• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Anne Miller
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
stewards:
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Mike Barkley
  • Shawn Klassen-Koop
  • Pearl Sutton

being an introvert in community

 
master steward
Posts: 27486
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jocelyn has been thoroughly enjoying this topic. The graphic at the top has spelled things out for her very clearly. Suddenly, the wonky she has been feeling has been fully explained.

It has led to several discussions between the two of us. And I think the earliest discussions were with the idea that for the sake of the discussion, I would sport the "extrovert" label. And, when standing next to Jocelyn, I am certainly an extrovert.

But ....

when I look at the graphic that Jocelyn shared, I don't feel like the introvert or the extrovert. I don't like parties and I rarely go to bars and the like. When there is a gathering of people here at the lab, I tend to not go unless my presence is required. And, possibly the most important of all: in the last couple of months I have been feeling extremely burnt out.

In the TED talk thing, there was a suggestion that everybody has at least a little bit of introvert and a little bit of extrovert. Like a spectrum of ... "vert-i-tude". So nobody is just one or the other, but, rather, they tend to be more of one than the other. But I would like to suggest that personality is actually a thousand times more complicated than that. Some people might be made out of 80 pounds of introvert and 20 pounds of extrovert; others might be 20 pounds of introvert and 80 pounds of extrovert; others might be 10 pounds of introvert, 10 pounds of extrovert and 80 pounds of something else. The recipes and mixes are almost infinite.

I could be missing the point, but when attempting to my own self-analysis and when looking at the data presented, I suspect that .... contrary to Jocelyn's analysis .... that I am more of an introvert than an extrovert. But even more than that: I think that I am ten times more "something else" than introvert and extrovert combined.


 
master steward
Posts: 5643
Location: Missoula, MT
1067
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur purity
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

paul wheaton wrote:Jocelyn has been thoroughly enjoying this topic. The graphic at the top has spelled things out for her very clearly. Suddenly, the wonky she has been feeling has been fully explained.


I do beg to differ that it wasn't "fully" explained. It's multi-faceted. For a large portion of this year, I thought the main reason there were days that I could hardly bear to go into the common areas was because I couldn't stand to see how much things were getting trashed. As much as I enjoy, want for our guests, and can think more clearly in a tidy space, this didn't really compute because I know I'm not that much of a neat freak (contrary to what others might think of me - it's a spectrum thing again!). Somehow, I didn't realize how much it was people in general, no one's fault, no one being awful to be around, and not as much a tidiness thing.

It's as if thinking that I didn't want to be around people was a rejection of those people, or people in general, as well as a rejection of community, so I was in a very weird kind of denial.

Something about this graphic gave me an "aha" moment and helped me see that yes, being around people is draining for me. Regardless of tidy, regardless of decency (or not) and well-meaning intentions (or not). Though there are still parts of all those other things that can be difficult, too.

paul wheaton wrote:It has led to several discussions between the two of us. And I think the earliest discussions were with the idea that for the sake of the discussion, I would sport the "extrovert" label. And, when standing next to Jocelyn, I am certainly an extrovert.

But ....

when I look at the graphic that Jocelyn shared, I don't feel like the introvert or the extrovert. I don't like parties and I rarely go to bars and the like. When there is a gathering of people here at the lab, I tend to not go unless my presence is required. And, possibly the most important of all: in the last couple of months I have been feeling extremely burnt out.

In the TED talk thing, there was a suggestion that everybody has at least a little bit of introvert and a little bit of extrovert. Like a spectrum of ... "vert-i-tude". So nobody is just one or the other, but, rather, they tend to be more of one than the other. But I would like to suggest that personality is actually a thousand times more complicated than that. Some people might be made out of 80 pounds of introvert and 20 pounds of extrovert; others might be 20 pounds of introvert and 80 pounds of extrovert; others might be 10 pounds of introvert, 10 pounds of extrovert and 80 pounds of something else. The recipes and mixes are almost infinite.

I could be missing the point, but when attempting to my own self-analysis and when looking at the data presented, I suspect that .... contrary to Jocelyn's analysis .... that I am more of an introvert than an extrovert. But even more than that: I think that I am ten times more "something else" than introvert and extrovert combined.



I think I'm learning more about this about you, in addition to learning these things about myself. I see you getting drained from all the people and the interruptions and that you need space and uninterrupted concentration.

