I’m neither introverted nor extroverted. I’m somethingotherverted. Someone on the outside looking in would probably label me introverted.

I prefer solitude to crowds. Give me a quiet dock on a still lake over a Disneyland pass any day of the week. On a Friday night, I’ll pass on the concert in the park for popcorn, the NewsHour, and something interesting to read. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The stories motherdear could tell about my dad’s propensity for quiet nights at home.

Long story short, I lack social energy. But the ironic thing is, when cajoled to attend the concert in the park, I almost always enjoy myself. And often I see people I know and rally, asking questions, catching up, making people chuckle. If you were to eavesdrop on me at the concert in the park, you might even conclude I’m extroverted. That’s why the conventional sociability continuum doesn’t quite cut it.

Some of my close friends are surprised when I half-jokingly describe myself as anti-social because my socialness is most evident in small groups. I greatly prefer dinner parties with a few close friends to large fiestas where I don’t know many people. At fiesta gigante the GalPal, a conventional extrovert, will walk right up to you and introduce herself. Especially if you look like you might not know anyone else. In contrast, when I’m looking at you I’m thinking, “What a sadsack.” That’s okay though because once she ditches me, you’ll be thinking the same thing about me. Kharma.

My somethingothervertedness is evident in my professional life too. I’m guilty of keeping a very low profile in the office and on campus, but I’m alive in the classroom, enjoying my interactions with students very much.

I’m fortunate the GalPal sometimes nudges me out of my self-imposed solitude. She used to try to drag me to events which often caused me to be even more resistant. She’s become more understanding, meaning more sensitive and subtle.

Then again, our 25th anniversary is around the corner. A quarter-century should be long enough to figure out our extrovertedness and somethingothervertedness.

What are you?

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