Letter to the Distracted Extrovert
Dear Distracted Extrovert,
I’m writing this letter to help you understand me.
Sometimes, I’m better at telling you things through writing than having an in-person conversation.
You’ve expressed that you wish I was more like you.
Throughout the years, you’ve told me that I’m weak, passive, and anti-social.
Before you interrupt me to deny it, take into consideration the indirect story you’ve told me in subtle ways.
After all, I’m super observant–I notice and feel more than you think.
Remember that time you finished my sentence in a meeting because you thought I was taking too long to answer?
Or how about that time you rolled your eyes in disappointment because I told you I wasn’t going to the Christmas party?
Let’s not forget when you were perplexed because an attractive person was more than curious about me.
Finishing my sentences tells me you think I’m passive.
Expressing disappointment as if it were to make me attend a gathering tells me you think I’m weak.
And being perplexed about an attractive person finding me interesting, tells me how boring and anti-social you think I am.
But the truth is that I’m not weak, passive, or anti-social.
On the contrary, I’m strong, decisive, and form deep connections with people.
You see, I give a lot of thought to the things I say. That’s why it takes me a little longer to answer good questions.
I’m introspective enough to know when my energy is drained. That’s why I’m picky about where I spend it. (By the way, when has your “disappointment” actually persuaded me to attend an event?)
And you’d be surprised how many people find me attractive and interesting. There are layers of depth to me you’ve yet to discover.
I understand you thrive on small talk. But I don’t.
You like to have meetings. I get drained by them.
When you’re in charge of creating social environments, I ask you to keep me in mind–especially if you’d like for me to attend more often.
You’re probably feeling like I think this is a “Me vs. You” kind of deal.
But it isn’t.
The truth is that I admire you in many ways.
I wish I had your level of energy sometimes. It would make some things easier in my life, especially in places like America.
Your ability to connect with everyone in the room amazes me too.
Your outgoing attitude makes you the perfect person to tackle certain tasks.
And while I admire many of your traits, it would be impossible to embody them without sacrificing some of my good traits.
The truth is that we compliment each other. We balance each other out. We have the potential to be the ultimate team.
But for that to be possible, we must consider each other when creating our work environments, workflows, and collaborations.
Trust me to do my work. And I’ll trust you to do yours.
Let’s compromise where we need to. But let’s give each other freedom to be who we are and work accordingly.
I promise this is the way we can each contribute our best work to create real change.
Talk soon (or maybe a text is okay).
-Your Introverted Friend
PS – Most of my family is extraverted like you and we’ve managed to make it work. But then again, Love conquers all, doesn’t it?