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Silence and the Introvert

After each journey, a brief onset of depression sets in until I can adjust back to office life. Sitting behind a desk, cranking out lawyer work for nine or ten hours a day. This reality becomes harder and harder to embrace after each trip. A mind numbing boredom sets in such that I can barely focus on anything. Last night I was talking to my male friend and he told me to "get a grip, you live in a dream world Shannon. People have to work for a living, you can't be traveling all the time." Yes, I'm a romantic dreamer. I admit it. Next phrase out of his mouth "come on, let's get drunk...you can meet my new girlfriend." Alcohol - I rarely drink it but I'm a very happy drunk so I went to the bar.

Venture to the pub, have some vodka shots, all is right with the world again. Happy, laughing, having fun and then a beautiful girl comes to our table. It's the new girlfriend, a stunning, tall curvy woman with piercing blue eyes. I know immediately why my friend is physically attracted to her and then she opens her mouth. A very loud mouth that doesn't stop talking for the next two hours. Incessant chatter, mostly about nothing interesting. I sat in amazement wondering how my friend listens to it all the time. In addition to being a dreamer, I'm a complete introvert. I don't crave a lot of attention or social interaction, often preferring to live in my own little world and mind. To me silence is golden, but for others completely terrifying. They simply can't sit in silence without being uncomfortable, twitching, feeling the need to occupy dead air with words, any words, even if they mean nothing. My mom is like this in some ways, a real extrovert who constantly craves human contact and interaction. Even on the long car rides during the Eastern Euro journey I would sit for an hour or more and say absolutely nothing, staring out the window, admiring the scenery, mentally absorbing the surroundings.

In my 20's, I was a very vocal person. If my boyfriend irritated or upset me, I would yell and immediately tell him he fucked up, explain in detail everything he did wrong. In my 30's and now, I'm the complete opposite. I never scream or yell and instead sit in silence, close my eyes, go into some brief meditative state to try to calm myself down before speaking. After all, some of the most explosive arguments stem from stupid things. There are battles that simply aren't worth fighting. If you take a second to breathe and think before opening your mouth this becomes very apparent. In extreme cases, I'll become so angry that I cry but still remain silent. When I gather myself, I explain the foundation for my reaction, usually in a calm way. I don't know what is worse for men - to have a woman scream, give you the silent treatment, or shed tears in your presence?

In some ways I'm overly sensitive to loud voices, arguments and bursts of anger. This stems from an unhealthy relationship where the man was kind, loving and caring at first but after many years of living together became verbally abusive. I remember many times thinking it would have been better if he had hit me rather than enduring prolonged verbal assaults about my inadequacies, flaws and horrible human traits. A slap lasts for only a second, but the verbal tirade on and on for prolonged periods of time. What makes people put up with such behavior, some of them living in abusive relationships their entire lives? For me, it was a very brief lapse in judgment during my early 20's. First love, a feeling that I could never be alone or live without him. After a few months of this behavior I moved out of our shared apartment and never looked back. Complete sense of freedom.

My current philosophy in life is to be silent or speak something worth hearing. I will say that silent and quiet people are usually misunderstood, perceived as being dull or boring. However, they are often keen observers, highly intelligent and immensely passionate, regardless of gender. Simply waiting for someone to come along, to unleash their voice...their song.

What personality type are you?



