Sunday, July 2, 2017

Fake extrovert

There's a certain type of personality that just enjoys being around people. All people. If given the choice between sitting alone with a book or being in a room full of strangers they would choose the room full of strangers. It energizes them.

The world belongs to these people. Social groups, management structures, leisure industries and most extended families are a cacophony of voices - each person jostling for centre stage.

I make my living by doing this. I stand in front of 65 masters students - most who need to feel a personal connection to their lecturer. Many times a week I step outside my comfort zone and look a student in the eye, greeting them with stark honesty. Sometimes that honestly sounds like a compliment, most times it is something the person needs to hear but may not want to hear. Deep engagement.

This is not fun for me. It does not come naturally. I am not a people person, but I understand the requirements of the job.

So in my private time I suppose it's fair that I get to make my own choices. I recently said about myself that:

"I know how to take care of the people that matter to me and I also know how not to take care of the people who don't"

In my private life I spend a fair amount of time trying to work out if some people are worth the effort - from my own selfish perspective. Because I'm allowed to do that, and I only have so much energy.

If there's no paycheck involved and I'm being nice to you, I can assure you it's sincere. If I'm looking you in the eye and sound harsh then that is also a form of compliment. Love is not always about kisses and cuddles.

And I'm trying to avoid you then that's probably the best thing for the both of us, too. I beg you.

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