dallashartwig"If only my heart were stone."
— Cormac McCarthy
I have to admit, I've had thoughts like this. As an extrovert, I need people. I do. They fill me up. They make me happy and give me energy and bring me meaning. In a past relationship with an introvert, I was often left in awe of her ability to function seemingly without need for deep connection with people. (Since introverts recharge their energy on their own, it seemed like introverts were more resourceful and self-contained than extroverts like me.) At the time, my profound craving for connection felt like a weakness, a liability. I needed something that she did not, and I admired that strength and autonomy.
I don't think about it the same way anymore, but I can remember how it felt: lonely, weak, self-critical, unsupported. I no longer admire that stony, severe independence (which, I would be remiss to not mention, is distinctly different than introvertedness), but rather, I understand it differently now. Interdependence is not weakness. My extroverted interdependence is supportive, cooperative connectedness that is flexible and profoundly resilient.
I've observed that we often confuse sharing sensitive information with emotional vulnerability. Telling people secrets about ourselves, sharing facts about our personal history, and otherwise giving them informational updates on our lives is not the same as being emotionally vulnerable. I can share lots of sensitive information about myself without being emotionally vulnerable. In my past life, sadly, that was my default. I didn't even know what I was doing, but I was trying to be vulnerable and in doing so, I was just sharing information. Things that could be turned into alphanumeric characters and be written and be read. But vulnerability is not a thing that can be digitized or portrayed on an LCD screen.
Vulnerability is an emotion, a sensation, an experience. It's a terrifying, gratifying feeling. Yes, sharing some ugly thing you did in the past might make you uncomfortable, but in getting to know people, I am far more interested in how they *feel* now than what they *did* in the past.
So my challenge to myself is: share feelings, not facts.
- erin_teichroebI am in fact an extrovert that thrives on deep connection. That's kind of my vibe. #intheflesh #wedoexist
- mostbeautifuldarlingSurely friction sharpens the blade which is useful to slice through the idea ithought, but the sharing of collective ideas or lending to expansive group thought creates a culture of innovation. @dallashartwig @jbrunofitness
- helloashleyberryThis hits so close to home for me. I have a complicated past with some very dark periods. I have always felt comfortable speaking openly about those things because I don't feel shame about them and because I know my openness can support others in speaking about things that are stigmatized. Yet, because many (perhaps even most) people would be inclined to hide or keep those things to themselves, my openness is perceived as vulnerability. I think I've taken that free ride for much of my life and congratulated myself at points for being so brave. But the truth is that I wasn't. I didn't share the things that truly made me feel vulnerable--showing up with needs, asking for connection and intimacy from those I most wanted to share it with, and putting myself in positions that required me to show up in all of my imperfection,
- helloashleyberryI really appreciate the distinction you made here and am with you on committing to showing up with true vulnerability.
- helloashleyberry@faith4033 one of my best friends is incredibly introverted and I have often looked at her with the same lens it seems @dallashartwig viewed his past partner through. I have often felt shame and vulnerability around my own perception of myself as needy, which I can now see as a story that isn't an absolute truth. And still, I catch myself often striving to be more independent and able to source fulfillment and connection internally.
- fitbit2014sqHave you been to Sedona, Az? I love it there ☺
- tuitnutritionI left a heartfelt comment but don't see it here anymore. Did it get deleted?
- womenwholiftthingsPeople are guarded/stone due to damage. My belief. It's part of being broken. We all have that more or less.
- dallashartwig@tuitnutrition I can still see them!
- jhiggy9Wow. Thank you for this, Dallas. It's bizarre reading someone else write about the lesson I've been grappling and discussing the most the last year and also describing it so well. As an introvert, but someone who had prided myself on having many close, deeply meaningful relationships that I surround myself with, I was surprised to find in the midst of intense personal turmoil that I had my first experience of uncontrollable emotion with someone I trusted. Crying uncontrollably, etc...I didn't think that was something that could actually happen and while I considered myself "in touch" and someone that talked about feelings regularly, I had never come to express them in a real, vulnerable way. I was able to talk about feelings and analyze them to exhaustion with people close to me, but no one since probably my early childhood had seen me cry or show intense, non-happy emotion. I felt my introversion had led me astray. It left me wondering how one could bear so much pain in private but be emotionally unable to show it to the people I considered closest. I suspect it was a risk to the ego , unwilling to show itself, to be truly vulnerable and the dam had to break before the lesson could be learned. Even talking about feelings can become talking about facts if you aren't aware. I think Vulnerability requires you learn to accept other people seeing your shame and heartbreak...I think this may be the first time I've ever responded to something like this on a public forum. But hey, you inspired it, and we have to learn to be vulnerable in the time and place we feel open to it, or so I'm learning. And in regard to your initial quote, one of my favorites by Vonnegut seemed appropriate to share. "Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
- posesdawnFeelings not facts! I love this! I like this Dallas!
- ashleygrosch@dallashartwig I grew up well into adulthood believing I was introvert (33 yrs to be exact). Last year, I realized that I am not. All of my relationships revolve around a false disposition, and at no one's fault but my own! As a pleaser-type, I allowed other people to diagnose my disposition (insert the classic mom messed me up schpeeel). My spouse of 10 years feels like he has just started a brand new relationship. That's been the toughest part. I am having to build new boundaries interjected with hope that all of my close relationships remain intact. But, as I trace back over a lifetime, I have always been tribal and most of the times leading with that default! How did I come to this authentic place? I spent the entire last year in introspection. I finally took the time to fall in love with myself. And a side note- your Polyface Farms talk last summer was well-absorbed by me. The timing was 👌🏻.
- mm126_Any comment on us news ranking of whole30 as the worst diet available??
- sonz9And yet, people, in the search for authentic and supportive interdependence fall into a trap of unending social "obligations" and keeping up of appearances, just for a semblance of community. The key is authenticity, right? It won't do if an extrovert searches for his or her energy boost from insincere sources; the energy could be likened to poor quality fuel. As an extroverted introvert, I find being selective about my circles, however small they may be, to be the most infusing. And, Vonnegut is always there to remind me: "I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."
- sarahmilnecreativeYou clearly do not understand introverts. Like, at all.
- janettepgomez@andrealairson 🙌🏼👏🏼👍🏼
- andrealairson@janettepgomez 👍🏻
- sandigigglepantsThank you for articulating this. I've been stuck on this definition of each for a while. I knew that there was something that was missing. Feel now. Not, did then. Thank you, thank you.
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