( 56 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 22nd, 2013 03:35 pm (UTC)
Жизнь - дерьмо.
I am often misunderstood by other people too. Imagine, Inamora told me that I have a bad sense of humor. This is nonsense! Usually, when a man has an orgasm sooner than women, he gets upset or pretends to be upset. But not me. I laugh merrily, as I have a great sense of humor!
Oct. 22nd, 2013 03:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Жизнь - дерьмо.
I don't know who you love more - me or Julia? :) Btw, comedians and jokesters, these people are often the most damaged in life. They hide behind their humor and routinely have tragic upbringings. Many famous comedians in the U.S. have committed suicide or died from drug overdoses. The general humorist is always welcome, the ability to laugh at circumstances, and especially yourself, is a desirable trait in men.
Re: Жизнь - дерьмо. - andrey_kaminsky - Oct. 22nd, 2013 04:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Жизнь - дерьмо. - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 22nd, 2013 04:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Жизнь - дерьмо. - andrey_kaminsky - Oct. 22nd, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Жизнь - дерьмо. - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 22nd, 2013 05:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Жизнь - дерьмо. - andrey_kaminsky - Oct. 23rd, 2013 03:23 am (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Жизнь - дерьмо. - andrey_kaminsky - Oct. 23rd, 2013 03:38 am (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Жизнь - дерьмо. - denis_berdnikov - Oct. 24th, 2013 03:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 22nd, 2013 04:15 pm (UTC)
I'm a complete introvert too.
It's very hard for me to spend weekends with my family because talk and interaction (even friendly) never stops and I need some periods of solitude during the day to recharge my batteries.

But I do not like to be drunk because it affects clarity of my mind.
It feels like something wrong as if I took some poison inside :)
I drink rarely on occasion or if I'm really tired.

Even if I'm sober I do not feel sad (or very happy) because after my training in qigong meditation I usually do not think at all if it is not necessary for work of interaction.
I'm just in a state of silent attention all the time.

And yes, I'd also like to change my job and concentrate on qigong more or work on projects more meaningful to humanity than simple commercial work I do now.
But who will pay for it? :))
Oct. 22nd, 2013 04:42 pm (UTC)
You're an extreme introvert. I still like to have companionship, another body around on occasion. However, this person can't be chatty or suffocating and it's imperative they give me space.

"Even if I'm sober I do not feel sad (or very happy)...a state of silent all the time." This is a different kind of silence! Seems it would create an interesting dynamic with your wife. She also has a similar personality such that it works? I think you told me you met at one of these meditation retreats.
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Oct. 22nd, 2013 04:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 22nd, 2013 05:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Oct. 22nd, 2013 05:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 22nd, 2013 04:24 pm (UTC)
Wow, this is so close to my personality in general and to what I feel at this point in life about traveling in particular. I am very quiet, and try to avoid difficult people who are vexatious to the spirit. In my 20s I would hobnob with loud, outgoing people and maybe try to imitate their traits, but now, in my early 30s I am beginning to understand - it's about time, huh? - who I really am and learn to appreciate my quiteness and solitude and sensitivity as gifts, not as something to be ashamed of. Here are a few lines from R.M. Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet that I like: "What takes place most deeply inside you is worthy of your undivided love; you must somehow work on it and not lose too much time or too much heart explaining your standpoint to other people." Having said that, I should say that I enjoy seeking out sensitive people with whom I have something in common. I take tango lessons and they help me keep me in touch with humanity.

Also, something is calling me to travel. I returned from my last trip to the US last July, and now I am being offered a really good job here in Minsk - my friends and relatives can't believe the size of the salary and the benefits that company is offering me - and it is really a great chance for me to settle down and buy a car and move out of my mom's place, but I'm not sure I want that now. I think I will probably get very bored and very stuck very soon if I accept that job offer. Instead, I would really like to get out of here for another few months - to Peru or the US - to continue my journey of self-discovery and my search for love and peace. So I feel like I'm at a cross-roads at this point and don't know which road I will take in the end.

Edited at 2013-10-22 04:28 pm (UTC)
Oct. 22nd, 2013 05:39 pm (UTC)
Even when I was younger, I had no desire to be in large, noisy crowds or part of the party scene. I never went to discos, nightclubs or other environments conducive to noisiness. The only exception is that I love music and have been a concert goer my whole life, for a very wide range of music ranging from heavy metal to country.

