Blogger Widgets Ender-Chan's Thoughts: Don't Let Them In, Don't Let Them See

Friday, December 4, 2015

Don't Let Them In, Don't Let Them See

I don't have (or at least never used) the chameleon function described among most aspie females. Social isolation hurt me, but more deeply than I realized. I longed for the spotlight, to walk up onstage and address my peers, and to perform, but I couldn't work up the courage. I denied these desires for fear of being seen as egotistical or attention-seeking. It was a perpetual cycle of "I want it, but I can't," a vicious cyclone that rent my soul every day.

By pretending to not want society as much as I did, I coped with the cycle by repressing my desires to be with others. In order to please myself and others, I pretended to be introverted. I read about introverts feeling relieved about embracing their introverted selves and not pretending to be extroverted. However, I found that some of these people called extroverts phony or shallow while venerating introverts as insightful and intelligent. I eventually came to believe this until I re-examined myself and my responses.

I gather energy from my environment. My mood shifts according to my overall surroundings, so, if I can change environments quickly enough, I can avoid mental fatigue. As much as I like to think, I hate the idea of sitting still all day with only my mind to occupy me. I like learning about others' ideas and promoting my ideas while I'm at it. Performance appeals to me more than sitting in the audience. As much as I enjoy being around others, I prefer that it has a purpose. However, I find myself talking to random people simply because I can.

When I first discovered temperament theory, I mis-tested as MelSan, then MelChlor, and then ChlorMel when I am, in fact, a ChlorSan. I read too much into what I do rather than how and why I do it. For example, my analytical tendencies are a traditional melancholic trait, but I analyze (1) because it makes me feel powerful and (2) it's fun for me to analyze things. I avoid competition although I enjoy it mainly because, knowing myself, I would have a poor reaction to losing. Though I can get over my angry outbursts quickly, others will not. However, when forced into competition, I take it seriously and have a strong desire to win. I have learned to lose gracefully, at first because I would be "superior" to sore losers, and then it came naturally to me.

The online disability community has a temperamental pattern whether it is real or feigned. Instead of bringing my ChlorSan perspective to the table, I tried to fit into the predominantly melancholic community. I felt like I was accepted partially, which never satisfied me. Day in and day out, I wore the melancholic mask and even misled some of you into believing that I was. For that, I apologize and I hope you can forgive me.

I am an extrovert and finally proud to be one. I say "extrovert" because I am technically an extroverted ambivert, but my main preference is towards extroversion. By pretending to be an introvert, I managed to survive, but, by being the extrovert I really am, I will thrive. I not only crave interaction, but I need it. It energizes me in the way a good book or quiet time can energize an introvert. Extroverts envy introverts because introverts can do something unobtrusive to recharge or avoid boredom while extroverts need more stimuli to keep occupied. Extroverts are sometimes dismissed as loud or annoying when we are trying to recharge. Very little content written under the #Extrovert tag is written by extroverts. People say the world is built for us even though teachers discourage talking and "silence is golden".

Being an extrovert does not mean that I am any less intelligent or that my ideas are any less valid. It does not mean that my experiences or identities are any less real. Rather, I experience the world in a way that is different from introverts. Neither social -version is superior to the other; they are just different factors in one's perspective.

Being the good girl I always had to be meant pretending to be an introvert. My mind told me to keep silent, but my heart wanted to speak out and my body wanted to act. I did not want to impulsively blurt something I would regret later, so I kept my head down and said nothing. I learned to internalize everything despite my instincts to externalize. I learned that I would be annoying if I tried to obtain the stimulation I needed, egotistical if I tried to obtain the spotlight I craved, and that my needs were less valid than those of my introverted counterparts. I was told that I was inherently strong and happy, even when I wasn't, that I had the advantage even when I had the disadvantage. Does this sound familiar?

Part of me denying my extroversion comes from previous misconceptions about what introversion and extroversion are. I thought extroverts were perpetually outgoing, always confident, and never shy. However, I am a blend of the two extroverted temperaments (choleric and sanguine) and I can be quite shy (especially if I'm meeting my idol), lack confidence, and/or appear withdrawn at a social event (particularly if I'm shy at the moment.) Denying my social -version would be like denying that I am autistic, Asian, or female--and I have no intention of doing that.

Song: Let it Go-Idina Menzel

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Comment! I won't know what you have to say unless you say it.