Saturday, June 15, 2013

Why fakestrovert?

Over the past few days, some conversations have made me realize that I don't necessarily project outwardly as an introvert. I can chatter on for days on topics that fascinate me, I'm not afraid of standing up in front of an audience to give a presentation, and I have a large network of professional contacts.

Am, without doubt, an introvert. I need time with my own thoughts, to reflect and solve the problems that confront me. To me, the Sony Walkman and its heirs are a blessing, as much as a socially acceptable means to isolate oneself as for the portable entertainment.

But I spend much of my working life engaged in interpersonal contact. Phone calls, one-on-one conversations, large meetings, mixing and mingling at events, and giving presentations to large groups. This is an absolutely essential part of my job--communicating in a variety of settings, to a variety of audiences.

There are different terms to describe this; one commonly cited is Mike Myers' self-description as a "situational extrovert".  But here's my portmanteau: "fakestrovert".