new video
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

being an introvert in community  RSS feed

 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 4150
Location: Missoula, MT
389
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One year living in community has reinforced something I've always known about myself: I'm a social introvert.

I've always preferred one-on-one interactions to large groups and this graphic nails why.

From graphic from Roman/Schroeder Jones:



My main coping skill is to retreat to my private bedroom space, because even outdoors here at the base camp acreage there are not many private areas just to be.

I hope this isn't a repeat topic already thoroughly discussed elsewhere in the community forums. I just thought it might help to share and discuss different coping techniques because, surely, I'm not the only social introvert living in community.

 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5865
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
351
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am definitely one, also......and now into my sixties I am finding I crave some community life but still not in my personal space, I just would like to have the option more easily available....be able to walk out the door and a few blocks away have a coffee at a friends house or walk down the street to babysit a grandchild....instead of having to get in the car and drive thirty or forty miles for an arranged meet up.
As much as I love a potluck or holiday gathering, I find I need just daily social interaction more and more...even though I anticipate having to approach that slowly............I am a little concerned about some culture shock when we do move to the little community farm town as we have planned.
I don't think I would do any better now than I did in my twenties at living with a group of people. As loose and free as we all were, it always came down to who wasn't doing there share of the dishes, the cooking, feeding the animals, milking the goats. etc. and it was never quiet. I think some, thrive on that though.
I walked away from college and hitched to Arkansas and lived in a tent and then an abandoned cabin...I am fairly well adjusted now although I still have that feeling of needing to escape a large group of people no matter how much I love them....one on one is so much easier.
 
Matt Walker
Posts: 240
Location: North Olympic Peninsula
43
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great graphic Jocelyn! I don't remember if you and I spoke about it, I think maybe we did at the hot springs the first weekend, but I know I shared with a few folks during discussions that I too am an introvert and have only figured that out in the last few years. I present as an extrovert, which is my mask for dealing with my shyness and need for alone time, but I tend to put out a huge amount of energy and it can really, really wear me down over time. I actually lost a bit of sleep there the first couple nights wondering if I could handle the output of being in a community for such an extended period. In the end, I had nothing to worry about, I had a great time and found enough alone time when I needed it. Raleigh found me playing guitar alone behind the shop one night and was gracious enough to leave me there after a short visit, and I escaped to the river a few times and spent some quiet time driving around running errands one day. Without exception I found people there in your community seemed to understand and respect people's space and needs. I can only imagine how it must be for you though, and frankly imagining myself in your(and Paul's) shoes is what inspired me to try to create an outdoor hang out space away from the house. Ostensibly it was to get the hang out folks away from the house at night, but if I were living there I was picturing it as my little hide out where I could wander away from the busy main living areas. I have often felt, like you Julia, that I could never do the community thing, but being there made me think that maybe I've been too dismissive. You do have a lovely community there and I can see the value in figuring out a way to make that work within the framework of your introvert needs. I find this topic very, very interesting as I used to really beat myself up over these feelings but have realized that identifying my needs as an introvert and finding ways to fit them into positive interactions with community is a very important skill to develop for my personal growth.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 4150
Location: Missoula, MT
389
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm with you, Judith, that I do want daily socializing, and having coffee with a girlfriend sounds just about right. Here, however, is kind of at the other end of the spectrum of that: loads of young guys all at once. Maybe better for a more extroverted, younger female than myself. Though I tell people frequently that I'm an introvert and need alone time, and I'm much better at taking said time, so I'm hopeful people understand.

Nice to hear your thoughts, too, Matt. I'm glad you survived us and found it a positive experience! Yes, on the whole, people here have really learned to respect private space and alone time. Folks will give someone room when they are making a phone call outdoors, and they avoid knocking on bedroom doors when closed, and I like your example of folks understanding your desire to play guitar by yourself or escape to the wider outdoors.

At times, I must admit I've been hard on myself, too, thinking I'm failing at community when I need to retreat. Both your comments, this graphic, and lots of comments from our recent visitors have encouraged me that I'm not such a failure. <insert tender smile here>


 
Ann Torrence
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
111
bee books chicken duck goat trees
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Earbuds do a remarkable job of signaling "I am not interacting right now" and I have been known to wear them unplugged when I need to retreat into the pink hamster ball.
 