I really like it that we're finding the time and space to retreat together while still being in community. I look forward to finding more ways to retreat outdoors, too.

And thanks for adding your thoughts and your as always unique perspective, too, Paul.
 
steward
Posts: 3090
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
588
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Introvert versus extrovert is not quite the same as shy versus outgoing.

You can be a friendly introvert, it just takes a lot of mental energy to put yourself "out there."

Introverts can give big speeches. I'm an introvert that gets people's stories (about illness) for a living. I talk to people all day, but it's a little different because the conversation is directed and goal oriented.
 
pollinator
Posts: 753
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
36
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For purely selfish reasons, I really, really, really want to know that Jocelyn and Paul are getting 'fully charged' as often as necessary for their optimum efficiency (not to mention personal happiness!). The bottom line re: intro/extro may be preserving the energy balance... Paul has occasionally, and wisely, mentioned his exhaustion, and Jocelyn was moved to start this thread.

I know for a fact that the majority of folks are simply unable to comprehend how anyone would choose to be 'alone'... because it doesn't happen to be 'in their own nature' (maybe that's the core challenge for being human... willingness to try to understand those unlike ourselves) ... it is the ubiquitous "how can they! I (and 'mine') would never...!!!" common blindness.

So, again, pointing to that initial graphic on the wall might be an easy way to quickly and painlessly 'educate' the well-intentioned but ignorant majority.... to the yin-yang nature of reality. Under the chart, something like "Thank you for understanding and respecting 'Please Do Not Disturb' signs :)" could also be posted. Educating on this issue would be an act of kindness for those who are in the dark on it. An 'Occupied' sign is generally understand, too.

Personally, I think that the 'permanence' in this particular 'culture' requires the unique 'design elements' of Jocelyn and Paul staying optimally functional.... or it will become one of the 90% of failed ICs. I've long been tempted to worry about this for, again, selfish reasons... we all know that 'world domination' is really 'world salvation'.

 
pollinator
Posts: 1231
Location: northern northern california
97
building fiber arts forest garden medical herbs trees foraging
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
yeah take care of your selves !

we touched upon this before but i think its worth repeating, because i have found it is key- clear, blunt communication and telling people what you need.

perhaps this seems obvious but its the sort of thing you can feel like youre being rude, or guilt yourself, or just avoid the issue and try to be too open to people to be nice. it's not neccessarily easy to tell someone to leave you alone or to stop talking at you or whatever else, but most people will respond well if you explain tactfully. having good boundaries is important, and gentle people can have a hard time with that, just saying no and not just getting swept into some stronger personalities ways of being overwhelming.
it is much less rude than if you dont do that and just try to go along and push yourself without the recharge time, then consequently blow up later once you hit burn out.

and its true some introverts are not shy or quiet, like myself =) although many are both, thats not neccessary. i rarely hang out with anyone and am a major hermit, but i was actually a performer for quite a long time. although i did get stage fright i pulled it off. but then i also used to climb out of my window to go out in one particularly strained roomate situation, just so i didnt have to go through the common room and have my roomate ask me where i was going or start talking at me!

well winter is coming, so hopefully that will be some rest. i do like the winter for that, great time to stay inside all day and drinking tea while reading books =).

and sounds like you need a jocecave, a jofati?
 
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
142
books chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As an introvert that served on a US aircraft carrier with almost 6000 people crammed on it while overseas, I learned that I have to have some kind of nest or den (that's how my wife refers to my solitude spaces) to keep my sanity. The more people that are around me the more I adapt and am satisfied with a smaller nest. On the boat my nest was my rack (ship-speak for bed), which was a 76" x 26" x 20" sealed off with curtains on three sides and a thin metal (think 50 gallon drum lid) wall between you and the mirror bunk on the other side of the wall. We would either line the curtains with duct tape or triple the curtains up (the way they were secured this was the most curtains you could fit) so that no light got through. Unless it was an emergency everyone knew you leave a guy alone when he's in his rack with the curtains closed. It wasn't ideal but it was enough to help keep me sane.
 
Posts: 121
5
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
oh my gosh, SO MUCH THIS.

Introverts for IC Unite!

