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The inevitable questions that always get asked

April 14, 2020

It always happens. You tell someone you eat a plant-based diet and they inevitably ask, “But how do you get your protein?” Tell them you enjoy the Grateful Dead and they’ll say, “Oh… I never got into them; I didn’t do drugs.” Apply for a job and you get asked, “What are your weaknesses?” Reveal you’re an introvert and it’s something like, “But don’t you get lonely?”

Reality: It’s easier to get protein on a plant-based diet than it is on other diets. I don’t do drugs either and it’s not a requisite for enjoying the band’s music or their non-drug influence. Everyone has weaknesses and that’s a stupid interview question that doesn’t reveal anything meaningful. Introversion doesn’t equal loneliness.

I bring this up because I had to go to a Microsoft Teams meeting this morning and I got there a few minutes early and one of my work colleagues was also there early and we’re engaging in the typical inane chat that no one really cares about and then we move on to staying at home and working from home and he says, “All this must be easy for you.”

“What’s easy for me?” I said.

“Working from home and not going out.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because you’re an introvert. You’re used to it. I’m crawling the walls here to get out.”

So what do you do? We’re on camera so I can’t stick out my tongue or make a face like I might think to do if he wasn’t looking at me, and I’m not crazy about arguing with anyone about something so meaningless, and now there are two more people in the meeting. I smiled in my usual half-smile sort of way and said that being an introvert doesn’t mean a person doesn’t necessarily like being isolated. “Oh, okay,” he says in that tone of voice that might lead one to believe he doesn’t believe what you just said.

I like to think of this guy – or maybe anyone who thinks they understand introverts because they’ve pigeonholed us into some easy-to-understand figure of a pale, scared, non-communicating, negative-leaning, retreating, shrinking violet – as driving down my block and slowing way, way, way down when he passes my house so he can roll down his window and lean his head out and try and look past the blinds to see what I’m doing in there all by myself. And maybe wondering to himself, ‘What’s he building in there?’ I know the thought would drive him crazy.

“What’s that tune he’s always whistling?”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2020 6:11 pm

    I think the non-introverts may equate introversion with isolation. Not true! As an introvert, I just prefer small sips to guzzling…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
      April 14, 2020 6:22 pm

      That’s a good description and I’m going to remember it for next time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. April 14, 2020 6:35 pm

    Tom Waits video…😳

    Liked by 1 person

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