Will Holland
Posts: 300
Location: CT zone 5b
6
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3349
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A whole family of introverts and shy extroverts here (which is weird because most are adopted) with lots of social disorders mixed in (which is not weird for so many adopted kids).

Extroverts have some things in life much easier, like trying to sell something.

The internet gives us a chance, though. I find email, messaging, and forums much less taxing to communicate most of the time (that delete key is really handy, as is just walking away). I can sell on a website, too, eventually. It is a lot harder to write a good salespitch, but I only need to do it once so I can invest a little more time or pay someone else to do it.

 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 4150
Location: Missoula, MT
389
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ann Torrence wrote:Earbuds do a remarkable job of signaling "I am not interacting right now" and I have been known to wear them unplugged when I need to retreat into the pink hamster ball.

The first time I heard of someone using earbuds to ward off people was back in Walkman days. She was a mom, put off by the parents going maniacal at t-ball. T-ball! To avoid those yelling parents who were making the game less-then-fun, she'd wear headphones with a portable radio and no one would talk to her, thinking she was intent on listening to another ballgame.

Nowadays (that's how old I am that I use the term "nowadays!") lots of the gappers here wear earbuds almost constantly listening to music or podcasts. I've spoken over the earbuds quite a lot to ask questions. I'm not sure if my questions have always been that crucial now that you reminded me of this. I'll try to do better.

I wear a headset to listen to shows or music while I'm doing accounting on the computer. It's amazing how many people don't notice or talk right over that. I think we (myself included!) could all do better in this space for the introverts in our midst.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 4150
Location: Missoula, MT
389
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • 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.


This sounds a lot like my son. I keep trying to convince him to move out here, because I think he would really groove on the projects. All the people here is a big part of what keeps holding him back. I think if we have plenty of individual private dwelling space, and respect for introverts, it might be more doable for some introverts.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 4150
Location: Missoula, MT
389
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
R Scott wrote:I find email, messaging, and forums much less taxing to communicate most of the time (that delete key is really handy, as is just walking away). I can sell on a website, too, eventually. It is a lot harder to write a good salespitch, but I only need to do it once so I can invest a little more time or pay someone else to do it.


I prefer e-mail, messaging, and cloud documents as my preferred means of communication and information, even in community. Which doesn't work so much for those out performing physical labor on the many projects around wheaton labs. They just don't have that much computer time. Plus, I imagine some of the project people would prefer communication in person or some other way rather than e-mails and such.
 
B.E. Ward
Posts: 79
Location: Aside the Salish Sea
bee books forest garden
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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!
 
Ann Torrence
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
111
bee books chicken duck goat trees
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What are some innovative ways to design in functional spaces for introverts to use in the winter? At our place, the hoop house sort of serves that function as an away place when being cooped up together too long gets to either of us. We just moved a futon sofa out there to make it even more hospitable this winter. Sometimes, I think all that is needed is a quiet sanctuary, like a library. We had one in the coop dorm I lived in college. Rarely used, quiet generally respected there if more than one person was using it. It might only take a few reading nooks with curtains in places like stairwell landings.

 
David Vidal
Posts: 19
Location: Catalonia (Europe), Zone 9
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, since I'm also an introvert I have not much more to add to the topic but agree and sympathize with all of you. Anyway, I think it's worth mentioning that during my permie-gardening adventures around my place I've usually noticed a higher percentage than average of shy/introvert people getting involved in permaculture-related activities.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 4150
Location: Missoula, MT
389
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ann Torrence wrote:What are some innovative ways to design in functional spaces for introverts to use in the winter? At our place, the hoop house sort of serves that function as an away place when being cooped up together too long gets to either of us. We just moved a futon sofa out there to make it even more hospitable this winter. Sometimes, I think all that is needed is a quiet sanctuary, like a library. We had one in the coop dorm I lived in college. Rarely used, quiet generally respected there if more than one person was using it. It might only take a few reading nooks with curtains in places like stairwell landings.


Stairwell landings? Gosh, have I explained how tiny/full the doublewide is here? That's a clever, creative idea, though not exactly possible here at base camp - yet.

