I remember days in my young boyhood where I would heroically command a unit of burly men to victory in numerous backyard campaigns. I never lost once. Sometimes I would be the captain of my very own USS Enterprise, or lead the chase in a foot pursuit of a burglar. For a kid who had massive amounts of bravery, in my head, I found myself clinging tightly to pillows on the couch when I was presented with a phone and the accompanying words, “Guess who wants to talk say Hi!?”
There are a thousand situations in life that leave the introvert wanting for an escape route or a timeout card. It doesn’t help either that there are polarizing opinions about introverts’/extroverts’ expectations of what we demand of the other. Introverts constantly play the victim in the hands of an extraverted world that, let’s face it, probably isn’t out to kill us.
It’s good to care
I’ve had to learn that I have a lot of reservations that I project into reality. I don’t like taking back an order that is wrong. If I order any kind of meal and it doesn’t turn out to be what I wanted, I usually deal with it or quietly slip away. I’ve always felt weird about that stuff. Or phone calls. When I was first going to college, I was so cautious of calling the Financial Aid department. I would tell myself that they were too busy to talk to a little Chris Morris. And you know what. We need more of that. It’s good to care. It’s good for people to go over and beyond to prefer other people’s comforts over yours. It’s good.
But. Some of us make a career out of over-caring. It took me many years to get over common hurdles. With the phone calls, I had to realize that many people like talking to people. So I wan’t a bother to many of them. Other people, who may not like talking on the phone, have to for work. For the majority of people that I have to talk to, it is completely normal and acceptable for me to call them. They almost expect it.
And there are many other situations that can follow suit. What the introvert needs is balanced vision of care.
Caring works best if you care for yourself too
Now, I’m not the guy you’ll find talking about how you need to love yourself in order to love other people. There is some truth to the statement, but not enough to hang a picture on. What I’m talking about is balance. We often feel guilty about doing things, thinking that we’re a inconvenience to some or a distraction to others. We guilt ourselves so much, that we inconvenience us! And we distract ourselves by not distracting other people. We elevate other people above ourselves. Which is good, in balance.
If you’re walking around in life, pleasing everyone but not doing anything with your life, your out of balance. Everyone has some sort of plan for their life. Some sort of work they are to do or accomplish. I will not glamorize it; most of are lucky to raise children who are respectful and contribute to society. And if that is our life’s great achievement, achieve it well. What ever it maybe, don’t let other people slow you down to much. Care. Yes, care for people and care about what they feel when you do something to them, around them, or that effects them. But don’t slow down your walk to a standstill because you are guilt ridden and nervous.
Don’t stop caring.