As a rule of thumb, I think it fair to say that I talk a whole lot less than most people. I don’t seem to have the same urge for conversation as is common. I can go many hours without speaking a single word. In fact, most days I am silent for about 7 hours on the trot. There are no ‘phone calls, texts or emails either. Of late I have been blogging, though. I am surrounded by silence and the only noises are the odd passing car and the nature in the garden. During the day I have a pair of squirrels for company who are finishing up harvesting the acorns and the robin and I often sit and watch each other.
I have noted that there is a marked tendency for people to speculate about and imagine what an introvert is thinking, and many assume that because you are silent then something must be up. I don’t know if this is a common experience amongst introverts, I haven’t had the conversations. Where there is a gap of noise, people make shit up about you. They imagine you to be doing something, thinking something and feel the need to talk to others about it. So, we have the imagined introvert. I suspect that often the imagination and the actuality differ.
I am pretty sure that I am not imaging this, the imagined introvert thing, because I have encountered circumstantial evidence to support this theorem on a number of occasions. Some people even assume that I am shy and retiring. I am not. I am focussed.
Do introverts make extroverts uncomfortable? Quite possibly. There is a tendency for extroverts to compete for air time. At the end of a period of loquacity, they may have spoken but know next to nothing about what is going on for you. There is, for me at least, little need to play top trumps or for show-and-tell. As I observe it, though there may be some curiosity about you, the urge to speak dominates. Some people find silence awkward, we have the so called awkward silence. I like silence so it is for me nearly always the comfortable silence. And so, because you have been quiet and there is no incoming data, they imagine. The only thing that people tend to refrain from doing, is asking. It is much easier to make stuff up than to ask. Why people don’t ask if they want to know something remains one of the unsolved mysteries of the universe, for me. I just don’t get it. People prefer to tell you even if what they tell you about is imagined. There may be some expectation that you might argue. Again, this tendency to argue the toss is something I don’t have. It does not matter overly much to me. I do not have this desire to be right, which seems to predominate.
It is possible therefore that I don’t exist, that I am an entirely imaginary being at least in the minds of others. What I am like according to imagination probably bears little resemblance. Very few people have recent physical plane interaction with me, it is therefore not beyond the realms of possibility that there are experts on me, somewhere. But these experts don’t know me and probably never did, even though they may have imagined it to be so. Human imagination coupled with loquacity can make a whole bunch of stuff up and before long it is deemed true. When you are missing or absent you are a minus one and it is difficult to square the root of what goes on in the mind of someone who isn’t there. So, people imagine…Imagination is a funny old thing…and not entirely accurate.
Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away