Keys to an Introvert’s Ideal Social Activity
Later this week I will be auditioning for a play, as I have done many times over the years. (Please visit my other blog in a few days to find out how it went.) Based on who is directing and others who are trying out, I suspect that if I get a part, it will be an enjoyable experience.
I’ve said before that contrary to popular perception, acting is at its core a rather introverted endeavor. Yet that isn’t the main point I wish to make here today. For I am focusing on the aspects of theatre that are not related to my performance, but are also nonetheless introvert friendly. Aspects that many other activities have in common with my theatre experiences. Activities that I think introverts should seek out.
What are these magical aspects, anyway?
The first one is talent. I won’t beat around the issue; I’m a good actor. I have been honing my craft for years now and while there is always more to learn, the fact is I am quite talented at stage acting. I have a great deal of confidence in my abilities. So when I am in a show I can display my contributions right away. No digging, no stupid chit-chat. Here is what I can do, right here and now. Engaging in something at which I excel allows me to cut through the small-talk jungle like a machete through the rain forest. What I do speaks on my behalf at first.
Second is the sense of purpose. When I’m cast in a play, my job from day one is crystal clear to both myself and everyone else; I am to play this role. No need to stake out a position or choose what I will be about with this group. I play the butler, and that is that. Such instant, definable purpose does wonders for the introvert.
Then of course there is commonality. If there are strangers in the cast I am already aware of at least one thing I have in common with them; we are both in the play. That may not make us friends but it makes us strangers with a focal point, if you will. If I decide to, there is a guaranteed reference point for both myself and the other person. A much more effective one than being at the same business card exchange or cocktail party at the Chamber of Commerce.
Again, for the introvert that wishes to expand his sphere of influence a bit, the activity itself is not as important. For me it is theatre. (And recently a writers group.) All that truly matters is the following:
-It is an activity involving teamwork of some kind.
-It is something at which you have a degree of talent.
-It is something that will surround you with other that have the same talent.
-It meets regularly.
-It makes your responsibilities clear from the get-go.
If you are an introvert that is good at cards, find others who are good at cards, and play once a month. Let everyone know they aren’t obligated to talk about work, or make small talk if they don’t want to. They need only bring their cards, and a knowledge of the game of choice. After a few games, chances are the introverts will start engaging one another after the game as well.
Good at bowling? Form a team of other quiet types, and go bowl, and do nothing else. You may find that the time will come where the team wants to go to the diner after the tournament one night.
And even if they don’t, there is still an advantage to interaction, even for introverted types, since even we cannot be an island. Just remember how to make socializing fit in with how you think. Get creative if you have to. You’re an introvert, after all, so it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Introverts, what are some of your social activities that involve other people in a comfortable way?
- Posted in: Introversion