Seven Tired Introverts Walk Into a Bar

Wow! When it rains, it pours. Lots of ideas for writing here, folks, and not so much time to do it. Here I go, putting on my pants one day at a time.

So, this morning, there was this, which is a write up from a friend of mine who attended the same workshop I did last weekend, and he talks about the conundrum of introversion. And then, there’s this.

Terribly ironic that several people who are introverted made the decision to get together and talk to one another about, you know, something, and pretty much spent all of their time together, but I digress. But the salient point here is that a bunch of introverts got together, stayed together a lot, and then the introverted bits started affecting how things occurred. Sensitivities were activated. Feelings were hurt.

I don’t mean to imply introversion was the root of the problem. Many of us were tired, and you know, I’m not the most socially ept of people myself.

And I got to thinking, well, yeah. This happens. And well, yeah, it doesn’t work out that people always deal with things with a measured, mature response, especially people who have a background of difficulty with such things. People can’t always do that. And yeah, then there’s the insecurity of how do you deal with this, and how do you repair what’s occurred and so on and so forth. And there’s interpersonal complexity for both participants. There’s also how much each party is vested in the other, and so on.

How do you make the decisions to mend fences? To be honest? To realize the difficulty is with you? To identify when the difficulty is not with you? And when to let things alone?

I have to admit, I’m usually a talker. I usually like to talk things through if there’s an issue, and see if some sort of mutual relationship ground that I can find with the person whom I’m at odds with. I believe in apology if I have been untoward, and I accept that I can’t repair damage, but I can start anew if that’s a mutual agreeable solution.

With varying results.

I had a big blow out with a great friend of many years a while back. We were mutually pissy with each other. I was very strung out. We both made mistakes. We cracked what we had into little pieces. I managed to salvage the situation in an incredibly heroic move (turned out I was doing something that was driving her mad, I was clueless, and when she told me the effect it was having, I stopped cold turkey. I also was motivated to go into counseling for it.) The end result? Our friendship of old was destroyed, essentially, but we’ve worked hard on a new relationship, which is a friendship of a different kind. We try to stay away from our mistakes and move forward.

I have another friend who perceives that we are in competition with each other. I don’t think so, but my perception doesn’t matter. There is nothing I can really do to change this perception. Here I see no movement forward. I am friendly and affable, but I don’t feel the need to engage this person about the issue. No change is going to occur, and we’re both probably happier if we don’t talk about it.

I had a huge fight with my husband over a principle a couple of years ago. That issue is not, nor will ever be, resolved. We do not talk about this. It is a dead zone, a no man’s land. I accept his decision. He accepts mine. We move forward from it, because all bringing this up does is makes both of us hurt. I still love him and accept him. The rest of him is better than this one blank space. It is a piece that I choose to discard. I can’t reconcile it, but the rest of him I want to keep. I can’t throw away 25 years for four rocky days.

I have stopped talking to my mother. We have hashed our problems out, over and over. We still keep hurting each other. It is easier to live my life without her than it is with. I am sure that diminishes me in the eyes of some, but I see this as a lose/lose scenario. I grieve this each day, but there is no further action I can take. Action is more painful than no action.

And I think, that’s it. Notice how there’s no one solution, and notice how dissatisfied I am with some of the scenarios as they stand. Only you can decide whether you can find resolution, whether you can dismiss the pain, how vested you are. In the end, though, your goal must be to find peace for yourself.

So, there’s that. Be honest with yourself. If you value the other, and you think you can work toward healing, go for it. If not, let the mourning commence. But don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re only human. And you can only do what you can do when you’re ready.

Ferrett, I hope things get better for you. Day by day.

Cath

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

5 thoughts on “Seven Tired Introverts Walk Into a Bar”

  1. For the record, I had no problems with anyone at the retreat. I was going through some personal issues at the retreat, and those got exacerbated by Monday when I wound up getting into a couple of nasty snarls on a low battery.

    I love everyone, honest I do.

  2. I could really relate to this post. I have a best friend with whom I have not been close to now for over three years at least, though I realize the relationship started downhill for a time before that…. It seems I changed some things in my life and for some reason, when I shared those things with her, she somehow felt judged….like I thought she was in the wrong and was judging her for not making the same changes I was making. Of course that hurt me….feeling like I couldn’t share anything with her for fear she’d think I was judging her…. Not really sure how to fix it. I’m trying to email her more often as calling seems impossible with our schedules. Or maybe I’m making excuses. I don’t want to hear something in her voice that would make me cry. I’d rather do the email thing for awhile and at least try to get the ball rerolling that way….

  3. Ferrett: I’m glad you love us all, and I’m sorry I misread your trouble as retreat trouble.

    I wish you the best of luck as you work through your interpersonal relationship. It is hard running on low energy.

    Carol: This sort of thing is tough. I hope you and your friend find a comfortable intersection.

  4. I relate to this too. “Oh, I am upset. Why am I upset? It’s that person. No, it must be me. I must dwell on it while the other person has no idea it’s driving me crazy because I don’t know what to say. Now an awkward amount of time has passed. Rinse. Repeat.” Oh, for perfect self-knowledge and an understanding of the capacity to hurt. Thank goodness for good friends.

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