When we get full up for events, I've had folks say, 'oh, just give me some floor space to throw my sleeping bag on.' And then I try to explain that we have no available floor space where you would not get stepped on. Most people have difficulty imagining that until they see the place. Which means there really is no spare space for reading nook, either.

Sometimes folks use the garage or the auditorium as their quiet indoor space. It is Montana, after all, and even summer nights can be cool some times. These places have cement floors. Now that we have a rocket heater again in the auditorium (the auditorium/shop is insulated, but our garage is not), and are putting more and more comfy chairs there for movie nights, that could be a quiet space...at times. We have plans to create some loft sitting/sleeping/lounging areas above the workshop (the workshop is one long side or part of the auditorium/shop) which could help a bit--for evenings and weekends or when the workshop isn't in use any way.

We're trying.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3349
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I understand that packed like sardines thing. I can handle that for a couple days (camping, visiting friends/family, etc.) but mainly because I know it is temporary and I will return to my sanctuary. Not sure how I would do with it full time.

You need to get yourself a little sanctuary, just like the little love shack on skids parked somewhere quiet.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1132
Location: northern northern california
68
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
yes !
totally, agreed with everything you all are saying. also have that contradiction about both wanting community, and knowing community is the answer, but needing lots of private time and space. if i think about getting involved with some people, especially in community projects thats always the top thing i am looking out for, if i think the people involved also have introverted leanings, or at the very least understand the importance of private space and not doing that always pulling on your sleeve for something, "fogging your juice" as stephan gaskin used to talk about. being able to feel at ease and take the private space and time i need without having unspoken obligations or have to be always present and working with people, getting that and also being on that page, those are the kinds of things i look for if i am going to be working or living with people.

i used to talk a lot with my best friend about creating a *leave me alone community* =)
and he was someone i could hang out with and be totally at ease, like we could be alone, but together, and there was no friction. also an introvert, of course.

i'm not much for psychology, but i find the myer's briggs typing and tests pretty fascinating, theres good insight on the whole differences introverted/extroverted personalities. i can be pretty loud and intense, waving my hands around when i am talking...so i dont always come across as an introvert, but really it has very little to do with being shy or quiet or whatever other ideas people have about it. introverts can be social, but they dont NEED to be, what they need is good solid private recharge time.
i am an extreme INFP anyway by that system.
highly sensitive people tend to have a lot of difficulties with this stuff, and well- living in the world as it is now.

for all the introverts hiding out in their headphones -
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 2047
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
175
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Meyers-Briggs is fun to look into. I'm INTP, which I think is the least common but I recall that Al Gore was also described as INTP.

Anyway, I feel for you, needing to get your alone time, but having so little space for it. I would say whenever people are looking for a task, they should be encouraged to build more small structures, like the Love Shack. (Yeah, like you've got a lot of workers at loose ends. . . )

Hopefully your population is going to drop for a while, over the winter. Maybe that will make things easier. You could bundle up and take a hike, for a restorative trip away from the noise. . .
 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
Posts: 6701
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
252
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I come from a brood of 10 kids. We also had many boarders and hangers on. My dad was a collector of misfits. In the car, we defined territory by the stitch lines and ribbing in the seats of several smelly station wagons. Forearm chops were used to defend property lines.

At times, we had many strangers coming and going. Many were people who I wouldn't waste five minutes on now, but some interaction was inevitable when living together. Most visitors were minor criminals who had found Jesus, recovering addicts etc. I knew early on that these were not my peers. They were people who I had to endure for a time, until they did something that caused their expulsion. We had many bad apples and it was a huge relief whenever one left either forcibly or on their own. Regularly cleaning house of difficult individuals is essential to group harmony.
-------
Of the hundreds of people who passed through, only a few dozen are still in contact. My sister married one of dad's employees. He wasn't on drugs. Several former tenants and workers have gotten their lives in order and credit my dad with helping them do that. Pierre, a refugee from Rwanda who lost his entire family, learned English while living with my parents. He calls them his parents and his children know them as grandparents.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
As an adult, I have had over 500 casual workers, mostly men who have found their way to the bottom of the labor market through drugs, alcohol and mental illness. Difficult group dynamics can crop up at any time. Some of the guys are naturally introverts. Arguments over personal space often erupt. Sometimes an extreme extrovert chooses to include others in making jokes about their sexual preferences or other things that are none of their business. It has turned violent on a few occasions. I've had very little success in getting anyone to curb their natural tendencies. Instead, I separate them into groups of like minded individuals. Guys who are comfortable with eight hours of non stop gutter humor are paired up and sent to a distant corner. I never try to reform really difficult cases. I get rid of them and everybody is relieved.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 4150
Location: Missoula, MT
389
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Julia Winter wrote:Hopefully your population is going to drop for a while, over the winter. Maybe that will make things easier. You could bundle up and take a hike, for a restorative trip away from the noise. . .


