Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Slow Me

"I'm slow" I tell him. "It takes me time to process things"

"Oh come on" he says.

"Really" I say. "You always want to have serious discussions when we are walking. But the stuff you tell me only sinks in a few hours later, when I'm already back home. I'm slow. I'm no good at on the spot debates."

A while later he tries to tell me a joke. I guess the ending while he's half way through.

"And you say you're slow. You always know what I'm going to say before I've even said it", he teases me.

It's true, I do have an annoying tendency of completing people's sentences for them.

"Ok, I'm not slow when it comes to understanding" I admit "It's only when it comes to feelings, opinions. Then I need to let in sink it before I can respond. I'm a bad arguer too. By the time I realize I'm upset, a good few hours have passed, it's all over. So I just get over it."

He was clearly unconvinced.

I think I've discovered the secret to my slowness.

It turns out the difference between extroverts and introverts isn't about being sociable, it's about how they think. Extroverts get their energy from the crowd; introverts get their energy from the quiet times. Extroverts process information while they are talking; the social interaction is what inspires them, what gives them the fuel to get going. While introverts can be equally friendly, but the time they actually think, analyze, understand, is when they are alone. They need to internalize in the peace.

Whoa, I am so an introvert.


  1. So, how many hours later did you come to this conclusion? ;-)
    very profound. I enjoy the way you put it.

  2. I like your introvert/extrovert distinction about how people process things. Here's another thought -- try it on for size. I think some people process verbally (talking to people, through writing, through writing to people). And that can hold for both introverts (I say as one who processes in words, whether in writing or in talking something through) or extroverts (who well may be feeding of the energy of expressing themselves externally, as you say. Just an idea for you who writes so thoughtfully.

  3. My favorite essay on the subject is here:
    It's pretty consistently in the list of top-ten-most-accessed articles at The Atlantic, even though it's seven years old.

  4. I'm the same way. I start arguing on the spot, and only when I get home do I realize what I meant to say, what I didn't say, and what impression he got, which always leads to him deciding that I have terrible hashkafos and it's time to end our relationship.