My dream IC, I imagine a 40-80 acre property with perhaps 10 family units (probably catering more to singles/couples than families with kids, frankly, like most of my friends are - childless by choice artist types ) spread out nicely and a community studio/meeting space big enough to work on large projects in but not HAVE to interact on a daily basis- amenities that would be shared that could bring people together when they wanted, but not on a 'you are going to HAVE to be social and ON every day for more than just a workday length of time' way.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1231
Location: northern northern california
97
building fiber arts forest garden medical herbs trees foraging
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

C. Hunter wrote:oh my gosh, SO MUCH THIS.

Introverts for IC Unite!

My dream IC, I imagine a 40-80 acre property with perhaps 10 family units (probably catering more to singles/couples than families with kids, frankly, like most of my friends are - childless by choice artist types ) spread out nicely and a community studio/meeting space big enough to work on large projects in but not HAVE to interact on a daily basis- amenities that would be shared that could bring people together when they wanted, but not on a 'you are going to HAVE to be social and ON every day for more than just a workday length of time' way.



this ^^^^ !!! totally

its the whole obligation thing, all those unspoken expectations and ideas some people have, that really gets me.

voluntary interactions when people want to interact is very cool, feeling pressured to have to interact when you dont want to and would rather be having some precious alone time, kinda sucks, imo. voluntary participation is great, people should be able to be as they are and do what they want, for the most part. as long as what people want to do is cool, its what they really want, those kinds of wants are usually healthy, no matter how solitary or seeming "selfish" they might seem to someone else.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1231
Location: northern northern california
97
building fiber arts forest garden medical herbs trees foraging
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
and then sometimes all i want to do is have BSG marathons =)
yep hours and hours of battlestar =)
and i think thts ok too...its kinda therapy, 4 - 6 hours of geeking out on BSG, SG1, SGA, STNG, voyager, even DS9! lol...ok i am sci fi dork =) but stuff like that, is very restful and relaxing to me. you know IMO people work way too much and dont take the time to enjoy, whatever it is, for me its mostly some good sci fi =)

even in less formal community situations, the whole feeling someone looking over your shoulder thing and feeling like you always have to be doing something, other peoples expectations...ahh well just not my cup of tea....

i feel like everyone would want this, so why do we not give each other what we want? the space to do whatever we want without pressure to always be working and doing, especially in community this gets weird. people are way to accustomed to having a boss, or bossing people around, IMHO.
either bossing other people or accepting being bossed around, even if none of it is explicitly stated clearly...well i guess thats part of it for me, the difficulties in community. theres so much more than that could be happening, not bossing people around and not being bossed around, especially by unspoken obligitory pressures...
 
C. Hunter
Posts: 121
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

leila hamaya wrote:

its the whole obligation thing, all those unspoken expectations and ideas some people have, that really gets me.

voluntary interactions when people want to interact is very cool, feeling pressured to have to interact when you dont want to and would rather be having some precious alone time, kinda sucks, imo. voluntary participation is great, people should be able to be as they are and do what they want, for the most part. as long as what people want to do is cool, its what they really want, those kinds of wants are usually healthy, no matter how solitary or seeming "selfish" they might seem to someone else.




Yes- and it's not that obligations are necessarily BAD, because I think a web of obligation and support is necessary in forming a community. But well... one of the reasons that I think I would rather start my own IC (and I'm not sure IC is the right word, TBH- I may start another thread on that) is that I haven't seen one yet that really reflects a balance of obligation that I think works well for people who are more solitary. I think I should probably separate out social obligation from work obligation here too- and yes, the social stuff of running a community is work too, but well... yeah.

Examples: Social obligation would be attending dinner with everyone- it fosters community and lets people know each other; work obligation would be cooking it and cleaning up. Both are necessary but it sort of seems to to me to be treated if only one is considered to take energy to accomplish, and I don't think that's true. I also think it's still necessary for folks to be IN the community and involved for things to work- introverts too- but careful balance is clearly a thing. Whe I imagine my ideal IC, I imagine shared spaces that facilitate community feeling by being natural meeting places that people WANT to use a lot [for example? I really want a bathhouse with a large steam room and soaking tubs. Especially in a cold climate, ti's just good for your health, especially with fibro. I'd build it off a studio building (since my idea is more of an artists' community) where big items (kiln, supply storage, looms, big open space for working on really large projects) would live to be shared but also where people could come and work and have company but not necessarily chatter- a little like the attitude/atmosphere at my local makerspace.] and fewer of the 'we eat every meal together from a community kitchen'. Weekly or twice a week community meals that are a Thing but not a total obligation as long as you're coming to SOME of them. Something like that? Does that make sense?
 