I'll try not to break my arm this year!
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 2047
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
175
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes!!

Yes to hiking, no to falling on the ice.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5865
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
351
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I suppose this idea is similar to the 'love shack' cabin if you could just claim it as your own, Jocelyn when traveling we stay at hostels and one was at Hidden Villa where they had a small cabin up a trail called 'Josephine's Retreat' http://www.hiddenvilla.org/rentals/josephines-retreat. In the forties josephine's husband built her this small cabin as a retreat and now it is used for guests and hostlers to the 1600 acre organic farm. I always thought I wanted that cabin in our back acres but our life has gotten on the quiet side lately and it doesn't seem as necessary.
It was a sweet little cabin, basically a room with a bed and a desk and an outhouse, just a quiet place to think or not think as the case might be.......
Frank Duveneck built the cabin in 1940 for his wife, Josephine, who used the cabin for reflection and inspiration. Frank and Josephine made Hidden Villa their home in 1924 and began promoting environmental awareness and multicultural understanding through a number of programs that still exist today and form the heart of Hidden Villa: our environmental education school program and our multicultural summer camps.

I remember when both of our teenage sons were at home, and my mother with alzheimers was living with us and various people were dropping by for whatever reason (we were too close to the main road) I said something and it was suggested that I get our more but what I really wanted at that moment was just for everyone else to go away...............there has got to be a way to find a balance
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
Posts: 563
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
19
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm betting that upwards of 70% of folks on this forum are INFP! THere are some funny cartoons or reddit things about us.

Well, what I would add is that "community or solutide" is an oversimplified dichtomoy for what our choices are. We can all be moving into a world that is more people-centered and less profit-centered, and get the satisfaction of serving that goal whether we do so alone mostly, in an orchard or at a computer, or in a group.

I'm a big introvert, but I LOVE strucutred communication games, because they give me a chance to have my energy respected and gio up.

Processing "what's right?" questions builds emotional energy. Processing "what's wrong?" questions drains emotional energy. In a culture that asks mostly "what's wrong?" questions and puts people on the defensive, those who are more sensitive are going to suffer more; but in a new culture of supportiveness and respect and mutuality, we can get on the plus side of the equation. It's sort of like hitting a tipping point in a garden where the natural systems are cycling upward instead of cycling toward chaos. Still, there aer differences in appetie for amount of interaction; it's a both-and situation.

I lived in a commune for 3 years (a sex commune, in fact!), and it was the best experience in my life and then occasionally really "traumatic" or stressful. I wouldn't change a thing about my past, but I see ways it can be made nicer and more inclusive for the introverted. I was definitely the most introverted person in the group, save one, perhaps. She liked to be a "hermit who lives in community" and hear sounds of people in the house and sort of keep watch over them and cheerlead them on toward their goals, but didn't want to interact too much. There are all types and all possibilities. I loved this community for the strutured communicatin game and the philosophy that informed it and them. Still do. Hope to live in one again, and carry the principles with me in my life.

THe important thing, i find, is to get some time with other introverts from other communities and get some reality on the fact that I'm a right person, since the habit of finding mself wrong for not fitting in can be subtle and poke in in a lot of places.

I live with two extroverts and two introverts now, in a semi-coop, and it's pretty fun. I can get overwhlemed with hte main extrovert sometimes. She is blind, so I can think, "Well, she's worse off than me, I shouldn't care about my needs," but if I do speak up for what I want it is better, usually she's fine with it. IT doesn't bother her to have me speak up for what I want or interrupt things for my agenda, the way it would agitate me for her to do so. Different languages. We have a pretty awesome relationship.

