Talking Is Directly Proportional to Not Talking

Experts have been claiming that introverts’ and extroverts’ brains are different

One of the worst nightmares in my growing-up days was when people, particularly in groups or gatherings, tell me I didn’t talk much, like it was a mandatory social protocol to ‘always’ speak about people or stuffs that are interesting or stupid or anything but remain silent. Well, whether it was mandatory I cannot tell but on my own selfish behalf, I have found it is not. Not talking is as good as talking and from the wisdom of wise people, I reiterate that this day, the 4th of April 2017, silence is still golden.

The first complaints were from relatives like one of my aunts who would say: ‘R—— (my sis) talks to us now and then but this boy never does.’

I was around 10 and I didn’t love my aunt less for creating noise and referring to me in the third person. That was one of the starting points of my social anxiety. Yet, it was no disorder; let me be a bit defensive, because in those days, I did love playing all sorts of games and sports with my two dozen cousins and always play and hang out with friends at the Lai Lampak and the locality commons though those spaces have been shrinking like my occasional wish to ‘like’ people.

Social anxiety it was 100%ly because it could get so wrong at times. Some monsters would even tell me that self-consciousness is the worst form of human behaviour. They were monsters because they did not mean to make me understand whatever good was there in non-self-consciousness; but it was simply a way of their talking for talking’s sake. I know they were also monsters because they were mostly adults. I would have understood if those were my mates or cousins a few years older to me but were 25- to 100-year-really-old adults.

Although it was no disorder, there was always a hesitation sort of feeling during occasions like family gatherings or anything that had to do with the congregation of people regardless of the size. The more worrying it was when there were chances that they would ask me about stuffs and confront me with universe-defying questions like how I felt when I was caught smoking the previous summer.

As long as there was no chance of people talking to me, I was fine. When I reached high school, there was a Jekyll-and-Hyde moment. I started listening to Sepultura, Judas Priest, Deicide and Obituary and all the other loudest bands in direct contrast to my penchant for peacefulness and un-noisy living. It was as well a regular routine to go to, again, the loudest concerts, albeit in our little town, international bands performing at the local venues were unheard of back then unlike today. Still we had so many popular bands from Phoenix to Cannibals and endless rock shows throughout the year.

Apparently, music is a totally different ball game just like sports had been in my life.

In the West, afaik, people value extroversion and speaking up, though in contemporary history we can read literature about people speaking ‘out’ for introversion; for example, refer to Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. In our culture deep with the belief system of the Southeast Asia, speaking less is a virtue—but it should not be at the cost of political dumbness that we have internalised pretty well. I hope I’m not confusing silence with speaking less here.

However, in direct contrast to the kind of lifestyle we follow, the family- or community-kind, I’m more inclined towards individualism, which is further fashioned by my belief that ‘if an individual has the right to govern himself’, as Benjamin Tucker State wrote in Socialism and Anarchism, ‘all external government is tyranny’.

Now, there is nothing much to worry—there’s nothing absolute any way and it is just a matter of our needs, wants and beliefs. The yin and yang of introversion and extroversion, the East and the West, Slayer and Justin Bieber, and others will remain as long as there are the yin and yang of life and death. The worst that can occur is the lack of emotional maturity regardless of intro- or extroversion.

Talkative people had been successful in convincing talking more is the solution though we never know what the question was and in equating introversion with shyness, which used to prompt me to undergo a cognitive-behavioural therapy. I’d say these are propaganda by extroverts who act like they will die if they just shut up their mouth for two hours at one ago.

We know different professions ask for different personalities and it would be gross generalisation to say one is better than the other, simply by comparing the number of words they use in their daily lives. Now the nightmare is gone and it depends entirely on my discretion to mingle with other people or do a solo jingle. Again, there’s nothing that is good or bad but how we make out of our reality.


Further reading

Why Introverts and Extroverts Are Different: The Science
By Jennifer Granneman

One major difference between the brains of introverts and extroverts is the way we respond to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical released in the brain that provides the motivation to seek external rewards like earning money, climbing the social ladder, attracting a mate, or getting selected for a high-profile project at work. When dopamine floods the brain, both introverts and extroverts become more talkative, alert to their surroundings, and motivated to take risks and explore the environment.

The Science of What Makes an Introvert and an Extrovert
By Joseph Bennington-Castro

Our personality is part of what makes us who we are, so it's not so surprising that our levels of introversion and extroversion have wide ranging effects on our lives, including on everything from our language to our risk-taking behaviors to our mental health and happiness.

Are Extroverts Happier Than Introverts?
By Dan Buettner

Issues may arise when an introvert and extrovert interact. An introvert may view an extrovert as bossy and overbearing whereas an extrovert may view an introvert as stuck up or shy. In fact, shyness is a trait commonly used to describe introvert, but both personality types can be shy. Shyness is a feeling of uneasiness or anxiety experienced in social situations. Unlike introverts, who prefer less social stimulation, shy people often crave social interaction, but avoid it for fear of criticism or rejection.



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