Posts: 139
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joe DiMeglio wrote: There is definietely an unspoken (and often loudly, self-righteously spoken) expectation to be "up with the sun" early risers who gather for sunrise yoga, breakfast and then work. Well, I'm not down with that, so where do I fit in a community?



LOL In summer where we are it gets too hot to work after 10am, sunrise yoga, while very nice and good for group harmony, can actually stop anything constructive happening till evening. I really like people who get up early by themselves and work on their own initiative! Some social extroverts waste a lot of time chatting and can't seem to do anything if they aren't in a group. Such people are networkers and communicators which is good, but sometimes they can take the credit for all the good things which happen. Dishwashers, floorsweepers, old nail straighteners, brushwood processors and leftover-chefs are often introverts, but extremely useful to have around.

Private space is important, but periodic group meetings are needed to stop people dividing up into factions.
 
Posts: 14
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I so agree Jocelyn.  I love to spend time alone with little touches here and there with the people I love. I am happiest when researching or building my farm. As far as help from community I find offering payment in money or bartering best so that if I am having a low energy time I don't owe others help unexpectedly.
 
Posts: 130
Location: Wyoming Zone 4
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"normal is a setting on a washing machine...it doesn't apply to humans".

Oh, Joe!  May I use this in my signature line?  I've been searching for just the right quote or saying or whatever, and this really says it for me.

Signed: extreme, misunderstood and lonely introvert.
 
Posts: 156
Location: Northern California Mediterranean climate zone 10b
3
books chicken dog forest garden greening the desert urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Will Holland wrote:I've yet to figure out how the community part of permaculture will fit into my life. Most days, i feel like i'd rather die than interact with other people- in person at least.



Will, I think we were separated at birth.  For me, hell truly is other people.  I live in an apt., and have a new upstairs person who is always home, and pounds around on top of my head all day.  I feel like I have a new room mate.  It's making me crazy.
 
Lori Ziemba
Posts: 156
Location: Northern California Mediterranean climate zone 10b
3
books chicken dog forest garden greening the desert urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

B.E. Ward wrote:Thanks for posting this, Jocelyn.  One minor reason why I haven't gotten involved in more permaculture projects around here is that I don't do well with the happy-clappy sort of 'Social Permaculture'.  It was hard enough working on projects at the p-patch and feeling like I needed to engage in conversation with people.  I probably spent more energy on that than I did in physical labor!



Happy clappy, ha ha ha ha!  I know exactly what you mean.  Same bs at the community garden.  They all want "community".  I want to be left alone.  Happy to  water your plot for you when you're gone, but I really don't want to socialize.  My community garden is open to the street, and it has a deck area.  People would often come in and hang out there.  Recently, we got a bee hive.  I LOVE the bee hive---it magically keeps out all the riff raff    
 
Lori Ziemba
Posts: 156
Location: Northern California Mediterranean climate zone 10b
3
books chicken dog forest garden greening the desert urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joe DiMeglio wrote:On top of being an introvert, I'm also a night owl, and always have been. There is definietely an unspoken (and often loudly, self-righteously spoken) expectation to be "up with the sun" early risers who gather for sunrise yoga, breakfast and then work. Well, I'm not down with that, so where do I fit in a community?

Some of my musings on tribal life in pre-civiized (read; pre-citified) life are that it was probably the introverted night owls who guarded the flocks and village at night, kept the fires burning, tended slow cooking food, probably developed astronomy/astrology, and thus planting/harvesting cycles and maybe dealt with colicky babies so their early rising parents could get some shut eye. They were the night shift. Introverts were the sheperds, taking the animals to grazing lands far from the main camp and happily being alone with them all day. They were probably some of the trail blazers and scouts, opening up new areas to hunt, gather and tend the wild in. They probably did well at developing things like weaving, pottery, medicine, music, language and other skill sets that required focus, concentration and patience with complex processes. - This is a trait that INFP's have in spades; we're patient with long, complex prosesses, but impatient and irritated by mundane, routine activities and rules that seem like a waste of time. ( I had lots of fun in the one-size-fits-none, cookie cutter school system you can bet!)



