Penned this last night.
Hope you like it.
A year back, I happened to write a post on introversion, and so far it has been my most read and shared blog post. In case you’re new to my blog, you can read it here. I thought about writing a part-II for it, mostly because I tend to harbor strong views on this tragically ignored crisis.
I always find a sense of solidarity with anyone who is reticent and quiet. Not because they’re missing out on fun or anything, but because I understand how hard it is to be silent in the constant hubbub and buzz around you. When the whole world is ‘trying to get their voice out there.’ Everyone trying to out-scream the other, making sure the spotlight is on them. Finding a guilty pleasure in being the life of the party.
People see you differently, don’t they? Somehow, you’re always branded by an adjective. Quiet, rude, arrogant, supercilious these are mere examples. I’m qualified to say all this because I go through all this every time I enter a new domain.
I sit back and have a habit of astutely observing people, hence forming a brief profile and calculating who’s the best candidate to talk with. Of course these profiles are not permanent, they improve or degrade as and when I decipher a human. Yes, decipher.
From what I’ve noted, most of the introverts are brilliant judges of character. Not because they are mystics or augurs, but because they listen more. If you tend to listen and notice, not just their gibberish but also their body language, you are already way past their locked doors, deep within their private domain which they prefer to keep hidden. And very soon you have a brief idea of their character without them knowing it. It’s more like a super-power.
Being an introvert, may sound vapid initially, but it’s the exact contrary. Like the ocean they appear all calm and composed on the surface, but inside their mind, their is a different world entirely.
There are wars going on in one corner, deductions and conclusions in the other, a story being dictated simultaneously in the background, questions and graphs calculating the complexities of the world, pictures of people they love stuck haphazardly on the wall, scribbled and re-written letters to someone unknown, a revolution of thoughts taking place against another set of thoughts, bundles of paper loaded with heavy thoughts they can never voice out, clusters of other people’s minds they found difficult to unravel, always formulating plans on how to observe things differently, confessions, observations, questions, love, heartbreak, family, their imaginary friends, and that voice! The one voice that always talks to them. Like their own version of Siri, it’s always counselling them. It is always helping them form an opinion, it is very confident in its decisions and somehow works as their alter ego.
Remember, introverts are not shy, they are just not comfortable in taking the first step towards socializing. We do love our own company and would never hesitate in spending time alone. But understand, once you do manage to lower an introvert’s defenses, they will talk about almost everything and anything. From the most mundane to the most extravagant affair. You’ll be surprised at all the opinions they have over the smallest of things.
You’ll awe at the amount of activity going on in them. Like a whole universe trapped inside one mind. So much to listen and learn, like a riddle that gives you a sense of satisfaction once you start solving it.
It’ll be hard at first, but if you manage to understand their mind, you’ll be treading on an adventure. It won’t be easy of course, every adventure has its hitches, but I assure you, it’ll be worth it. You just have to be brave enough and set aside your ego, make them sit and allow them to talk. It’ll be slow and reluctant initially, but once they’re open, you better put your seat-belts on.
All it really takes is the right person to open the doors to an introvert’s mind.
And you thought being an Introvert was easy?
With the growing importance of the glittery facade of social media, it’s hard to know what’s hidden underneath people. Beneath the Facebook check-ins and instagram filters. We have long forgotten the art of slowly unraveling someone. Peeling off each layer only to find another happy surprise. Now we’re more inclined towards rummaging through Facebook posts and ‘getting to know the person.’ We get to know about the other person’s pretentious virtual life, but do we ever try to unearth how that person loves his coffee? Or the story behind the mystery bracelet she wears all the time?
A long time back I read about how relationships these days have too much involvement. You see, when you already learn too much about the other one just by scanning every post on their account, no sense of mystery remains. There is no thrill. No surprises. No sense of tingling when you realise you both love the same book! You already are aware of mostly everything. Plus, you are ALWAYS connected which sometimes may result in things going a lot more quickly, against their natural order.
These days, people prefer speaking more and listening less and think of it as a healthy interaction whereas it’s the exact opposite. If you just listen carefully about the things someone talks about and pay attention to the details, you’re already diving deep in their heart, a place not many people care to look.
Try asking questions that open them up. Questions that are seldom asked in casual conversations. If you don’t intend to be just anybody in their life, then don’t ask questions that just anybody might ask.
Try to hit the higher note.
Don’t remain in the shallow waters. Like I said, dive deep. Deep inside their heart and view the parts of them not many get to see. Compliment them. Celebrate them. Nurture them. This is no ordinary place my friend, it’s the center of their soul, make it your safe haven. Make it your treasure trove. Then, only then you’ll get to know who they are as a human, not just a mere artificial persona.
A few things you can ask to understand someone better:
1) Ask them about their favorite song. Most of the time, you’ll get to know a lot about their emotions.
2) Ask them how do they feel about their future. Are they scared? Excited?
3) Talk about their passion. Or if they love art. What do they see in art?
4) What’s their favorite place to travel and why?
5) With whom would they most like to travel with?
These kind of questions (I believe) help hit that point in someone. We sometimes presume that these questions are too personal or sensitive to ask and the other person might not want to answer them or they might be ‘too forward’ but the truth is, people never get to listen to these answers because they never ask them.
They’re too engrossed with whether or not they appear pretty or that they don’t get ‘too awkward’ or do something ’embarrassing.’
The point is to ask these questions! Would you feel comfortable in talking about all this stuff? If yes then you should seek someone who’s equally dedicated to talk about it too. And if they’re too cold, I guess that’s a warning signal?
It’s important to establish a strong mental connection. It would not only help your relation grow, but would also help you personally.
“For a wound to completely heal,
You have to stop touching it.”