Great topic! I love it. Introverts unite, separately, in the safety of our own apartments!
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1132
Location: northern northern california
68
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:I'm betting that upwards of 70% of folks on this forum are INFP! THere are some funny cartoons or reddit things about us.

Great topic! I love it. Introverts unite, separately, in the safety of our own apartments!

from the safety of our own keyboards.

i would also place a bet that theres statistically more INFP, INFJ perhaps a fair amount of INTP, among the other NF groups ("visionaries") on this forum than a normal slice of the general population. normally these are the more rare personality types, but i would bet theres a large amount of rare types here.

plus introverts win at internetland =)
extroverts may run the world, but introverts rule the internet =)
so theres probably already more introverts online, in any forum.

anywho i like what youre saying, i think its true. introverts are usually more sensitive to other peoples need for space, like they can tell without being told if someone is giving off the leave me alone vibes, or if someone is wanting to curl up in themselves and not be bothered. some people you have to be more direct and actually verbally explain. here it could get tricky because if the introverted person doesnt make their needs known, they can get really burnt out on trying to be present with people when they need the personal recharge time.
if you dont make your needs known then you cant expect other people to get it, even if its hard to carve out that space for yourself. but yeah since we are naturally good at sensing when other people need their private space, and practicing leave alone respect in general, it can seem like everyone should be able to do that. but no, sometimes you need to tell people around you straight out.

and a lot of people are really cool with that, although maybe sometimes theres some subtle flack, like in a community setting. that has actually always irked me personally, because its completely unreasonable to expect that people have to be open to everybody all the time, and participate in community stuff all the time, maybe some people like this and thats fine for them, but its not my wave. i need a lot of my own personal time and space to do whatever i want and not being enforced into a lot of interaction and this kind of subtle flack for not being involved enough...or something like this.
 
nancy sutton
gardener
Posts: 658
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great topic! Jocelyn, you might print off that chart and post it... somewhere ;) Also, in your tight quarters with folks vetted for considerateness, maybe a ... "Hey XXX, I'll catch up with you in a bit, but right now I really need some recharge time... running on empty at the moment".....might elicit some sympathy.

When I was a teen (68 now), 'popularity' was the epitome of 'social success', and I knew I was doomed to lifelong failure. I remember how very relieved I was to find that introversion is 'normal'.. 15% of the population, roughly... so I was just a minority ;) I think maybe introverts have an advantage in being able to entertain themselves... and I think there's a recent book about 'us'.

Here's one of my favorite blogger's (and friend of Permies) husband's assessment of being an introvert (I love that they happily make 'date nights' and each take a book to read ;)

http://www.nwedible.com/2013/12/introvert-christmas.html

Take care of yourself! I think you are an absolutely critical component of the 'village' ;)
 
Matt Walker
Posts: 240
Location: North Olympic Peninsula
43
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yeah, for the record, INFJ and I identify as HSP as well. Go figure.
 
Joe DiMeglio
Posts: 47
Location: Tucson, AZ Zone 9A/9B
8
forest garden fungi greening the desert tiny house trees wofati
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great Thread! I'm a pretty extreme intorvert too (INFP) and I identify with all of the posts here regarding finding space in community. It's also been my big concern with joining a community; that sort of unspoken expectation that everyone wants to be up in each other's grill 24/7 patting backs and high fiveing. Sorry, but I'm just not up for that happy lil plan.

I think we could find some usefull examples by looking at tribal societies. After all, those are the societies we're trying to emulate with sustainable communities. Surely, there are introverts in all societies, and in fact from the movies I've seen of tribal folks, they seem to have a larger percentage of introverts in those groups. I see them sitting either alone or together but being silent or quietly singing to themselves as they work or hunting/gathering alone or together but silently. 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!)

