Pains of the Extrovert
Sometimes I really dislike being extroverted.
I get it, in every group of friends and in families someone has to take the lead, be in charge, and make decisions. I dislike being that person. I like getting what I want as much as the next person, but lately I feel as if getting what I want, isn’t exactly what I want. Sometimes I just don’t have an opinion. Sometimes I’m genuinely indifferent to the outcome. Sometimes I want someone else to feel strongly enough to make a choice. That doesn’t happen as often as I’d like.
I’m big and tall and have giant hair. Given my stature alone, no one would ever call me mousy: it’s not something that would ever make sense. I’m not petite or mild. I have a voice that is definitive in tone. I make conscious word choices. I laugh a little too loud and go up an octave and a dozen decibels when I’m excited. When I have an opinion, I can define its boundaries. I have genuine intensity and drive in everything I do. As proud as I am of my internal sense of morality and my self-sufficient independence I really dislike having to take charge of more situations than I get to sit back on.
Horse Play & Bean Baggery Brings are sure fire triggers!
At a bar one night, my girlfriends and I were playing a beanbag toss game and this man, easily the age of our fathers, as large and tall as the three of us combined, and reeking of sweat and alcohol, decided to watch and later asked to join in. We let him throw a couple and quickly returned to our game. He clearly mistook our nicety for the chance to become a pig. Within minutes he was up, offering to let us stay at his house, giving coaching advice as to how to throw the beanbags most effectively—even though he missed every shot he’d taken—and promptly decided the best coaching technique was to grab my friend by the hips to line up her shot.
“Sir, this is a beanbag toss, not pool. Kindly remove yourself from my friend’s ass before I bag you in the beans…”
My friend, in stunned silence, panics and doesn’t move. I, from the other side of the sand pit, quickly say “Are you touching, Stunned Friend? I’m uncomfortable with this.” I guess it must be shocking to hear a girl call you out from across the patio when you’re so much bigger than them in stature—or maybe he was being genuinely considerate with is hands-on grope—but he quickly dropped his hands, asked Stunned Friend if she was uncomfortable, which she was and told him as much, and grew bored of us. These are the situations that I’m happy I will be bold.
No, you cannot touch my boobs.
Yes, I will tell you as much.
No, I’m not going change my mind.
Yes, I will call you out for being a creep.
Other times, I really don’t like it. My being able to coherently and articulately tell you what I want is not suggestive of my having consistent, over-the-top, must be followed opinions.
Brownies? Yes. Or cookies? Yes. Both? You bet your bottom dollar!
Should we go to the beach? Yes. Or the movies? Yes.
Extroversion is to speaking out like Alcohol Abstinence is to Designated Driving
I do not want to be the decision maker all the time. I consistently notice that when I am indifferent and my friends or family are also indifferent, it becomes my job to make the decision. Do I care if we’re both indifferent that I’m deciding? Not so much. What I do care about is it becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy of me having to take the lead. Because I’m pushed into that role I fear that I am developing a reputation for being inflexible. Or worse that, when I express indifference or make no stating of opinion, I am being bratty and cold.
Maybe we just become more comfortable in roles we’re forced into, even when we don’t to be there? God, I kind of hope that’s not true. I don’t want my extroversion to become overbearing or for it to be indicative of being bossy. Extroversion is supposed to be a positive trait, most of the time it is. Lately, I’ve heard numerous phrases that boil down to: “Sam has an opinion about that.” Even if I do, my opinion is not the end-all-be-all. I’m more than happy to take the proverbial backseat (but not the real one because I get really car sick!) to let you take the wheel on decision-making.