Category Archives: Introversion

Are They ‘Friends’ Who Insist You Live By Their Standards?

Anyone who insists I live my life according to their standards doesn’t earn the moniker “friend.”

I was inspired to write this post, based on the above quote from an article on the page The Introverts Corner.

A persons standard of living is usually defined by themselves; what they do, how they act, where they go, and how they treat others. A persons friends, if they really are friends, would accept, and maybe not always agree with, how that person chooses to live. However, what defines a person as a friend?

The-importance-of-friendshipThe people in my life who I consider friends are such, to me, because there is something about them that I like, or, perhaps we have a shared experience together, and common interests that bind me to them. Things like that are what I use to consider someone a friend. We can share good times, and bad times, have some laughs and go out into the great big world and experience new and different, and even familiar, things together.

As a rule, I accept that those friends of mine aren’t exactly like me in nearly every way. If they were, they’d be clones of me then wouldn’t they? Hardly friends even. The differences among us are what make up the wonderful and dynamic part relationships we have. I don’t always think like they do, act like they do, or do some of the things that they do. That doesn’t make a difference to me because I am not them. There are even times when I don’t agree with something they may do, but I don’t get in their way and I don’t try to make them conform to what I think. I may say something asking them to consider something else if I think it might be a better way and let them choose their own path. Asking questions, thoughtfully put, is a great way to get to understand someones thought process and reasoning.

But what happens when a person, deemed a friend, goes about trying to make you, rather than ask you to consider, live by a standard they set and not by one of your own? Making, or attempting to make, you live by their rules doesn’t sound like a friendship, but more of an authoritative relationship – like a parent to a child.

I don’t see relationships like that working out very well. If one person is forcing a standard on another, the other person might become unhappy and bitter towards the first person after a while. Resentment will undoubtedly ensue and an end to the supposed friendship may result.

In a personal relationship with someone, a friend, I neither need, nor want someone trying to make me live by standards they believe is right for me. The only time this is acceptable to me is in an employer/employee situation where I’m being paid to do a job and meet a standard that they expect of me. But living my life is my business and I’ll live it how I see fit.

The topics of standards can be endless and some of the things I can think of are about personal finance, political, religious and social issues, interpersonal relationships and so on.

If a ‘friend’ thinks they’re going to try to make me live by their standards, it might not be long before I no longer consider that person a friend and break off communication with them.

I’m no going to judge my friends on their life’s choices and I don’t expect them to judge me on mine. Otherwise, would we really be friends? I accept my friends for who they are regardless of their standards and views on things.

Do you have anyone in your life who is a friend who tries to impart, even forcefully, their standards onto you?

Paul Cicero (Goodfellas) Was an Introvert

sitting-alonePaulie, the mob boss portrayed in the hit movie Goodfellas, was most likely an introvert. At least, that’s the way I see it from the movie alone. If the film was remotely true to his real life and personality, I believe it to be true about his introversion.

Based solely on the voice-over of Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, when briefly describing Paulie is where I draw my conclusion which, in a way lines up with some of my own introverted characteristics.

Paulie hated phones.
He wouldn’t have one in his house.

Mickey called.

Call him back.

He got all his calls second hand.
Then you’d have to call the people back.

Got a nickel? Get him on the phone.

There were guys, that’s all they did all
day, was take care of Paulie’s calls.

For a guy who moved all day long…

…Paulie didn’t talk to 6 people.
With union problems…

…or a beef in the numbers…

…only the top guys spoke
with Paulie about the problem.

Everything was one-on-one.
Paulie hated conferences.

He didn’t want anyone
hearing what he said…

…or anyone listening to
what he was being told.

Hundreds of guys depended on him, and
he got a piece of everything they made.

I’ve bolded some portions of the Henry Hill voice-over from the film where he talks about Paulie and how he was.

He hated phones. Part of that hatred of the despicable device was most obviously for operational security reasons. If he didn’t have or use a phone, the police and FBI couldn’t very well know what he was doing. On top of that, based on the rest of the dialogue I think is was also somewhat of introversion.

