SansBlogue  
Monday, March 10, 2008
  Why I (usually) blog - and why I am not blogging (here) much this year
Iyov and (at least) Duane have posted about why they blog, Iyov invited others to join in.

I blog because I am a n introvert who enjoys communicating with people. Put me in a room with more than one stranger, and unless I have a function to perform I'll be silent and sitting (or standing) in a corner trying to look inconspicuous. However, put me online with just a keyboard and screen in front of me and offer me the words, thoughts and ideas of loads of other interesting people and I'll first read avidly (c First Semester 2004) then timidly start to comment (c Second Semester 2004) when these comments are appreciated, and I begin to get a glimpse of the community (fragile and thin though it admittedly is) of bloggers and I'm hooked, I'll play with Blogger (for anyone starting today I recommend Wordpress - it is easier and more flexible, and who can resist 3GB of free space?), and start a blog (Jan 31st 2005). It's as simple as that.

I continue blogging because I enjoy meeting new people, as long as they can be kept for a while at least (I have enjoyed the SBL Biblioblogger get togethers when I have been able to get to "foreign parts" to be there) at a "safe" distance. I also continue because people read and seem to appreciate my words :) bliss for a writer.

I am not blogging here much at the start of 2008, not because I have lost my "call" to blog but because I am too busy travelling, and meeting new people in new places (see here and here for more info.).

Labels: ,



Friday, August 05, 2005
 
Introversion, shyness and neuroticism ::

In March I blogged a rant (what I claim was a "humorous and polemic piece" ;) on shyness and a report in Time magazine that related to some research on shyness. (The article has now become more valuable with age and is "premium content" - corporate-speak for "if you are still interested you'll have to pay to see it"). One of the people involved in the research (NOT the Time article) has responded in the comments, so I'll reproduce the comment here:
I understand your frustration and, as someone closely connected with this work, feel that the Time authors are somewhat to blame for not adequately illuminating subtleties in the research. I am referring to the differences between two competing neural-behavioral systems: neuroticism and extroversion. Whereas extraversion involves the desire to engage with others, neuroticism concerns an individual's tendency to experience negative emotion, including emotion surrounding social situations. The two interact with one another to produce overt "shyness", although it is difficult to disentangle the relative impact of the two systems.

You are right that it is unfair to expect everyone to be an extravert. Whereas some folks need to ring in the new year surrounded by thousands in Times Square, other would prefer a quiet evening with a select few.

The judgmental tone of the article, though, is presumably aimed toward shyness that is more strongly based in neuroticism. Although some folks may embrace solitude, several others are isolated not because they wish to be, but because their physiological responses prevent them from engaging more fully in the social arena.

It is these individuals, who crave interaction but shrink from it, who may benefit from treatments for what, TO THEM, truly is a problem.
I'm still not entirely happy. I can see, and quite accept, that a combination of Introversion and Neuroticism may be one that needs "curing" or "treatment". But I know that the combination of Extraversion and Neuroticism does too. (I won't name you, but you know who you are!)

I can even accept, and recognise in myself that it might be better if I learned ways to tackle the more extreme manifestations of my Introversion. My point is that I just wish Western Society would spend as much time and effort telling stupid, loud-mouthed, aggressive, extroverts to shut the *** up, as is spend bemoaning the less disruptive behaviour of us introverts... Who needs curing, the person who because they want to bask in the limelight forces the rest of us to behave like idiots, or the person who sits quietly in a corner chatting (from time to time, as they are moved) to a few others?

Now, I may well be blaming the authors of the research wrongly, I have not seen their reports. But phrases from the Time article, and again from this comment, make me squirm. The commenter wrote: "The two [neuroticism and introversion - which incidentally seems to be defined as lack of extroversion!] interact with one another to produce overt 'shyness'..." "Overt shyness" so it's OK for me to be shy, just so long as I don't display it where others can see!

Now, above I mentioned "Western Society", this is important, because most other societies actually value a touch of Introversion. Think of the biblical injunctions against being a blabbermouth, or pushing yourself forward. Or notice how in African or Polynesian cultures the person who is unassuming gains honour...

But I've probably allowed my traces of extroversion free reign too long, the commenter has a good point, that also needs to be heard:
It is these individuals, who crave interaction but shrink from it, who may benefit from treatments for what, TO THEM, truly is a problem.
I entirely agree, to the extent that someone desires interaction but shrinks from it they have a problem, and deserve advice and assistance. But let the person choose for them selves. Too often brash extroverts decide for us, and I still want to be alone!


Labels:



SEARCH Tim's sites
Posts listed by topic
My academic CV



Write to Tim

archives:
January 2004 / February 2004 / March 2004 / May 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 /

biblical studies blogs:

other theology/church blogs:

x


Powered by Blogger


Technorati Profile

Yellow Pages for Auckland, New Zealand