Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

What fuels you?

For maaany years now in my own head I’ve loosely classified humans as ”do-ers” and ”socializers”, which sort of corresponds with introvertion and extrovertion.

Let me just first apologize for the undoubtedly many spellos that will follow.  I’m dyslexic and this is a computer default to spanish so according to this, just about every word is spelled wrong…

The Socializers are those who prefer company at all times and their favorite pasttime is what they got their name from; socializing.  Not necessarily gregariously or loud but other peoples company and feedback is like the air that they breathe.

The Doers are the crafters, the problem solvers, the ones who want to feed their soul after a day at work, being required to be (or act) in a way that does not come naturally nor inspires or nourishes their being.  They are creative but only after their bread and butter has been put out of their mind, together with guilt of not wanting to go down the pub after work, often with the same people they’ve just spent 8 hrs being semi-social with.  There is also the guilt and shame for being so different to contend with internally, unvoiced questions like ”why do I crave a bit of change, charge and solitude,  to need to be in my own space on my own?”,  in the perceived guilty company of a good book, nat geo tv or some music of their own choice.

After a little downtime to gather, regroup and sort out their molecules they are quite happy to meet up with and spend time with a few people in a small group, be it a hobby group or coffee or dinner with a chosen few.

These broad categorizations overlap of course.  Just like not every introvert is creative, nor is every extrovert a loudmouth.

The Doers abhor the happy-clappy loudness,  weekends of ”building team-spirit”, of not only enjoying  something but having to be seen to have fun, and convincingly so at that.

The Socializers see nothing odd in and largely enjoy joining in in the happy clappy shouting, whereas someone like me feels  physically ill at the thought of it.  To me that kind of behaviour is not inspiring of anything but baffling at best and ridiculous at worst. Personally I’m very likely to just get up and leave, unless that would inflict some serious damage career wise for my husband or be seen as an unforgivable social faux-pas with his family, who are it should be said very acommodating of my strange ways…

I don’t suffer foolsgladly (or any other way for that matter).  Shouting at me gets the shouter nowhere usually, especially the abusive and insulting kind sometimes favored by sports team coaches (and in the military – at least on tv!)  It does not inspire me to do my best and utmost.  It more often results in a FU followed by and egress.

I can be competitive but years of cycling (which I very much enjoyed at the time, all my coaches were very affable people) revealed I completely lack killer instinct and the singlemindedness it takes to make it to the top of any sport.

Socializers enjoy chit-chatting almost anywhere and anywhen especially when it involves meeting new people.  Doers largely consider that kind of  ‘friendships’ (or aquaintanceship if that were a real word which I think it should be) a waste of time.  With so little time to to nurture their own spirit after work, family and other obligations have claimed their share, spending it on superficialities with strangers is just another serious drain on their energy.  Why spend leisure time on things that makes you feel flat or bore you rather than what replenishes and revitalizes you?  Why indeed.

The following was a deep ”ahaaa” moment of clarification for me personally, observed and put into words by Ms Strickland and quoted by Susan Cain quotes in her book Quiet:-

”It is not that there is no small talk, observes Strickland.  It’s that it comes not at the beginning of conversations but at the end.  In most settings, people use small talk as a way of relaxing into a new relationship, and only after they’re comfortable do they connect more seriously.  Sensitive people do the reverse.  They ”enjoy small talk only after they ahve gone deep” says Strickland.  ”When sensitive people are in environments that nurture their authenticity, they laugh and chitchat just as much as anyone else.”

And to me, that’s just it.

How do you best nurture your self?


Catpaw,  22 April 2012.

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