Regarding the job choice, flexibility is more important to me than money. Unfortunately, it's imperative that I earn a high salary because I have so many student loans from my doctorate degree in law. I'm trapped to a certain extent until I pay this debt down so I'm still a lawyer. I'm currently trying to get my schedule reduced to allow more time for travel. If your passion is travel, I advise against taking the high paying job. There's a reason most companies pay employees large salaries. You're often expected to focus on nothing else but work, at the expense of leisure and personal time. My focus in life has never been money or superficial things and I believe you are the same. The large salary is not worth the loss of time and freedom.
(no subject) - pasha1980 - Oct. 22nd, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 22nd, 2013 11:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 22nd, 2013 05:35 pm (UTC)
I'm a complete introvert (c)
Sister!!!))) Me too!! LOL!
Oct. 22nd, 2013 05:42 pm (UTC)
I think most people who frequent LJ are introverts, otherwise they would be out socializing and have no time to read my posts. :)
Oct. 22nd, 2013 05:51 pm (UTC)
"Be silent or speak something worth hearing" - I definitely agree with this!
Oct. 22nd, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
Yes, but sometimes silence is deadly and there's a need for vocal expression. There's a great quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. - "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." The key to life is finding the right balance, learning to bite your tongue at times but also not being so introverted and closed off that you fail to express positive emotions and love to those whom you deeply care about. I need to get better at the last part.
Oct. 22nd, 2013 06:15 pm (UTC)
I have enough talking at work. Actually, most of my work is talking, talking, talking. And drinking coffee.
So I'm so happy to get home and enjoy silence - no questions to answer, no lectures, no small talks, no phones. Complete disappointment for extrovert and conversable people )
Oct. 22nd, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
What's your profession? Almost all of my communications at work are written (via email, detailed letters or legal briefs) rather than verbal. So it suits my personality. When I have to meet with clients, it's fine. I can smile, be talkative and put on the charm but thankfully I don't have to do this often.
(no subject) - cherez_dorogu - Oct. 22nd, 2013 06:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 22nd, 2013 08:03 pm (UTC)
You are a lawyer, you have years of studies behind your back. This imprints on a personality. And what is that girl?

I recognize this sin in myself - educationalism. It is not easy for me to deal with the other kind of people.

Once I experimented with a psycho test in a large political convention. The test classified people on a plane in two coordinate axes: introvercy-extravercy and psychotism-neurotism. The quadrants in these coordinates are the classical temperaments: choleric, melancholic, sanguine, and phlegmatic . The test also had a third coordinate, the lie scale.

The typical example of these temperaments are the four musketeers from The Three Musketeers by the great afro-american writer Dumas-pere.

One of the test respondents was the PR manager of a large company. She asked me what is introvercy? When I explained that it is when it is not easy to deal with other people, etc., she told me, Oh how I hate dealing with other people!

As you started your post and had replied to me - perhaps as a lawyer you can find a different kind of application of your talents, too? ;)

Another testee was the chief of police. His responses fell right in the center of coordinates while the lie scale was maximal. This meant that he controlled his answers not to disclose his personality.
Oct. 22nd, 2013 10:56 pm (UTC)
And what did the test disclose? Are you more psychotic or neurotic? I believe I would make an excellent psychological study, but have never had any mental evaluation or therapy.
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Oct. 23rd, 2013 02:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 22nd, 2013 08:36 pm (UTC)
Interesting topic you've started. For a long time I had thought I was an extrovert. And then I got results of test and found I am introvert, surprisingly. For me being an introvert means to get energy from inside of me rather than outside. So, if I am very tired I need to be alone for a while, read smth and restore myself. Nevertheless, I am not extreme introvert, I like meeting with people and even partying. But only with people who I know and interesting speak to.
Oct. 22nd, 2013 11:00 pm (UTC)
"For me being an introvert means to get energy from inside of me rather than outside." Me too! Funny thing about me is that I have a plain, pleasant face and strangers want to talk to me. Many times people have told me I remind them of someone close to them. They offer up personal details about their life w/out me even asking. It comes in handy when traveling and trying to learn more about local people and customs. People are usually at ease when speaking with me.
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Oct. 23rd, 2013 02:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 23rd, 2013 02:26 am (UTC) - Expand
This latest: - onkel_hans - Oct. 23rd, 2013 03:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 23rd, 2013 05:46 am (UTC)
"What personality type are you?"