YES YES YES!!!  I've been saying that for years!  SOMEBODY had to guard all the snorers from the saber-tooth tigers!  Humans wouldn't exist if it weren't for we night owls!  Oh shit...does that mean humanity is our fault?
 
Posts: 251
Location: Virginia,USA zone 6
15
forest garden greening the desert hunting solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
INFP T - mediator
 
steward
Posts: 4598
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
431
bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have recently discovered Susan Cain who has done Ted talks and written a book about introversion called "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking" . She has gotten a big reaction from all of us.

Here is her website.
 
Posts: 1
books cat purity
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I found this video immensely inspirational & self assuring. As an introvert who wishes one day to join an intentional community, I am more encouraged to do so. Originally I was concerned with the things that would concern most other introverts. However, the ideas presented in the clip & w/in this thread in general have given me the hope of not only being understood but actually accepted by those with whom I may find myself in the future. Thanks.
 
pollinator
Posts: 846
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
154
bike dog forest garden hugelkultur cooking urban
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am an introvert. I know it since many years. It's just the way I am, I do not see it as a problem. My communication is mainly through e-mails and social media (and before -yes I am that old- there were hand written letters )
Nevertheless I like being together with other people. Happy working together on a (garden or building) project, maybe singing while working. Having a meal together is OK too. But the 'socialising' with laughter and jokes etc. that is not my thing. I prefer a one-on-one conversation.
Still I think I can live in a community. It is even my intention to do so. Most important for me is: to have a private space, only for myself. When I feel I want to be alone, I can go there.
So rule #1 in the community should be: respect the privacy of the private space!
Of course rule #2 is: be nice
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 5643
Location: Missoula, MT
1067
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur purity
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We've had oodles of people at wheaton labs this last month. April. Which is my second busiest accounting month of the year. (I don't do federal income taxes, but I do take care of quarterly taxes and other things for many clients.)

So, not only did I not have the time or flexibility to visit with folks one-on-one, as I would have preferred; but there were 15 people cooking and eating three meals a day in my kitchen. And otherwise using the common areas of the house.

I had to retreat A LOT.

And it was a lot of extra work for me. Every time I re-entered the kitchen or community space, there were usually loads of questions, supplies needed, explanations requested; items to clean up, find or put away. I'm sure many of you can imagine what it would be like with 13 house guests, who all are at varying levels of "guest."

There was a bit of unusual friction between Paul and myself over some of it - which is totally not our norm. I found this, and it helped explain to Paul that I just wanted to be heard, not necessarily to change or fix anything. And I think it worked.

(cartoon source/creator)




feeling-understood.png
[Thumbnail for feeling-understood.png]
feeling understood by Lunarbaboon
 
Posts: 6846
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
893
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hahaha...the cartoon is perfect.  I haven't felt that way in quite awhile but back when my mom was living with us and had Alzheimer's and our two sons were in high school, sometimes things would feel really chaotic.  I remember Steve so kindly offering everything and saying maybe I should get out more....and my response was that I wanted everyone else to leave so I could just sit in peace.....I didn't need to go 'do' something at all.  Now my life is such that I actually seek out some chaos occasionally...two year old twin great granddaughters are good for a start
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 5643
Location: Missoula, MT
1067
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur purity
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm glad you get it, Judith. And that does sound challenging to go through with your mom while your boys were teenagers. I'm glad you're at a point now that you're happy to seek the chaos of your twin great granddaughters. (How are you old enough for great granddaughters?!)

There is just one tiny thing I wish I could change about this cartoon, and that's that watching TV isn't always my favorite way to unwind or de-stress. I resort to it out of exhaustion, or other reasons, more than I'd like to admit; though in truth, I'd rather garden, or cook, or do something productive to unwind. Maybe that's weird.

And there's a rub to it, too:  with another dozen people around, it's hard to find time alone in the kitchen, or even alone on our acreage here to do those things that help me unwind!  

Some day, we'll have our own spaces that are less shared, though it will take a few more years before we get to that stage.

 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 3090
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
588
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh wow, that does sound like a huge stress.  Maybe you should pretend your water is out and go spend a night at the hot springs hotel!   (OK, that's pretty extravagant.)  If you go up to the top of the volcano with a quilt and a thermos and a good book, could you sit on the swing up there?
 