He obviously preferred one-on-one conversations to group talk which is a huge sign of an introvert. Speaking to maybe 6 people in a day also illustrates the characteristic as he limited his interactions with people. I, too, limit my interactions with people, though I never really counted how many people I speak with in an average day; it’s probably more than Paulie at 6, if that’s accurate. If not, oh well, we get the picture.

Paul never wanted anyone hearing what he said, or what others were saying to him. This is totally me most of the time. I almost never have anything important or secret to say to anyone, but that doesn’t preclude me from wanting my conversations to be private and/or confidential. Even at work, in an open office environment, I speak softly to an individual to where, hopefully, the others can’t hear, or hear too well. I just don’t like having open conversations with many people, regardless of the topic.

I also don’t like others hearing what is being told to me, and when I engage someone in conversation, if possible, I have us retreat to my office or another more private location like a break room or another office in the building.

Having those semi-private to private one-on-one conversations is a staple of introversion in that we prefer to have those intimate conversations with another person where it is personal and unique. It adds a special feeling knowing that the ideas expressed in the words were meant for the two people talking, and not in the open for anyone to grab.

More extroverted people will speak loud enough, or even loudly, so all around can hear their conversations, whether with people around them or on the phone. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but it’s an anti-thesis to an introvert to behave that way. The extroverted welcome the openness of conversations and gladly invite everyone around to participate and make a grand time out of it.

To people like Paulie, and myself, we’d prefer that our business and personal business remain one-on-one and private. Even if it’s trivial talk about the baseball game or mob business that the FBI is trying to investigate, we don’t want the whole world knowing it.

5 Years On, Still Single & Happy

Wereonlyhuman_SinglesBlog1It’s been nearly 5 years now since I wrote the blog post about choosing to be single and being happy about it. Today I’ve finished a book entitled Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After

After finishing the book and recalling the blog post I wrote, I was amazed at the similarities between both, and how I seemed to be on the same wave length as the author.

In the past 5 years things have largely remained the same with me as far as relationships go. There have been no new developments to speak of and on occasion someone try’s to convince me of joining an online dating site. I have gotten older and am now on the downward slope to 40 and lost a little bit of hair on the top of my head.

I suppose Ive softened up since the fist post on the topic and don’t feel like I should come off so hard anymore. I’ve learned that my solitude is part of my introverted needs. The need for alone time is a must in my life. Home is where I recharge my mental batteries and I can really only accomplish that by being by myself. I spend my days at the office working and interacting with others and that’s where I get my needs of a little extroversion fulfilled. It’s like a balance between the two personality types that each of us needs. Some need more introversion and others more extroversion, but we all need both. Going to work with people and coming home to no one provides me a great balance of both and allows me time to recharge for the next day.

I’m still amazed at the mythology that married, or coupled people, still seem to believe in the false notion that if you’re single, you’re lonely and in need of a partner. It’s seem like an automatic reflex for them to believe that and make comments to the same. What they don’t understand is introversion and the need for solitude. I feel like most people believe that introversion is a bad thing, that there is something wrong with you. That’s not the case at all. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a different thing that extroversion.

It does get old when people are always assuming that they can bother me when I’m not at work to do this or that, to fix this or help them with minor problems that can otherwise wait until I am at work again. It’s as if they think I am sitting around waiting for something to do or waiting to jump into action to fix something because I am not married with children which would presumably take my time. That time, as being valuable if you have a family. But if you’re single, your time isn’t valuable at all and it’s okay for others to bother you on your time off.

Not true at all. What makes people think a singles time is less valuable than a coupled person’s time? Isn’t it a bit biased to think that? My time is just as valuable to me as it is to coupled person’s time. What I choose to do with it is my business and I value it highly just as a coupled person would value their time together highly.

Wake up coupled people, us singles can be quite happy, if not more than you! Our time can be just as valuable as yours too. Don’t feel bad for us, because you might actually be insulting us. If you tell me that you hope I find someone soon, don’t get mad if I retort that I hope you get divorced soon, because, you know, being single is so much better than being married. It’s a two-way street so yield the right-of-way once in a while.

I’m still single and I’m still happy!