Photo credit: the aether eater
WARNING: APPROACH WITH CAUTION
This posting serves as a public warning of a growing hazard to introverts everywhere— the explosion of audible greeting cards. The card industry, once both domain and sanctuary of introverts has been seized by a band of rowdy marketing extroverts that take great delight in getting in your space when you least expect it. Opening a musical greeting card is the equivalent of coming upon a surprise party in your home with guests jumping out screaming from behind your couch. Musical greeting cards are loud, intrusive and possess the sound quality of a garage sale boom box.
Even more hair-raising than being the unsuspecting recipient of such a card is the encroachment of noise in the greeting card store or aisle. No longer a quiet, reflective time to find just the right sentiment for your intended, it has become a circus-like event while toddlers, teens and befuddled Gen B (boomers) set loose an audio mayhem of disco, pop and hip hop. During a recent shopping trip with my dear mum, who is still looking for "the nice $1.75 cards” managed to inadvertently crack open nearly every loaded card in stock. I couldn’t decide which of us should have to take a time-out.
Five years ago I wouldn't have publicly admitted this, attributing it all a rather freakish and abnormal Sensitivity to Life. Now I understand what this is about-- it’s me being an introvert. It’s me needing to control the volume and parameters of my space. Not because I’m a cranky old beast. I’m actually what Laurie Helgoe, Ph.D calls Socially Accessible Introvert in her book, Introvert Power. I like people! I’m madly curious about them and their lives. And, I’ll happily stay that way as long as I get the acreage alone I need to fuel up.
I was raised in a big herd, and I didn’t have a space of my own until I was a teen. I became a expert tent builder as a kid. In the absence of supplies, or if pressed for time, I would climb into the tiny crawl space in the garage behind the chimney. I thought I’d come upon Paradise Lost when I found some abandoned cars behind an old warehouse. It was a great place to read and daydream. (And consume massive quantities of candy—extreme bliss.)
It’s critical we recognize that introverts are territorial. We need space. Protected space. Inviolate space. Some of us are able to maintain that simply as interior space. I’m quite visual and I want to see mine-- my desk, my chair, my cup of favorite pens, highlighters and Sharpies. I was reminded of this once again as I recently reread David Keirsey’s groundbreaking book Please Understand Me. Space is such an important issue about which to educate your family. It’s not you being selfish. It’s simply doing what you need to survive in cohabitivity.
The more deeply you *get* your unique style and nuances, the more successful you'll be in the world promoting your work. You'll recognize your simple truth that people tire you, and you'll need to plan and pace your promotional efforts. You'll find the places of intersection in the world that excite you, and jump in with both feet. You'll approach with caution those activities that lead to de-energizing. If you know that you're going to be in an overwhelming promotional situation for an extended period of time, you'll have your SVP First Aid Kit and defibrillator standing by. The good news is that while people/noise/space infringements may knock us flat, after a period of regathering, violets always rise.
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May all your spaces be sacred, deep and wide--