It’s not that I don’t like people

posted by Russ, August 10 in uncategorized with tags , , ,

1 comment so far

The other day Chris Guillebeau at The Art of Noncomformity posted a really interesting article about social networking for introverts. It really struck me because I tend toward being introverted myself. And in one of the comments, someone said something that really resonated with me. Nicole from Just Make It Better noted that someone she knew would say

It’s not that I don’t like being around people, it’s just that I prefer to be around the ones that I like.

And that pretty much explains me.

I am good at conversation and I enjoy being around people, the catch is I have to like them to have a good time. In the past I have been told that I can be a bit standoff-ish or unfriendly, to which I say, I am neither, it’s just that I have to know you first. Chris says in his article that when he is seated on an airplane next to people he may not have much in common with that “sometimes we’ll talk and sometimes we won’t, and either way is fine with me.”

All of this makes perfect sense to me. However, I think that there are extroverts who don’t quite understand this mentality, they think this behavior tends towards anti-social. They thrive on conversation, and on meeting new people, whether or not there is any mutual connection. Whereas for me, when I meet new people I have no problem with chit chat, but once I know that there isn’t much in common, I become bored and the conversation can get strained. For me to be stimulated and to really enjoy someone’s company, I need a deeper connection. I don’t mean a sexual or intimate connection, but I need to know that the person I’m speaking with really understands me, and then the conversation can go on for hours. I have had several friends like this in the past, and spending time with them was always great. We would debate and philosophize and talk about dreams and aspirations and life and bounce topics off each other. But when I don’t feel that connection, I am ok with being alone. And enjoying solitude is a scary thought for some people, but that’s another topic altogether.

So to get back to Chris’ article, the thing that is really profound is that the majority of the people who commented on his post seemed to share the common trait of being introverts. Maybe there is some correlation? Maybe he attracts fellow introverts? Who knows. But maybe a reason we introverts can embrace social networking so well is because it allows us to create the deeper connections that we thrive on more easily. Another thing of note is that I’d say most of Chris’ followers are independent, motivated, and intelligent people.

Certainly all people I’d like to call my friends, in real life or not.

Originally posted on Monday, August 10th, 2009 at 5:45 AM .

One Response to “It’s not that I don’t like people”

  1. Nicole says:

    hey there, thanks for the links. 🙂

    See you on Twitter!

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