Lately, I have made a point to read a lot of ‘self-discovery’ books. For what I think has been a long spell of doubts, insecurities, depression and uninvited solitude I think this proved to be a major change in the monotony that was slowly engulfing me.
I tried several ways to abate everything trying to make me bitter towards life. I tried talking about it but every time I did, I always felt misunderstood. Almost like no one was getting what I was trying to say or worst of all, no one seemed very interested to listen. It’s not their fault, really.
There are many things, broadly speaking, that contribute to this feeling of abandonment. Work, stress, doubts, heartbreak, someone else you think is better off than you and many more.
I don’t quite know how it happened, but right in the middle of this spell of intense grief and guilt I had a sense of self-actualization.
Like some divine light had befallen me and made me see the truly confident and exuberant self that I once was. And I felt that in this course of leaving everything behind, I left her as well. People abruptly ask me on phone calls, “You sound very different. Is something wrong?”
I summon up the courage to narrate, but fall short of the right words.
“What? I don’t think so!” is what I usually come up with.
How do you explain people what’s wrong when you’re trying to understand that yourself? The answer is, you don’t. There’s no point. You pick yourself up, even when your legs shake and you shiver with cold and you’re short of breath, you look straight ahead and you walk. That’s what you do. How do you intend to surf if you don’t plan to enter the water?
I began reading with ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book was the perfect start. If it taught me one thing, it was to never lose faith in yourself. Be kind, be humble and don’t be your worst critic. Be patient with everything around you, especially you. Patience. Because it took Elizabeth two years of intense traveling and meditation to regain her lost sense of self-esteem. It didn’t happen overnight.
It is mostly when we’re on the brink of catastrophe when we either open our eyes and begin to construct the path we’re deemed to travel or we take a step back and prefer to lull in the protection of the happy past. The latter contributing little to our future.
So I made a point not do that to myself. I sought to love myself enough to not be fair to who I am. Gain strength by reading books of people who broke the walls and marched through life as indomitable as they could ever get. I decided to change my perspective and open up to whatever changes happening around me. As they sure are leading me somewhere I am still very unwise to see.
Am I afraid? Yes.
Do I still have doubts? Absolutely.
Do I have a plan? I’m working on it.
I guess up until now I considered myself cherished enough to not have to go through the various downfalls in life. Guess what? It happens to everybody.
If there’s anyone reading this who might be going through a hard time, I hope you’re able to find the hope you’ve been looking for. All it takes is a seed to fall on the ground, once it does, all the forces start conspiring to help it grow into a prolific tree.
So go ahead, fall. Fall and allow the forces to guide you towards the path you’re meant to travel.
A couple of weeks back, I happened to attend this seminar on Body Language and its affects on our surroundings. It was undoubtedly pretty informative, like that lady said, non verbal communication is far more important than verbal.
She claimed, that sometimes what you speak doesn’t have any potential impact on people if they don’t get the right aura from you.
Your posture, gestures, eyes contact etc. etc.
Although, during her session I was also having a separate conference in my own mind on a round table with my various thoughts sitting across, facing each other, in grave seriousness and they were all initially skeptical of her claims.
Which means, I think sometimes, if you can master the art of using the right words, you do not need to rely on actions. If what you only need is to get your job done because of course if you groan and yell ‘I love you’ with froth bubbling in your mouth and bloodshot eyes, the listener would probably call the police rather than loving you back.
Anyway, apart from this, she talked about hugs. Yep. The most awkward gesture ever invented in the entire human history. I’m telling my personal opinion, I find hugs massively awkward and I’m almost terrified of them. I don’t even know why. It’s more like an innate thing. I mean of course if someone offers me a hug I graciously accept it and give it back. But I always thought they were unnecessary, like do you really need to rub your body with someone else’s body to feel fulfilled?
My friends grow really resentful when I justify myself. But they also kinda feel sorry for me, especially the ones with a boyfriend. They say it’s one of the most ‘re-assuring’ feelings. And then I start feeling sorry for myself too.
And the ‘God of Questions’ rises again with a notepad and asks,
“What if it really is a coveted comfort and somehow because you’re so cold, you’re deprived of it?”
“Go away ..stupid God of Questions.” I shrug.
It’s true. I have never experienced that ‘warm, fuzzy, protective, secure and loving feeling’ people claim they get when they hug. Maybe because I haven’t yet stood at the airport with tears sliding down my cheeks to bid farewell to my boyfriend who’s going abroad for studies/job and even though our destiny is tied together I still miss every inch of him and then everything goes into slow motion as we give ‘THE HUG.’
BUT, coming back to the point, she (the seminar lady) gave some fine points to prove the powers of a hug. (She must really love to hug.)
First, she said,
“Have you ever noticed how a baby, when he’s restless and anxious after getting into his mother or father’s arms, eventually stops crying? How he suddenly feels protected? Warm? At ease? Comforted?”
(Seriously, a baby knows better than me.)
Second, she says that sometimes when we see someone sitting cross armed, it signifies:
1) They’re either not open to any kind of conversation or arguments.
2) They’re insecure. Depending on the situation. That’s why that crossing of hands is a sort of hug for themselves, to feel protected. They don’t realise this, of course.
Now this rung a bell in me. Very interesting thought. I still wondered how completely aghast she would be if I told her my opinions about hugs. I can imagine her pinning me under her arms and yelling,
“Feel it! Feel it you foolish girl! Feel the love!”
Even though I still haven’t been completely able to be comfortable around this idea, I’ll try and dig a little more into this. See if it really works. See if I’m mentally handicapped to understand such high levels of emotion. Or I’m just not designed that way.
Meanwhile, has anyone had that ‘another world’ experience while hugging here? Let me know!