Oct. 23rd, 2013 02:39 pm (UTC)
Me too, mostly! But I'll also stand up for myself, don't let people throw titles in my face or bully me around at work or in life. In this way, I'm not so silent.
(no subject) - nar_row - Oct. 24th, 2013 05:08 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 23rd, 2013 07:27 am (UTC)
i think Im a little bit of both. I love people. I grew up in bigger cities and highly populated schools. Ambient noise (people on the subway, groups around me) doesnt usually bother me. But I have a hard time when Im in a group of people and they are fighting or even just being loud and obnoxious. I love my alone time. Peace and quiet. Reading a book, etc.. But I love to be social, go out with friends too. When I was younger I was probably more of an extrovert, the older I get the quieter I feel comfortable being. My dad always impressed upon me that silence is better than ignorance (noise). I love a good concert or bar though. I dont know. Im totally in the middle I think. I am usually pretty vocal about what Im feeling though. I get that from my mother. But I find now that Im married, I internalize a lot of anger or upsetment. I cry more often now. For happiness, anger, fear. Those things used to manifest differently for me. Yeah Im definitely confused on this one. An extrovert that likes her quiet alone time? What do you think, woman? Just start planning your next trip. Even if it's awhile from now, it gives you something to look forward to and something to be earning that money for. Loves! xoxo
Oct. 23rd, 2013 02:43 pm (UTC)
You are an extrovert, you like to be very social. As we age, we understand what is important in life. Small things that used to bother or irritate me in my 20's have no impact on me now. Relationships are very difficult, even the best of them. Being around someone all the time there will always be disagreements, fights, tears and even anger at times. It's reality. Hopefully the good far outweighs the bad however. Next trip, I don't know yet. Probably no more overseas journeys until the new year. :( I also cry a lot more now. In old age, becoming more sentimental and emotional about certain things.
Oct. 23rd, 2013 08:03 am (UTC)
introvert, but hate sometimes dead air in the office.
Oct. 23rd, 2013 02:44 pm (UTC)
You have your own office or shared space?
(no subject) - dubai100 - Oct. 24th, 2013 11:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 23rd, 2013 09:14 am (UTC)
I work near the computers all day. They are noisy and because of that I love silence. I don't have a TV set in my apartment and that's so great! A TV set like a stranger in our home.
People are afraid silence. One example. We often walking in the woods and see people at a picnic. They always have music with them. Why do they do it? It's so wonderful in the forest with wind and birds! Music doesn't need! Maybe people afraid their thoughts?

The best rest for me it's slow talking with friends at a cafe where music sounds not loud. Unfortunately we don't have such places in our town.
Oct. 23rd, 2013 02:45 pm (UTC)
I love being in the woods, away from humanity! Something so peaceful about it. No TV!?! So how do you watch all these American televisions shows? On your laptop?
(no subject) - mybathroom - Oct. 23rd, 2013 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 23rd, 2013 02:51 pm (UTC)
I'm definitely an introvert that's why I've taken a divorce with my first husband. It was the same situation you told about your boy-friend. It was the best pleasure for my ex to "rinse my brains" as russian say from the evening to the morning.
Oct. 23rd, 2013 02:55 pm (UTC)
I think most people have had relationships like this. Some partners so mean and cruel w/their actions and words. Sometimes apologetic and even remorseful afterward for their actions, but it doesn't excuse the behavior. It's good that your removed yourself from this environment, just like I did. I see now your relationships is beautiful, shared passions in life. Very important. :)
Oct. 23rd, 2013 05:02 pm (UTC)
I'm phlegmatic person.
Oct. 23rd, 2013 05:12 pm (UTC)
How do you meet people, potential lovers?
(no subject) - real_marsel - Oct. 23rd, 2013 05:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 23rd, 2013 05:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 25th, 2013 07:10 pm (UTC)
i always thought that i was a silent person. besides i always had (and still have) a problem - i believed that if i didn't say anything people would think i'm stupid and boring or high-hat. maybe that's why i notice that i speak too much sometimes
Oct. 25th, 2013 07:24 pm (UTC)
Some people have said the same of me, that I'm "high hat," or as we call it here "snobby." It's not the case at all, in fact I'm very down to earth. But people perceive you as being stand-offish if you're quiet or not speaking in certain environments.
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