December 7, 2009

Extrovert Introverted

Yesterday I participated in an introduction session to Interplay - a movement-based, community-building vocabulary. That's a non-profit lingo way of trying to say, connecting with people through movement. My friends Theron and Elizabeth are deeply involved with the organization and I wanted to appreciate what they find so inspiring. In the process, I learned some interesting things about myself. The grand conclusion is that I love verbal communication and am not so keen on physical communication.

I met a gentleman, at the start of the session, who immediately told me that he was relieved because two of his fears were instantly dispelled: he was neither the oldest participant nor the only man. It made me realize that everyone comes to these sessions with some trepidation. For me I am comfortable when we begin organized activities that involve verbal interaction, or even listening to a presenter. But when we start doing any kind of physical interaction I clam up. In fact, we did so much interaction that my brain went into a lock-down mode. Heck, I have been taking the same yoga class with the same group of people for years and still get nervous when we have to do partner stretches.

Usually I'm super creative, highly interactive and very extroverted - I have to hold myself back from dominating the room. I'm a verbal performer. When we were asked to stand up, find a partner and touch palms I went beyond my stretch zone and nearly into panic. Panic fully hit when we had to stand in a group of four and touch fingertips "in creative ways" for about five minutes.

So, what I learned, is that I want to be able to occasionally offer a comforting touch - kind of how people reach out to you to make a point. That's something I'm not comfortable doing. But in terms of lots of extended physical communication - call me a physical introvert.