How is that possible? I haven’t yet found out who I am. I’m still looking for my true self. On the other hand – how can people not be themselves? What a waste of energy. When I think about it I see so much fear and lies we have bought into, because what we actually long for is being loved for who we are. So why keep hiding?
I don’t try do be somebody else, but I’ve tried to figure out “how to be” in order to get a particular job. (It didn’t work.) I know what it’s like to not follow the crowd, and how it sometimes feels not being part of it.
I’ve been called “a compulsive communicator”, and one or two friends have told me they envy that ability. I haven’t really given it much thought until I saw the TED Talk by Susan Cain (below) about introverts. Then something clicked.
Creating a Persona
When I was a child I was extremely shy and sensitive. I hated noisy environments, but I loved music, books, drawing, dancing and spending time in my inner fantasy world. As I grew older I realised I had to learn to talk to other people.
In time I learnt how to communicate, but as I moved to Germany – and had to speak a new language – I made an interesting discovery. Being deprived of my words I felt the shyness coming back. (Had it even gone away?)
I started sweating when I had to meet new people. It was terrible when I found myself in a situation where I had to tell a story, and everyone was looking and listening. I was afraid of not knowing what to say.
That’s when it hit me. Words, and being able to use them well, had become my shield. All these years I had been hiding behind a verbal persona.
In her talk Susan Cain speaks about the importance – as an introvert – to have space, freedom, and time to collect her thoughts in private. She also says nobody is a complete extrovert or a complete introvert. There are even ambiverts who are a bit of both, or somewhere in between on the scale.
I’m definitely an ambivert. If I’m left on my own too long my mind goes bonkers. If I don’t have time by myself I get confused from the “stuff” I pick up from others. Emotions mostly.
Susan’s talk made me see that my true self might be an introvert, but I need to create something, and share it, let’s say, in an extroverted way? Maybe by writing about my thoughts and feelings on this blog? 🙂
In sharing, my main purpose isn’t to talk about me, but to hopefully connect with you. In sharing what I’ve learnt about me, maybe you will learn something about you too? Maybe we can learn something new together?
Listen to Susan here (19,04 min):