The other day I took my two youngest kids to the community pool, as I do every summer a couple of times each week. Sometimes I run into friends there, but most of the time it’s me, my kids, and 200 strangers. I feel perfectly cozy being anonymous among the crowd watching over my children as they swim and splash.
Every once in a great while, as was the case a few days ago, a super extrovert (you know – the ones like my husband who will talk to literally anybody) will suddenly strike up conversation with me. In this latest instance, it was two mothers who nearly cornered me in the pool and proceeded to excitedly chit chat for the next ten minutes with me about everyday things like sunblock, water toys, and the fiscally predatory nature of our local Target store.
I was in heaven. I felt uplifted by my short interaction with them, and have wondered why since then. I think I felt so upbeat for a couple of reasons. Number one: They didn’t give me a chance to become anxious about talking because our interaction came on so suddenly and they fired off conversation at a pace that amazed me.
Number two: I wasn’t in a bad mood that day, nor was I depressed or anxious. But I realized I was operating at a kind of mediocre hum that I think I’ve just become used to. Talking with them, or really just commenting as they chatted away with me, was a reminder of how much I love and value extroverts. They do all the heavy lifting in social situations and all they ask for return is your attention and a laugh here or there.
We all have our place in this world. Introverts and extroverts are like the yin and yang of social interaction. You can go on for a while as one, but you need a good dose of the other to keep you balanced.