So my premise is that intorverts are highly valuable, behind the scenes folks. They encompass most of the scientists, engineers, architects, inventors, researchers, computer people, social workers, etc in current society; acting as the quiet backbone of much that we take for granted. In a community setting they need to be respected for thier quiet, un-celebrated contributions and given the space they need. I've lived with roommates for my entire adult life and it's always a struggle to find roomies who respect my space and need for quiet. I play guitar too and it seems that people think I want to be om stage all the time playing for a crowd because I play. Wrong! I play for me and my own enjoyment, I could really care less about entertaining people, but it never fails to draw a crowd. I do appreciate that people find my music enjoyable and worthy of listening to, but my motivation has never been to play for the masses. I think I need that door mat that says "piss off" instead of "welcome" on it! LOL

The MBTI could be a very valuable tool in communities and I'd like to see more folks using it to get a grip on what really works for different types. There's so much dissent and confusion in most communities I've visited that we're gonna have to get smarter about dealing with differences and making them work for us instead of against us if we want to succeed in living in sustainable communities. The problem is the solution and diversity is strength.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1132
Location: northern northern california
68
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
in thinking about tribal societies, i think it was that they accepted the other people as they were, and they didnt have the concept of how people are supposed to be. or if they did it was based on real time experiences of other people, not abstract ideas and memes. they saw life and each other much clearer without all these assumptions and ideologies to get in the way. and that is a big positive difference, instead of expecting life and people to conform to pre conceptions, they saw how things were and worked with that. i'd like to get back to that clarity and that way, it would be easier than one thinks, but all this assuming and conforming and the illusions of normalcy, clutter up the clear facts.

so they had acceptance of people being many different ways, there was maybe some pressure to conform as far as sharing and other really big issues like land use and such, but besides this there really open to people AS IS, not how they want them to be.

i dont think there was even a concept of how they want other people to be, it just wasnt even conceived of that people should conform to others expectations. for instance they had homosexual people, and this was common enough that this was considered normal. actually they conceived of three sexes (or four sexes actually) because they knew there were men who were also women, and women who were also men. and sorry to take this a bit off topic, but it illustrates what i am getting at. instead of have an idea of only two physical genders and then force everyone to see this as the only normal and allowed way to be, they had the idea of 4 sexes, the man/woman and the woman/man being the 3rd and 4th because this was based on what they directly observed. interestingly this had nothing to do with homosexuality, gender and sexuality were two different things.

i am thinking it was like this with introverts and extroverts too...though its really such a different world that we live in now, maybe theres much more to it. the tendancy to want to isolate oneself when surrounded by such insanity and sickness as the modern world, and how difficult it is to be a highly sensitive person in a world that has no respect and little sanctuary for that, its obviously more difficult.

but now with community projects, theres too this sense of something to live up to, to create this "community" and a lot of pressure to make it something in particular. instead of just people who happen to be sharing the same locale, working together AS IS, because thats just how it is and they accept each other. now with the modern weirdness people can come and go and choose neighbors, theres pressure to be good enough to be accepted, and all this sense of having to prove oneself to be worthy. and theres gated communities with whatever entrance requirements.

to me this is all contrary to the real deal community, which is just people of different ways and ideas sharing space and accepting each other as is, without forcing anyone to have to conform or be "good enough". and trying to work with people where and how they actually are, not where you think they should be @, and not even where they wish they were @ as individuals in their journey.real community is inclusive and embracing, modern society is EXCLUSIVE and prizes that, and rejects.
it seems modern community projects cant help but take on those same memes, even while trying to be inclusive and holistic.

and the control and hierarchies and all these "good enough" paradigms, the landlording, the exile and the rejection, and all the rest are antithetical to real community, IMO. but even people who are somewhat on this page , even people who are not about this, have been socialized and taught and gotten used to all this weirdness. it's more of those memes that hang about in the air, some idea of normalcy and how things should be, and ideas that its acceptable and required to always be testing each other for "good enough" status, etc. and then the old "what have you done for me lately" game start rolling, with accusations (that usually dont seem accurate IME) of this person not doing enough for everyone, or not participating and giving enough.

personally even in tight community, i just dont care what other people are doing or not doing, or to sit there and try to measure everyone up and try to make it all equal. someone wants to sit on their butt all day and not do anything for me or others is ok, well it's their loss and their choice, and i dont generally get entrenched with people to the degree that this should make any difference to me.

