Thursday thoughts

I just got back from my yearly physical. We discussed exercise, something I know I should do, something that truly makes me feel better in almost all aspects, and something I absolutely despise. She, like so many people, said that means I just haven’t found the exercise that’s right for me. The truth is, there is no exercise that’s right for me. I hate it all. I am a happily sedentary person.

She also kept talking about “classes.” I do really love this woman, and I enjoy going to see her. She is very good at her job, but she’s obviously an extravert. I told her I am an introvert and I didn’t want to go to classes because there are people. She said I didn’t have to talk to them if I didn’t want to. And this, right here, is where the gap between extraversion and introversion–or at least my kind of introversion–is so large that it seems impossible to bridge it.

I am not an HSP (highly sensitive person). I have friends who are, which is a blessing to me and sort of a curse to them. I am no more affected by loud noises than the average person, and messes and clutter bother me not-at-all. I am not particularly sensitive to
“loud” or garish colors, or smells. I am extremely sensitive to touch, but in terms of sensory stimulus, that’s the only place I’m “extra”.

Unless you throw people in the mix.

Garish clothing I notice. High voice, low voices, soft voices, loud voices I notice. I hear, I almost “see” tone changes. I note word choices. I am affected by smells. I take in every facial expression, every bit of body language. I pick up consciously and subconsciously all information and my brain tries to process it. This happens if I am see someone walking down a food isle in a store. It happens when I walk the neighborhood. It happens with every person I encounter. And the more people, the more information, the more stimulus, the more exhaustion.

I couldn’t explain this to her. I can’t seem to explain it to extroverts in general. Part of the reason is that I don’t want to come off sounding “special” or extremely observant or any manner of “superior.” That’s not how I feel at all. So I didn’t say that. I don’t say that to people. I’m writing it, instead.

And here’s the thing–I don’t know if I am actually more bombarded with these things than other people, or if they just handle it better. Does my NP go to a class and the same thing comes at her but she has some ability to turn it off that I don’t? Is it always working? Is this something I just need to learn to do? If someone has a secret he/she isn’t sharing, I would appreciate the information. Now. I mean right now, because I am terrible at turning “it” off. I could close my eyes to shut down the sight information, but I will still hear–movement, sighs, even the increase or decrease breathing patterns. And words, and speech patterns in those words. Accents and the choice of words and the hesitation or strength.

If you shut down sight and sound, then feel and smell will kick in. I can feel people approaching or moving away. Maybe others do too; I don’t know. I just know I do. The sense of smell will heighten. This is all why when I created in the PostPlague series the Social category the opposite is Observer.

And so, no. Classes will not make exercise better for me, because the more people there, the more I am bombarded with information. The less people there, the more I feel like I should communicate with the other members. It is not that I don’t like people. I do. A lot. I love social media because I can “be” with people but I have only the written word to work through as cues. It is much, much easier for me to have conversations without all the extraneous information and honestly, I can usually pick up feelings and emotions through the words people use. What they say. What they don’t. How long or short answers or comments are. How quickly they come. And it is all one sentence at a time instead of a barrage of other information. It will tire me out because of all the processing, but at a much, much slower pace.

And that’s this week’s thoughts.


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