Posts: 45
1
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We agree with Jocelyn -- that introverts should be respected and given private space amidst extroverts. Some of us here are introverts and some lean more towards extroverts, but the biggest problem seems to be that extroverts think introverts need to be "fixed." While both extroverts and introverts can have social phobias that could use some healing, healthy introverts don't need to be fixed or changed. Extroverts become a problem in groups such as community living situations mostly when they try to "pull the poor introvert out of his shell." Introverts will come out of their shell when they've properly recharged from their solo time. The more they're allowed to do that without judgement, the sooner they'll emerge.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 5643
Location: Missoula, MT
1067
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur purity
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Julia and J. Adams for understanding - that helps!

Julia Winter wrote:If you go up to the top of the volcano with a quilt and a thermos and a good book, could you sit on the swing up there?


Well...maybe. The thing is, there are folks camping on the hillsides on the way up the volcano, and just venturing out of my cave, so to speak, means I'd want to be polite, pleasant and conversational with those I'd pass just to get to out the door and on the path. And those simple niceties are some times not what I want to do at the moment. You know, they can be draining to an introvert.

For example, last night, there was a big hubbub due to finding morels in the hugel berms around our parking lot right at the house here. Which is very cool. I could hear the conversations and happiness, and I just wanted to be alone, away from the chaos, so I stayed in our bedroom. Then, when folks had retired to their private spaces, I made my way outdoors. (It was a stealth move - haha!) Paul had already walked around with the group and didn't want to walk again, with me, so I was on my own. It was already getting dark, too hard to see morels or do much of anything, and I became bored rather quickly and went back inside.

On a hike or a walk in the woods away from home, even if one runs across other people, some pleasantries might be exchanged, but there isn't as much expectation for socializing as I feel there is when it's a community, or when there are visitors around. Does that make sense? Though it's remarkable how folks here are very respectful, exceedingly considerate, and would smoothly and cheerfully give me space at the slightest mention.

 
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
243
forest garden urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maybe an extra wide brim hat and some headphones could help you get outside. If they can't make eye contact and you can't hear them it will be harder to engage.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 6846
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
893
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Casie Becker wrote:Maybe an extra wide brim hat and some headphones could help you get outside. If they can't make eye contact and you can't hear them it will be harder to engage.



I immediately pictured Audrey Hepburn...hat and shades and ear buds and you can slip off into the void Jocelyn.
..nobody messes with her
 
pollinator
Posts: 1173
Location: Los Angeles, CA
219
books chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think of my introversion through the lens of sustainability.

I can do people.  I'm a good host and our home is frequently the site of family gatherings and due to out location 10 minutes north of Disneyland, a frequent rest-stop for all sorts of people who want to visit So. Cal.  We welcome that -- to a degree.  But having non-stop visitors and people staying out our place isn't emotionally sustainable.  My emotional well-being is no different from the soil in which I grow our food.  We need to create the kind of system/home/community that provides long-term sustainability.

Like you, Jocelyn, I hate a dirty kitchen and a messy house.  I like to come down the stairs in the morning to a clean kitchen and clean sink.  When we have students staying with us, there is a sense of entitlement that someone else will clean up after then.  That gets old fast.  

I'm learning to set some boundaries between public space and private space in my world.  In putting on head-phones, you are doing this.  People do it all the time on buses and trains ---- headphones communicate "my bubble, stay out."  Perhaps in the ongoing evolution of Wheaton Labs, there is a need to continue to explore how your space can be divided so you don't feel invaded with nowhere to go.  I like your idea of simple garden dividers --- when the rope is hung there, it means stay out.  Private spaces can be temporary -- once I'm out of my meditation garden, you are allowed to enter, but I've got first dibs on it.  If you want to create your own, we've got plenty of room out there for more of them.  Plant flowers --- they'll make it beautiful and feed the bees.  Perhaps the time is right to explore building a community kitchen in a nearby building where the meals and the mess can be contained --- a public space built to absorb the energy and noise of an increasing community.

One other thing that is a growing edge in my life is learning to cultivate a practice of solitude and silence into the daily routine of the my life.  Most monastic communities down through the centuries have functioned with a rule of silence for parts of the day or parts of the calendar.  A couple of hours of silence a day keeps people from killing each other.  I tend to medicate myself with information (another book, reading endlessly on the interwebs, etc.), but tend to be absent from my heart.  Creating space to sit in silence (or walk in silence, or work in silence) takes various forms for me, but it gives me resilience to deal with the onslaught of people and their messy lives.  Silence fills the sustainability bucket.  But it's hard to do this unless others in the community understand it and respect it.  I don't expect them to be silent, but leave me alone when I'm out there in the garden.  My wife helps people understand this—"If you see him out on the bench in the corner, leave him alone.  He's praying or reading.  He'll come back soon enough."

