Friday, November 14, 2014

Confessions of an Introvert

I may be the only introvert on this planet that actually prefers group work. Actually, from recent conversations with others, I may the only person period, introvert or extrovert, that enjoys group work. As long as it’s a small group, I thrive with collaboration. I believe this is related to my previous post about decision making. When I’m solo, I’m the only one making decisions, which causes me incredible anxiety. I desperately need validation in decisions so if someone else thinks it’s a good idea, I’m happy with it. Whether everyone works together and gives input or I’m the only one doing the work, at least there are others to say, “ya, sounds great!” And that’s all I need.

A few weeks ago we had a family activity at the school with all the grades in the dual immersion program. It was super fun. The very last activity was one of those teamwork ones where you are given a limited amount of materials (uncooked spaghetti noodles, string, and tape) and try to build the highest tower in a given amount of time. For a few moments I played the part of an extrovert and I spoke first, spoke the loudest and spoke with the most confidence saying only one word: triangles. They believed me and everyone else worked off this beginning idea. I sat back the rest of the time allowing others to try their ideas and I helped build the tower. I’m proud to say we won! It was the perfect setting because I was allowed to contribute as much information as I felt confident to and I didn’t have to make all the decisions. The pressure of success was distributed among many and not just on me. Team work truly is the best.

Perhaps this is why I dislike bowling so much. Feedback is immediate and it’s entirely dependent on my individual ability. Add that to the social aspect where it’s usually around lots of people plus it’s in the evening when I’m tired and bowling is a one-way street to discouragement and despair for me. In fact, I struggle with a lot of card or board games perhaps for the same reasons. It’s silly really, I realize that, but I can’t seem to change the anxiety I feel in such situations. I have made small strides in this area, but if I can work in a group, I will. So if you wonder why I don’t seem very excited to do certain activities or games, consider my aversion to solo performance as a probable cause…and remind me to relax, it’s just a game!

(Now it’s all making sense…shopping. Don’t like it. Probably because of all the decisions!)

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