maybe this seems all over the place a bit, perhaps it is, but to me all this is linked together to the original idea i am trying to express. and its why i probably will never try to live in a "community" anymore, but just make community where i am at in the world, the world is my IC. and after trying to live in many communities over years, and really wanting to find the tribe and make community, now i would much rather just live in a neighborhood, with more clearly defined spaces of privacy and less to work out amongst ourselves, but hopefully with more sharing and authentic connectedness than most neighborhoods have. co housing and land sharing are something i might explore, but not IC. though maybe i still hold out hope to find people who are independant and autonomous enough to make a different kind of come as you are community.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 4150
Location: Missoula, MT
389
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
nancy sutton wrote:Great topic! Jocelyn, you might print off that chart and post it... somewhere ;) Also, in your tight quarters with folks vetted for considerateness, maybe a ... "Hey XXX, I'll catch up with you in a bit, but right now I really need some recharge time... running on empty at the moment".....might elicit some sympathy.

When I was a teen (68 now), 'popularity' was the epitome of 'social success', and I knew I was doomed to lifelong failure. I remember how very relieved I was to find that introversion is 'normal'.. 15% of the population, roughly... so I was just a minority ;) I think maybe introverts have an advantage in being able to entertain themselves... and I think there's a recent book about 'us'.

Here's one of my favorite blogger's (and friend of Permies) husband's assessment of being an introvert (I love that they happily make 'date nights' and each take a book to read ;)

http://www.nwedible.com/2013/12/introvert-christmas.html

Take care of yourself! I think you are an absolutely critical component of the 'village' ;)


Nancy, I love Erica's blog, too! (As you might already know, we had a fantastic dinner at their house and Paul made a podcast with Erica and her daughter.) I had missed that post by her guy, who really nailed it.

Thanks for the encouragement everyone!
 
Joe DiMeglio
Posts: 47
Location: Tucson, AZ Zone 9A/9B
8
forest garden fungi greening the desert tiny house trees wofati
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@ Leila, I think you're dead on with your comments. Even those few people who purport to be living in opposition to or radically differently from the mainstream society are still locked in to the dominant paradigm and don't even see it.

I checked out an IC in Oregon that had gobs of potential to be a really awesome place and community and their terms for "volunteers" were that you would work 40 hrs a week there without pay AND pay for your room and board. I asked them "so let me ge this straight, you want me to work 40 hr a week for free, then travel in a petroleum powered vehicle to the nearest city 40 miles away to work at a job for money that I then turn over to you. So I'd be working 60-70 hrs a week for room and board? How the hell is that sustainable, alternative or different from the slave galley society I'm trying to build an alternative to?" This was very clearly explaoitation of "Trustafarians" (trust fund kids who dress/live like hippies off the wealth of capitalistic exploitation) who lived there thiking they were creating some New Future Society. Sorry, but I call bullshit on that one.

It's like this 5 days/week - 40 hrs per week thing came down from some deity on a stone tablet. No, sorry folks, that was what was agreeable to the capital ownership class when the unions and communist party of america was getting all "uppity" back in the 30's and demanded better working conditions, child labor laws and less than 16 hour days in the coal mines. Gee, what a tremendous gift form the elite...please. And now even the "counterculture" thinks it's some paragon of "fairness" and "normality". I used to work with a mentally ill lady whose favorite saying was "normal is a setting on a washing machine...it doesn't apply to humans" and society considers her "crazy" ... go figure.
 
Gioia De Amanti
Posts: 26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow, Joe, you nailed this one pretty well!
I stumbled over the same issue with what I deem to be the same community,
(I really hope there are not several ICs around who are as brazenly looking to openly enslave other humans
as this bunch of life-juice sucking would-be 'alternatives'.)

Although I think it doesn't have much to do with this great and inspiring introvert in community question,
- other than that a rather shy (notably not equal to introvert) person might be
more endangered to fall for this kind of outrageous exploitation.

But I really think it is important to expose such dreadful examples,
and encourage fellow permies not to allow this abominable kind of worst practice
to suck on them or become more frequent.