In my work with college students, I often travel with them.  I do an annual study tour that has us living and traveling together for 2 weeks in the summer.  Staying in hotels, in and out of the van, long days, lots of interaction . . . something of a hell for an introvert.  A couple of years ago, I instituted a simple rule when we are in the van: I ask that everyone be silent for the first third of the drive.  If we are driving 3 hours, the first hour is quiet.  Students grumped about this initially, but it was amazing what that agreed silence did for the group.  If we are going to be driving for 5 hours, there will be plenty of time to listen to music laugh, sing, make jokes, etc.  But having that hour and a half of silence allowed people to center themselves a bit and conserve their emotional/social energy for later.  It was transformational.  This summer I'll do it this way again.  Short rides -- no -- I don't bother.  But anything over an hour, I ask for silence, and students grow to deeply appreciate it by the end of the study tour.

I'm sure that there is some sort of unwritten rule about quiet hours and respecting those who are trying to sleep.  Perhaps create a rule of silence in the house from 10:30 pm until 10:30 am?  If you want a cup of coffee or make a slice of toast, do so silently (not quietly, as everyone has a different interpretation of what that means).  Lunch can be as loud and funny and crazy as you want.

Do what you need to make it sustainable for you and Paul.  

 
master steward
Posts: 14218
Location: Left Coast Canada
3111
books chicken fiber arts cooking sheep writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I found this interesting article about introverts

it begins,

When you hear the term "introvert," you might imagine someone who's quiet and insular, who likes to spend most of their time alone, avoiding social situations.

But being an introvert isn't really anything to do with how much you like spending time with other people. In fact, introverts can have some of the deepest and most meaningful friendships.

The difference between introverts and extroverts is actually biological, and it comes down to how they unwind after social situations.  

 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 5643
Location: Missoula, MT
1067
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur purity
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

r ranson wrote:I found this interesting article about introverts


Thank you.

This part:

One is the right frontal insular cortex, the part of the brain that notices errors. Introverts notice all sorts of details, which makes them self-conscious about the mistakes they are making.


followed by this:

After the event, she added, a socially anxious person will rewind the whole thing in their mind on a loop with all the things they shouldn't have done, or feel bad about, ignoring all the good things. This leads them to want to avoid any future social interactions, because it feels so exhaustingly uncomfortable.


This. This is what my mind has done. I used to rewind and berate myself, almost obsessively, after almost every event. It was excruciating!

It took me years decades to alter this pattern of self-recrimination; even after the most innocent/innocuous social interactions. It still happens some, though I am much kinder and forgiving to myself now. I had to learn how to develop that. And just by experience, I learned that some things are really not so bad after all. Thank goodness for aging and maturity. (Ha!)

 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 3090
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
588
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I feel like I'm more shy now than I was ten years ago.  I'm not sure, I think I may just be exhausted by getting people's stories and dispensing advice all day.  Or, my shy daughter is rubbing off on me?

Regardless, I'm avoiding more things. I always go over to our old house after yoga at the ecovillage on Sunday mornings, and tend to my gardens there.  Today, I walked over there and realized that the renters were hanging out on the back porch, enjoying the beautiful day, and I just turned around and went back to my car at the ecovillage, to do a couple things on the computer first.  

I did eventually go and say hello and tend to my garden (which is a good 40-50 feet from the back deck) but it took some effort.  And, these are friendly people who have been living in community (at the ecovillage) for years before they started renting our old house, so they aren't as bothered as you might think having the landlady show up in the back yard.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 846
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
154
bike dog forest garden hugelkultur cooking urban
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Is it possible someone changes from introvert to something else (not exactly extravert)? In the past I was very shy and I always thought of the things I didn't do right. But during the years that's changed. The shyness is almost disappeared. I like being together with others now (not all others, it depends on their behaviour). I don't see myself as someone who 'did it wrong' and 'have to change' anymore. I know now all people make mistakes, do things wrong sometimes, and that isn't a problem.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1231
Location: northern northern california
97
building fiber arts forest garden medical herbs trees foraging
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
^^^about the above ^^^
talking about differences in people's reaction to stimuli, in people's different ways of processing information, and also the sitting and rewinding going over and over details of conversations and/or mistakes...

