Podcasts: An Introverts Best Friend (or Worst Enemy)

September 25, 2007

I love podcasts. Especially the round table discussion sort. Everyone ‘sits around’ [that being entirely metaphorical at times… sometimes the ‘panelists’ communicate via Skype / other VoIP] and just discusses whatever it is that comes to mind. One of my favorite such shows is MacBreak Weekly. Listening to show is enjoyable, and not because of the discussion of all things Mac. It’s enjoyable because you feel like you’ve just plopped down between four or five best friends that are having a nice chat. The rapport between the people on this show is amazing.

This all crystallized something for me about my personality: I really prefer listening vs. interacting in a group setting. Emphasis on the prefer part. It’s not that I suck at interacting and therefore end up listening [though that may be the case sometimes too]. It’s that I really would rather just sit in a group of friends and listen.

I’m sure some of my friends who think I have a giant mouth [especially a giant bitchy mouth ;) ] would disagree, but I know from personal experience that it’s the truth. I really do enjoy just soaking in all the banter between people, and I only get engaged either when it’s something I’m passionate about [like, say, whether or not some swimmer is the world’s best athlete] or if there’s an awkward silence [which doesn’t happen among good friends].

And I would imagine this is part of the reason that I have such ‘trouble,’ if you want to call it that, making new friends in a new situation: I like to take without giving in a group dynamic. I’d rather just be quiet, listen, and enjoy. But that doesn’t work in a newly forming group. Everyone has to contribute or else things fall apart. People tend to instinctively shun social parasites. Except when that kid is the ‘quiet’ one in a group. But you can only have so many quiet ones. And I feel like that label loses its charm as we get older.

All of this just further solidifies my characterization of myself as an ‘introvert.’ And makes me wonder yet again if that’s such a ‘bad’ thing. I suppose the best thing for a ‘parasite’ to do is to find a really chatty person and make friends with them. That way, the person that loves talking will get just as much bang for his/her buck as the person that loves listening. It’s a win-win situation. And interestingly, one I’ve found myself in more times than not.

Interesting how the little things shape our destinies. I guess it’s easier that way.

Addendum: All of this also has to do with something else I realized about tenuous relationships: you do have to be willing to do some, and at times most, of the talking. I had a strange experience while hanging out a few weeks ago. I was noticing how much I was talking in comparison to my friends, and then I tried to increase my end of the ratio. The socializing was over a meal, which made me all the more conscious of talk time because I could compare the completion of meals to how much each person was talking. Needless to say, that’s way too much analysis. And only a real loser would do such a thing in the middle of a good time. But the experience did make me much more aware of the fact that in normal social relationships, its extremely important to talk. And despite the majority of the advice one gets about relationships, it may be important to talk more to make a person comfortable in a newly forming relationship.

Addendum+: Wow, I just realized I could go on and on about social interaction with all the observations I’ve been making lately. Only a person so inept would spend so much time analyzing social encounters. But I find it all so interesting. Once again, a case of preferring passive observation to active participation. For sanity’s sake, I’m going to assume all of this will lead to some sort of Nobel Prize someday. Then it’ll be worth it.

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2 Responses to “Podcasts: An Introverts Best Friend (or Worst Enemy)”

  1. dave in the back said

    Lol, yeah, the analysis tends to get in the way sometimes. But you can’t help it because it doesn’t always feel natural. Since intuition mostly governs social interaction, I assume that the less I analyze, the more I learn how to respond without thinking, which is really what it’s all about in the first place.

    And to comment on the previous post about whether or not you ‘want’ to interact… well, I’m going to say that if you’re thinking about it that much, you should at least learn how to interact first, then decide whether or not you actually want to, because I’m sure that if interaction came naturally somehow, you would indulge more often. The only reason you don’t do it is because it doesn’t feel natural; doesn’t mean its not enjoyable. Not being natural means its time for neuron rewiring… just like riding a bike. As strong bad says, keep try.

  2. Alex said

    Wow, Dave that was honestly the best thing I ever read on the internet. I can’t really put into words why, but really that was good, thanks, a lot.

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