesomely for an anti-love mix too.

10. I Don't Wanna Be In Love (Good Charlotte). I'm not a huge Good Charlotte fan or anything, but this is their second appearance on one of my anti-love mixes. They're just pretty good at writing cynical "love sucks" anthems.

11. I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You (Darren Criss, from Glee). This song has an incredibly awesome title, but more importantly, it's fun, dancey, and is certainly about unhappy love.

12. Oh Lately It's So Quiet (OK Go). A very pretty little mournful little song about lost love. OK Go usually has more interesting music videos than songs, but this one just works for me.

13. The One That Got Away (Sam Tsui). Pretty self-explanatory as far as unfortunate love songs go, but of course I had to choose the Sam Tsui cover instead of the Katy Perry original. Because Sam Tsui rules.

14. The Man Who Can't Be Moved (Xenia). One of my favorite performances on The Voice last year, all about refusing to give up hope for a lost love to be restored. Much more interesting than the original version, IMHO.

15. Life After Lisa (Bowling For Soup). Many apologies to my close friend Lisa for including in this mix a song about a horrible girl who shares her name... but this song is a lot of fun. Bowling For Soup has some great angry breakup songs.

16. Someone Like You (Sam Tsui). I could pretty much include any Adele song released in the past year, but I think this one is probably my favorite, as well as my favorite version of the song. It's a great combination of resignation and... "hopeless hope" is a terrible phrase, but it's kind of what I want to say.

17. God's Gift to Women (Kate Miller-Heidke). My most-listened song of all of 2011, about those people who just think they are ALL that... but, no, none of us are *that* desperate. This works best as an anti-love song when paired with...

18. Holding Out For a Hero (Frou Frou). I really like following God's Gift to Women up with this one. They have an oddly similar sound to me, and thematically it works great. Nice couple of songs about not settling for jerks and waiting for the good guys to come along.

19. Love Can Wait (Cameron Mitchell). And a cheerful song to end on about being willing to wait for something real. Also, I love Cameron Mitchell.

Download link:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Top Facebook Statuses of January

Since I still haven't posted that "deep" blog I meant to, or that musical spotlight blog I meant to (I have a show in mind and everything, I just haven't written it yet), here's a little list to make it look like I'm a semi-regular blogger until I finally write something real. These are the top 10 statuses I wrote in January - most liked, most commented on, that kinda thing. Now you can be all updated without even having to add me.

For those who don't know me and my family, Seth, who shows up twice in this list, is my completely crazy 10-year-old brother. He shows up twice because he is hilarious.

Me: I lost my voice.
Seth: Oh. Did you make a deal with Ursula too?
The answer is yes. Little known fact: I used to be a mermaid.

New Sherlock = win. Good thing, too, I've been waiting a year and a half for it.

Me: You're my crazy brother. How do you feel about that?
Seth: I don't feel good about it.
Me: You'd rather be the sane one?
Seth: Yes. (A pause, then he suddenly lunges at me, yelling) GRLARLRBREAERADRAR!
Me: ...Well, I think you've just given up any chance of being the sane one.

One of the reasons I enjoy being home: sometimes my mother will make me an omelet at 11:45 at night, and all she asks in return is a Facebook status about her. That's pretty cool.

So I mostly agree with the sentiments in that "I hate religion and love Jesus" video that's going around, but even if I completely agreed, I couldn't repost it because the guy DOESN'T KNOW WHAT "LITERALLY" MEANS. "I literally resent it"? Really? REALLY, dude? Were people arguing that you only metaphorically resented religion? Knowing how to rhyme words is nice, but knowing what they actually mean is so much nicer.

Day 1 of student teaching: done! Whoo! Thinking it's going to be a good semester.

Tonight I am especially thankful for Lisa, Erika and Josh Smith, who have a crazy amount of love for me, and Jacob, who says awesome ridiculous things to me and makes me laugh after a long day.

Just read a status that said, "The object to your left is now your weapon of choice in the upcoming zombie apocalypse." Great. I'm dead. I don't think the zombies will be terribly intimidated by my Snuggie.

There was a book in the HU bookstore titled, "When Your Hormones Go Haywire." Turned out to be a menopause book (because that's super applicable to a college campus?) but the best part was I thought it said, "When Your Mormons Go Haywire." Yeah. Gotta watch out for those Mormons. Sometimes they just COMPLETELY LOSE THEIR MINDS. I'm watching you, Jennie and Ticia.

I had a dream that I bought 45 movies from a video rental store going out of business. Then I realized: 1) I didn't even like most of these movies, 2) I had paid like $50 a movie, and 3) they were all on VHS, and I don't own a VCR. Dream Hannah does not make wise spending choices.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blog Posts I Liked Recently

These days, I'm reading a LOT of blogs I like. Used to be in the past that if I liked a blog post, I'd share it by posting it on Facebook... but more and more I'm finding that there are just so many, and I feel like I'm bombarding my poor Facebook friends with links to all my favorite entries. But some of them are just... so good. So I'm going to keep sharing some of them on FB... but I'm also going to link my favorites here every month, both the ones that I shared elsewhere and the ones that didn't quite make it.

Not Posted on Facebook:

Consent Culture, at The Pervocracy. This one didn't end up getting linked because a large portion of it is pretty explicitly about sex and I have a lot of younger kids who are friends with me on Facebook (friends of siblings, mostly), but I think it's a fantastic blog, and #5 and #11 are just absolutely wonderful. I ran into some people again last night who try to hug me every time they see me, reminding me once again just how important this whole consent thing is.

I don't get it...well, I do, but I don't. at Confessions of a Former Conservative. I see these kinds of jokes all the time on my Facebook, and I think it is hilarious how badly they fail as jokes. It's like when someone tells a really horrific pun and then looks super proud of themselves.

Five women who changed God's rules at Slacktivist. This was a Bible passage I know I'd read before but never really paid attention to... but I really like this take on it. Another story that shows that God is more flexible than we give him credit for.

In Defense of a Christian Woman's Identity... at Jesus Needs New PR. I hear offshoots of this viewpoint a lot, and it bothers me. I shouldn't be finding my identity in my significant other, or my hypothetical children, or my family, or my church... I should be finding my identity in God and me. If my identity is just supposed to end up rearranging for someone else, I wouldn't have spent all this time figuring out who I was in the first place.

Posted on Facebook:

Why the Church Needs to Shut Up and Listen... (A Guest Post) at Jesus Needs New PR. I love this blog post. I agree with all of it. The church in America is not a safe place for hurting people, and that breaks me. We should not be failing so miserably at something so important.

They Were Right (And Wrong) About the Slippery Slope by Rachel Held Evans. As I've grown older, I've learned the answers are not quite as black and white as I used to think (there's a blog post on that showing up in the near future) and I love how she captures this. I don't agree with all of her stances, but I connect with her experience.

The Rise of the New Groupthink by Susan Cain at The New York Times. I love, love, love Susan Cain's blog and want to buy her new book as soon as I can. This article is all about introversion and extroversion in regards to creativity. It's especially interesting to me as I head into a career in education, where there's a big push for "social learning" and I'm not at all convinced that it's as helpful all-around as people say it is.