not a stick-in-the-mud…

Yes, she knows who you are. Some of you think that she’s so very outgoing, and the life of the party. Some of you think she’s a stick-in-the-mud who’s dreadfully shy. She’s been reading some interesting stuff on the subject of ambiverts, recently, and finds that description definitely fits. But if you must pick between introvert and extrovert, she’ll tell you that she leans toward introvert.

But she is NOT a stick-in-the-mud.

That girl who’s leaning against the wall, watching the dance floor, at a wedding? Would you guess that she wants more than anything to get on that dance floor, but she’s too terrified to do it? Maybe you would. And yet, when a friend tries to drag her onto the floor, she digs in her heels. No one is getting her out there. How can she be so very torn, wanting to get out there and dance, so badly that it almost hurts?

This might make no sense to you. It barely makes any sense to her. She actually cried on the way home, because she had wanted so badly to dance to the music. She knows all the music. Enjoys all those fun, loud dance numbers. Everyone jumping up and down, they look like they’re having so much fun. She wants to join in.

But she just doesn’t know HOW. She doesn’t know how to dance like that, and no one has ever shown her how. She needs help to learn, possibly when no one else is around to watch. Extroverts have no trouble getting out there and “looking stupid”, until they figure things out. They may continue to look silly, but they don’t care, because they’re having fun.

Nope. This girl that’s slightly on the  introverted side wants to take it slowly, learn how to dance that way with one or two friends around, and get more comfortable with the idea of acting crazy. She wants to learn that shuffle and that sidestep, where no one else can see her (except a friend or two). And then, maybe, she’ll go out with her brother to a contra dance. A bit at a time.

She used to know how to act crazier. Somewhere along the way, she lost the ability. She used to do the motions to all the camp songs, and make crazy faces in photos, with her best friends (she still does that, occasionally). And then, she was showered with disapproval, long enough for some of the craziness to get buried. Buried so deep, at times, she doesn’t know how to retrieve it.

And because she never was an extrovert, she needs to bring out her crazy again, but a little at a time. It’s in there. Because remember, she’s an ambivert, and she really WANTS to be on that dance floor and have some perfectly crazy fun.

Give her a chance. And don’t write her off as a stuffed shirt, just because you only see one facet of her personality.

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