As introverts, we aren’t usually interested in drawing a lot of attention to ourselves. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to be seen. In fact, most of us desperately want to feel seen, heard and understood – even if only by one person.
This simple truth hit me hard earlier this week when I found myself at a casual kizomba dance practice/get together. It was my first time going to the weekly event so I didn’t know what to expect. When I arrived, I was immediately assaulted with friendliness. People went out of there way to introduce themselves and find out more about me.
Small talk overwhelm
And that was just great (and kinda scary) and wonderful (and totally overwhelming) and exciting (and completely exhausting!). But by about the fifth time that someone asked me where I’m from and how long I’m staying in town, I was yearning for an escape.
Thankfully, no one tried to make conversation on the dance floor. After the initial barrage of small talk, I started avoiding people between dances. When people did approach me, I didn’t have the energy to match their freakish – I mean friendly – enthusiasm. I thought that surely everyone there would think I was a total snob.
Then something surprising happened
An older Asian man offered to give me a drive home. I had danced with the man and exhanged a few pleasantries, but hadn’t shared much. As we got in the car, the man said, “You seem to have a different perspective on life, like you’ve lived in a lot of places. You’re quiet, but I can tell that you’re a strong person.
He then went on to rattle off a whole bunch of other completely accurate observations about me. I was shocked! I was ready to give him my palm for a reading. The fact that he could see so much about my character from such a short interaction made me feel, well, seen. And understood. And validated.
It made me realize that this is what we all want. We don’t want to have to explain ourselves. We want the connection that surpasses small talk, the knowing without words. And guess what? We can have it.
We can be understood
Even when we’re quiet and don’t know what to say, we can be heard. Even when we are wordless, we can be understood. Even when we don’t have a single drop of energy left for small talk, we can be seen by the right people.
The above experience really warmed my heart. Have you ever had something like that happen? Do you feel like it’s difficult to find people who understand you?
I look forward to hearing from you!
P.S. The above post was taken from a message I shared with my subscribers last week. Sign up below so you can get innie inbox love, too. 🙂