The Quietly Content Man — or, ‘Apologizing for my RBF’

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I like people, and I like being with people. I’m just not at ease socially. Do you remember an uncomfortable feeling the first time you rented a car? I do… it felt like I shouldn’t be there; like there was so much more likelihood that I would damage it than I would have in my own car. My driving probably appeared odd, if not suspicious, to observers. At least, it did to me.

I have been called ‘not genuine’ because I ‘change’ when someone walks up to me and wants to interact… my defense mechanism for ‘apologizing’ through conversations is that I ‘mirror’I actually take on the persona and attitude of the person approaching me — because my actual ‘comfortable space’ (introverted) is quiet and often alone (not lonely, just not ‘on stage’).

SeizeTheDayThe phenomenon has actually been an asset to me professionally; when someone calls for technical assistance on the phone, they don’t realize they’re ‘talking to themselves’!

The result of this is that people who do not know me can’t figure out if I’m the person that I just talked to, or if I’m the person I talked to 10 minutes before that. But I’m not either of them.

I feel like I’d been trained by circumstance to believe that the real me isn’t good enough, or isn’t as good as, those people I ‘borrow’ a mood from through a conversation. So, you won’t likely get to know me after meeting me only a couple of times. (In fact, as a singer, it took me years to find my own voice — in a literal sense — because I’d grown so adept at taking on the tonal character of whatever artist I was borrowing a song from, that when I eventually started writing my own lyrics, I didn’t know how to use them out loud.)

But, I can be reached… it just takes longer. And, it doesn’t even take any additional effort with a crowbar or canopener… just show up over time, and you’ll see me mirroring YOU less and less, and more of me will ‘arrive’.

Now, for those of you who don’t interact with me regularly, and don’t like me at all? Maybe you think I’m a real ass? Sometimes that means that I’m so wildly uncomfortable I just don’t know when to shut up. Other times, well, you know that ‘mirroring’ thing I’ve been talking about?

LINK: “Extraversion and Introversion” (
LINK: “Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts – Join the Quiet Revolution” (
LINK: “27 Problems Only Introverts Will Understand” (
LINK: “Why introverts love Social Media” (
LINK: “Resting Bitch Face” (

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