 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1132
Location: northern northern california
68
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


back on topic, i came across this recently and felt you all might enjoy this

 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 4150
Location: Missoula, MT
389
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
leila hamaya wrote:
back on topic, i came across this recently and felt you all might enjoy this



I did enjoy this! Especially her three calls to action at the end. What a wonderful explanation about how solitude matters for introverts.

It's funny, here at base camp, we have expansive acreage, and yet with so many people, it's possible to run into others even when out trying to have sit in a quiet spot. I must admit, the idea of running into others keeps me indoors far more than I'd like.

I have an idea. Perhaps we could create some special sit spots outdoors where there is a designated path or "entrance" somehow. A stick with a flag on it could be set across the path (on the top of two stumps or logs chunks on end, for example) to request privacy, as I've seen done for an outdoor privy before. Or something like that. I've always liked the idea of outdoor "rooms" created with landscaping or other outdoor features.
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 2047
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
175
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think that's a great idea. There's got to be a way for folks to get some "alone time," as we call it in our (mostly introverted) household.

Oh, and I love the idea of a whole family sitting together reading books! (from the TED talk above)
 
Lydia Pfalfav
Posts: 10
Location: Middle TN, 6b
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My husband I & end up moving around the country every 2-5 years & the best way we've kept in contact was through online games. (Most of our extroverted & introverted friends drifted away in short order when we relied on phone calls & emails.)
Most of my friends are online gamers as well because we'd rather be doing something else that's interactive so we're not so focused on socializing. Whenever we hop online & get hit up to chat, we'll tell each other "No thanks, my social bar is full for now but we're up for killing a few internet dragons instead."
--The Sims has a bar system of needs like hunger, hygiene, sleep, social, etc.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22179
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Joe DiMeglio wrote:
I checked out an IC in Oregon that had gobs of potential to be a really awesome place and community and their terms for "volunteers" were that you would work 40 hrs a week there without pay AND pay for your room and board.


I think I visited that community. I learned a great deal during my visit. But here is the most important thing to your point: while it sounds like it is not a fit for you, there is something about that place that is a fit for a lot of people. The proof is the people that are living there.

I'm glad that there is massive diversity in the communities out there, so that those of us that very much wish to be in community can find the community that is a best fit for us.

I think that when we look at 100,000 communities, there will be 90,000 where we say "no way", 9,000 where we say "if only they would", 900 where we say "maybe", 90 where we have to pick which one we will visit first, and 10 where we really want to be there but somehow we don't make the cut.


I used to work with a mentally ill lady whose favorite saying was "normal is a setting on a washing machine...it doesn't apply to humans" and society considers her "crazy" ... go figure.


There it is. Crazy is subjective and relative. And maybe even reflective. The IC in Oregon that you mention seems crazy to you. But you might also seem crazy to them.

I would like to suggest that without 90,000 "crazy" options, there could not be 90 "rational"options.


And now for my feeble attempt to bring this back on topic: I think some communities are going to be more comfortable for introverts than others. Some might argue that introverts would never desire community. I think there is a whisper of truth in that, but I think most introverts would thoroughly enjoy a community that facilitates the introvert mindset. I think I have seen lots of communities that have lots of happy introverts.

 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3729
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
paul wheaton wrote:
And now for my feeble attempt to bring this back on topic: I think some communities are going to be more comfortable for introverts than others. Some might argue that introverts would never desire community. I think there is a whisper of truth in that, but I think most introverts would thoroughly enjoy a community that facilitates the introvert mindset.


I'm guessing that monks that take a vow of silence desired community and probably enjoy it. If they don't, at least there is no whining!
 
alex Keenan
Posts: 487
12
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am seeing many IT people being forced into community work environments.
In some cases you see something like a high school gym filled with tables and everyone trying to work.
These can put alot of stress on a introvert.
Everyone has some degree of introvert in them.
This is why a well designed community will provide for the caving needs we all have.
We need to be able to get away from the crowd.
We have the need to interact on a one to one level.
Sometimes we need to shut out the world so we can think deeply and clear our minds.
There will be times we need to concentrate with not distractions.
When we design our different communities at work, home, etc. we need to address the need for caving as well as the commons!
 
The moustache of a titan! The ad of a flea:
This is an example of the new permies.com Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!