When there’s a lull in the conversation, do you know who starts it back up again? The extrovert does. However, being the engine and the fuel for social gatherings can be extremely tiring and feel like a lot of work, so sometimes it would be nice for us extroverts to be allowed a break and have other people take over (though, for some of us, not talking can be quite the challenge).The first time I read this article, it was actually from a blog by an introvert who was responding to the article, and they had basically the same response I did: Do we need to keep the conversation going?
This led to a few other thoughts which I kept hoping would solidify into a coherent theme, but it really hasn't yet, so here they are in no order at all.
- I know for me, as an introvert, I feel definite pressure to keep most conversations going, but that's because I assume I'm talking to someone more extroverted than I am (because everyone is more extroverted than I am). But I really would be just as happy not talking if I have nothing to say. The pressure I feel to keep up the conversation is entirely external -- I assume other people want me to keep talking, so I try. When extroverts feel pressure to talk, is it mostly external or internal? Do they feel like they should talk because they think I want conversation, or do they feel like they should talk because they want conversation? Or a little of both? Because, hey, I'm totally fine with occasional silence if you are.
- When I spend time with introverted friends, it's quite common for us, after the initial burst of conversation, to spend much of our time together in the same room but doing individual things, laptops open or books in hand, with the opportunity to lapse back into conversation as it arises. Does this count as social interaction for extroverts? Or does their interaction need to be more driven/active? How necessary is conversation to the feeling of having spent time with someone?
|(I was hoping I could find a picture of me and a friend on computers together, |
but this is the closest I found. Anyway, I'M socializing while on the computer here...
I'm not sure what Jacob is doing. Posing? Stretching?)
- Which is more socially fulfilling for an extrovert: constant conversation with someone about something you don't really care about (because, watch out, you get some of us introverts talking about something we love and we can go on for hours) or scattered moments of conversation you're interested in interspersed with long silences? I would always choose the latter, but are extroverts more likely to find that uninterrupted social interaction is worth it, no matter the subject?
I am kind of fascinated by this and would really love any of my friends who consider themselves more on the extroverted side of things to chime in with any thoughts of their own. Introverted friends, feel free to ask the extroverts in your life and report back to me on what they say. I'd like to post a follow-up blog next week with some of the comments.
I am so far on the introverted side of things that sometimes I'm reminded that I really have very little concept of what it's like to see things from the other side. I'm sure it varies from person to person, but I'd love to get some feedback.