Dabrowski (positive disintegration) talked about similar things, and did different tests and studies on the physiological differences in reaction to stimulation...and found that there were differences in groups of people who had clear, measurable, extreme sensitivity in nervous system reaction to various stimulation. so that there are people who literally feel everything much more intensely, the good and the bad, and that this is observable on a physical and physiologically level. this he called "over excitabilities" and showed that it was an extreme sensitivity of the nervous system and reactions of certain groups of people who had a lot of developmental potential.


i'm rather into dabrowski's ideas and work, he is one of the only psychologist who i really think is getting it. partially because he seems to be one of the only psychologists who start from a basic perspective of recognizing that normal socialized and ingrained behavior  is largely sociopathic and messed up!

to be integrated at the "primary level"  as he would call it, is to be self serving and normalized into unhealthy cultural norms. living through 2 world wars and watching immense suffering in his lifetime, he based his ideas on seeing that what passes for normal behavior is largely psychopathic and sick.

and further went on to suggest that the "disintegration" of this unhealthy primary level integration..dark emotions, crisis, and what could look like "mental illness" to others, is part of the self healing process...to becoming more aligned with true mental health, the authentic self, and what out to be - as the individuals with this developmental potential move through intense self reflection, crisis, craziness, extreme emotions...to ideally come out the other side of such things as truly healthy autonomous individuals aligned to their ideals.


and then instead these types of experiences are pathologized, made to look like sickness, when it is actually a path of healing, improving oneself and inner work, with some pain coming from the changes, disintegration, "positive maladjustment"....

ah anywho i may be wandering a bit off on a tangent here, but i find this to be true. some people are actually wired very differently, it is a physical and genetic biological difference....
and to me these ideas all over lap - the highly sensitive people HSP, introverts, particularly the NF group ("intuitive feelers"), giftedness and it's drive towards perfectionism and being too hard on oneself, the desire to live aligned with one's ideals, and the introspective work on the self that can be brutally painful and difficult.... to make progress in the self's development and growth.

i think he had some big pieces of the puzzle put together, anyway, and made some major good points about true mental health, and society at large being rather messed up...
as well as studied the physiological differences in people's biological responses, and how life is more intense for people who have these sensitivities, and over excitability...
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1231
Location: northern northern california
97
building fiber arts forest garden medical herbs trees foraging
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
and here for some giggles...

 
pollinator
Posts: 544
Location: Southern Oregon
84
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I do think like most things the less you do it, the harder it gets. I spend very little time with people outside of relatives so it gets harder and harder to do. I recently added a two weekend natural building workshop, and while it was great. I found the social part extremely stressful. Changes in my routine like this often take weeks for me to recover. I really like the idea of community but find the reality difficult.

The best coping mechanism for the feed back loop I've found is in reminding myself that I'm just not that important. Nobody else is replaying everything I said, they have their own lives and feedback loops to deal with.

I do find that I prefer events at my own place where I have places to escape.
 
Posts: 5
Location: Yakima Valley. Washington State
1
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I presume I have always been somewhat of an introvert.  Was raised as an only child,  on a 1800 acre farm. From an early age, I would rather stay home and work on the farm. My enjoyment would be to spend all day out on a tractor.  By the mid twenty's I entered law enforcement, for the next thirty four years, that was my day job. I still farmed as a way to help forget about the day.
After I retired, I was burned out of being around the public. Never was one that enjoyed being around large groups of people, and after retirement I did not have to. Have a small group of friends, that I enjoy being with. Would much rather stay at home and work in the garden and yard. Great enjoyment going out to the farm and working. (down to 80 acres) .  A good day is still spending it on a tractor.
Anyway enjoy my life, as a 76 yr old, things are great.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 14218
Location: Left Coast Canada
3111
books chicken fiber arts cooking sheep writing
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I want to live here!

Latvia: Europe’s nation of introverts - http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20180611-latvia-europes-nation-of-introverts
 
When it is used for evil, then watch out! When it is used for good, then things are much nicer. Like this tiny ad:
2019 ATC (Appropriate Technology Course) in Montana
https://permies.com/wiki/101802/ATC-Technology-Montana
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!