Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Archive for the tag “introvert”

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.

Solitude matters, and for some people it’s the air that they breathe (Susan Cain)

Thank you Susan Cain for your talk on Ted that was brought to my attention by an equally introverted fb friend, Rue Hass.  It came very timely after I wrote this last night, in my head, and on paper this morning.



Waiting for the body to grow up and clarity of mind to dawn

to know where to go

when what you like is not good enough

& you’re good at everything except what counts……



If I am the only one

who can see –

– is it really so?

If there is no


to be found in the

outside world

Am I just too early

or is it all a delusion?

A ruse of what is a possibility

destined to never actually be

there being noone who knows

how to nurture it

least of all me.


Over and over the drumming was heard

and the choir of 99% chimed in.

The last percent was busy doing

what I should have been doing

playing for fun.


Now I look around the bar

in a place where if you don’t work behind one

people want to be in one

drinking and enjoying

your self?

In the crush of other people

the noise almost deafening

I don’t want to shout and shout and lip-read.

Snatches of sentences

words without meanings

whatever I want to convey

shortened almost beyond recognition and

crammed into something of fewest words possible

what can be yelled at an other

conversation in tatters

I don’t want to wince every time the speakers hit another tinny high

every time the once boy now supposedly grown up who spent weeks and weeks learning to

make that piercing awful sound

more suited for a footie match.

It adds an other discordant note to the ones already

ringing in my ears.


I keep doing this to myself.

This is what people enjoy,

this is what they do for fun,

a voice whispers in my head.

I feel so odd

so alien to this side of the human race

coz I can’t help longing to be somewhere else.

I keep doing this

going out to join the others

trying to be part of

rather than removed from

trying to be a human and in some small part fit in.



sometimes in the past even praying

that at some point

the switch in me will flip &

it will become fun, enjoyable.

I’m still waiting.


Back when I was still expected to be a sheep

all at once

nothing and everything.

All lived under the life draining law of Jante

that would attempt to grind any and all aspirations

out of us

‘for our own good’

and ‘to prevent disappointment’.

So the flock still runs

like flocks everywhere do



And the one who supposedly broke free

still feels wing clipped and

the chains dragging behind

wondering if it is too late to

learn to fly!

gain overall views

soaring high above the ground

the wind on my face and beneath my

stubby wings.


I get lost

trying to find myself

I get lost

trying to find my way back to myself

i get myself lost in

what could I have been?

my wind reduced to a restless rodent.


I tell myself

Let it go

let it all go

digging around in yesterdays

isn’t going to move me

upwards and onwards,

just act like quicksand

for my spirit.

Invisible tethers

for the eagle I long to be.


Being a shaman is a bit like being a unicorn in a herd of horses, one get’s judged as a defective horse. (Bear Heart)

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