Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Another attempt to explain Introversion

OK, let's pretend you and I each have a laptop. Both laptops' batteries are 50% charged. You and I are going to play a video game on our laptops.

Laptops (Photo credit: Guillaume Paumier)
Your laptop has a weird glitch that will only allow you to play this game if the computer is plugged in. My laptop has a weird glitch that will only allow me to play the game if the computer is not plugged in.

We play the game for 3 hours. We have a wonderful time.  But when we decide to call it quits, your battery is 100% charged. My battery is drained and my computer is about to shut off.

That means I can't play another game until I have a chance to plug my laptop in for at least a few hours.

It does not mean is that I didn't like the game, that I shouldn't play the game, that I'm mad at you for wanting to play the game.

It does mean that I can't play the game as often, that I need longer breaks between playing the game, and that I should probably be smart about when I play the game, because I might need the computer for work shortly after. And it means you should probably play the game with someone else for a while until my laptop charges up a bit -- and I'm OK with that.

Is it insulting your intelligence to decode this metaphor? I feel like it might be, but I'm going to do it anyway, so I apologize in advance.

The laptops are our minds, or personalities. The batteries, aptly, are our energy levels. The game is any kind of social event. Your computer glitch is extroversion -- the social event adds to your energy. My computer glitch is introversion -- the social event drains my energy. I still enjoyed playing the game; I still like social events. But I need to recharge before I play/attend another.

So here's my advice, both within the metaphor and in real life: Go do your thing. I'll be here, reading fanfic while I charge up, and pretty soon, we'll be able to play again.
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