The Way You Do That Thing

I recently read an article that suggested that they could provide you with insights into your personality depending on how you held your handbag, and the first thought that came to mind was, “How fickle!” Then I thought about it a little more and quickly realised that the same can be done with almost any shared behaviour that can be analysed between people. There is a general tone that underlies all of these behaviours, and it’s that emotional tone that I think is more insightful than any reactive analysis of how we handle a bag, purse, or wallet.

I’ve found that my mental state is either calm and composed, excited and passionate, or weighed down and dreary. Sure, there are a number of permutations that exist across each of those bands, and that is to be expected, but there is almost always only one of them that is dominant at any given point in time. The one that is dominant is either spurred on by environment, or objective. The stronger we are at maintaining our sense of self in the face of adversity, the more likely we’ll be able to maintain our disposition out of choice rather than through instinctive response to what is happening around us.

With this somewhat simplistic view, consider it within the context of how you write or doodle. When you’re calm and composed, in other words not feeling threatened or under pressure, your signature will probably be more fluid in its movements or curves. Your fingers or wrist won’t strain when you’re signing that till slip or contract, and your pressure will be differentiated just enough to place emphasis on those elements that subconsciously define your passions and inclinations, while skimming over those that simply complete the statement of who you are. Sign the same till slip when you’re feeling pressured or under duress, and suddenly the elements that were previously just mildly emphasized are now prominent, while the detail of the rest is quickly transformed into an unrecognizable squiggle because making a statement about the complete you is not so important. All that is important when you’re in that mindset is to establish your significance. To make a bold statement about who you are and why you demand to be taken seriously.

The same is true when we doodle. Under duress the doodle is harsh and deliberate. Usually concentrated patches of graphics or hard angles, while fluid and shaded when we’re not under duress. Squares and jagged edges replace curves and flowers to express frustration or anxiety. Logical flows or sequences reflect a need for structure, or an expression of boredom, and so on.

At the risk of over simplifying it (more than I already have) this in a nutshell is how every action of ours reflects what is going on internally. Those that pay attention to these nuances in our behaviour gain an insight into our frame of mind that allows them to use it, or abuse it to their advantage. Sometimes, a sincere observer will pick up on it and find ways to either draw you out of the detrimental phase you’re in, or they’ll make you aware of it so that you can use it to your advantage. How? Consider it from this perspective. If I am aware of the response I get from others when I’m angry, and that response gets the results that I need after all other avenues are exhausted, in future I will be able to draw on anger as a tool of expression when needed, rather than sliding into an angry state because I’m out of control.

What I mean is, if anger is used as a tool of expression, rather than a last resort to demand to be taken seriously, it becomes a lot more productive and is easier to harness and control, than if it is simply a state that overtakes us in a moment of desperation. To achieve this, we must be mindful (yeah, that word again). But mindful of what, you might ask? Mindful of the dynamics of the situation we’re faced with, and more importantly, mindful of our internal state in response to that situation. A third dimension that extends from the latter is an ongoing awareness of our abilities or talents. The more aware we are of what we’re capable of, the more likely we will be to deliberately draw on those abilities or talents selectively when needed, rather than relying on instinct to bring it to the fore when needed.

So how does all this relate to how you do that thing? The way you walk, the angle of your step, the gait you adopt, the completeness of your smile, the expressiveness of your style. It all reflects who you are, and what you wish to convey to the world. The more bold you are, the more confident you are that where you’re at is worth being admired and celebrated. The more subtle you are, the less likely you are to want the attention of others unless specifically needed. We say more with our actions and non-verbal expressions than we ever say with words. Think about that the next time you remain quiet when you know someone is expecting an overt verbal response. Then smile quietly as you have that a-ha moment. It’s that moment that, if nurtured, will spur you on to grow larger than the life you lead up to that point. That’s the power of mindfulness. It forces us to be accountable where before we felt we were victims.

Introverts don’t exist

I’ve often been accused of being an introvert. Some apologists would say that it’s not a bad thing, but then they’ll continue to describe specific adaptations in behaviour that ‘normal’ people should adopt in order to understand or engage with introverts more meaningfully. They’re idiots, and so is every other person that allows some idiot with a degree to classify their state of being by attaching a label to it.

I am not an introvert. I choose to be introspective. I choose to observe before flying my mouth off, and I choose to be measured in my responses only after I am comfortable that I have grasped the true nature of what I am dealing with. That is not being introverted, that is being reasonable. Yet once again, because spontaneity and instant gratification is worshipped by the masses, those that choose to live with substance rather than overt expression, are considered as lesser beings.

To a much lesser extent extroverts are similarly labelled. The irony of that label is that it places many of ‘them’ on a pedestal, which denies them the ability to assume a quiet and introspective disposition when needed because there is always someone waiting to accuse them of being in a bad or sad mood. Those that don’t care for the labels will shun such shallowness and continue their introspection, while most will succumb and find the next best distraction through which to express their extrovert-ism.

Labels will be the death of many kind souls because just the term introvert has such negative connotations. According to our friend Google, the dictionary definition of introvert is:

image

As if that isn’t enough against which to rest my case, I would go further to suggest that many consider introverted behaviour to be a personality disorder. Those that buy into this Neanderthal way of thinking embrace that label, and then go through life trying to find coping mechanisms defined by the ‘normal’ idiots with degrees so that they can fit into someone else’s retarded definition of what their behaviour should be like.

It takes a healthy dose of a superiority complex to assume that just because you do not relate to the disposition of another, your inane academic qualification endows you with the right to define them as flawed in capacity and therefore a charitable case for those that compensate for this apparent shortcoming in introverts. This post is deliberately condescending because the hogwash about supposed introverts seems to prevail regardless of the logical reasoning offered in return.

Just because someone doesn’t like your company, or because they prefer their own company to that of the gossipers, the nit-pickers, the shallow ones, or the distracted ones, doesn’t make them flawed. In fact, if you were honest with yourself, and you subscribed to the label of being an extrovert or a ‘normal’ person that is neither introverted nor extroverted, seeing someone shying away from company should prompt you to consider what is distasteful to them rather than assuming that they have a mental disorder that was created by sadistic capitalists with a degree is psychiatry.

The world has learnt more, and benefited more, from those that are introspective by choice, than they have by the party animals that throw caution to the wind in order to appease the fickleness of the masses with which they surround themselves. Distractions rarely inspire growth. The art of introspection is to navigate through those distractions in order to grow. So the next time you see someone sitting quietly and observing, before you assume they’re an introvert, consider that they may very well be observing your whimsical behaviour and trying to understand what drives you to be as fickle as you are.

Top 10 Myths About ‘Introverts’

Top 10 Myths about Introverts

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk. This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy. Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude. Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people. On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public. Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone. Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird. Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds. Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun. Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts. Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

Finally someone that understands me! This is me to the last detail! I’m not weird. I can be defined. There’s hope yet.Seriously, this is so damn accurate. Can’t disagree with a single point. In the original article the first comment is by someone that suggests that this guy (original writer) may have aspergers or autism. All I can say is, ‘Crap!’. Being an introvert is a natural disposition of someone that has less time for pointless banter and is more interested in understanding why things are the way they are and why people do the things they do. Seeking social acceptance is not the objective of the life of an introvert. As it states above, they’re more about substance than they are about image.