In contemporary society we’re expected both to praise the miracle of birth and deplore it as the wages of sin. We expect men to take cold showers if they get an erection, and to take Viagra if they can’t. We encourage straight women to kiss in bars, and actual lesbians not to. We expect young men to have sex they’re not ready for, and young women to decline it when they are. We’re expected to say we like oral sex even when we don’t, and to say we dislike anal sex even supposing we do. We’re expected to buy sudoku books with bikini models on the cover and to read Playboy for the articles. We’re expected to gradually lose interest in our spouses and not to have affairs. We’re expected to stress about unplanned, unwanted pregnancy and to see stopping to put on a condom as unromantic. We expect to believe men don’t read romance novels and women don’t watch porn, even though there’s maybe a 30% crossover both directions. If you’re a woman you’re expected to zealously guard your hymen up to the point you get married (whether you wanted to or not), and then upon receipt of a marriage license you’re expected to turn around and let some guy pound away at it whenever he wishes (whether you wanted to or not.) Looking in another direction if you’re a man you’re expected to run screaming from the room if your wife puts her purse down too close to you… because your wife’s purse might somehow magically “make you gay.” We’re supposed to pretend that women faint at the sight of blood, and ignore that men are far more inclined to. We expect women to depend financially on men and expect men to dump their wives for floozies at the drop of a thong. We’re expected to think a model is sexy if she’s in a Victoria’s Secret poster at the mall, and we’re expected to think a mom in workout pants and a sweatshirt isn’t sexy if she’s in the same mall pushing a stroller.
How can one person be more real than any other? Well, some people do hide and others seek. Maybe those who are in hiding - escaping encounters, avoiding surprises, protecting their property, ignoring their fantasies, restricting their feelings, sitting out the pan pipe hootchy-kootch of experience - maybe those people, people who won’t talk to rednecks, or if they’re rednecks won’t talk to intellectuals, people who’re afraid to get their shoes muddy or their noses wet, afraid to eat what they crave, afraid to drink Mexican water, afraid to bet a long shot to win, afraid to hitchhike, jaywalk, honky-tonk, cogitate, osculate, levitate, rock it, bop it, sock it, or bark at the moon, maybe such people are simply inauthentic, and maybe the jacklet humanist who says differently is due to have his tongue fried on the hot slabs of Liar’s Hell. Some folks hide, and some folk’s seek, and seeking, when it’s mindless, neurotic, desperate, or pusillanimous can be a form of hiding. But there are folks who want to know and aren’t afraid to look and won’t turn tail should they find it - and if they never do, they’ll have a good time anyway because nothing, neither the terrible truth nor the absence of it, is going to cheat them out of one honest breath of Earth’s sweet gas.
Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.
Susan Cain, Quiet (via nydotr)
This is true. This is exactly how I feel.
Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.
‘I love you’ means that I accept you for the person that you are, and that I do not wish to change you into someone else. It means that I will love you and stand by you even through the worst of times. It means loving you even when you’re in a bad mood, or too tired to do the things I want to do. It means loving you when you’re down, not just when you’re fun to be with. ‘I love you’ means that I know your deepest secrets and do not judge you for them, asking in return that you do not judge me for mine. It means that I care enough to fight for what we have and that I love you enough not to let go. It means thinking of you, dreaming of you, wanting and needing you constantly, and hoping you feel the same way for me.
‘Come to the edge.’ ‘We can’t. We’re afraid.’ ‘Come to the edge.’ ‘We can’t. We will fall!’ ‘Come to the edge.’ And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew.
Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others.
Or at school you might have been prodded to come “out of your shell”—that noxious expression which fails to appreciate that some animals naturally carry shelter everywhere they go, and that some humans are just the same.
Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking