Interesting how we can see someone who is within hearing range and not engage them with speech. We act as if said person is not close, or we ignore each other as if we’d be breaking societal mores. Our action, or inaction, is to behave as if we cannot cross the invisible wall between us.
Personal space issues we have, and not necessarily negative ones at that. As creatures who desire to control a good bit of what happens to us and thus partly control our immediate surroundings, it can be looked at as part of our survival nature at its deepest. We read others’ body language ques and on them base decisions as whether to converse or no. Is there a threat? Will I be uncomfortable? My personal space is quite large. My boundaries are a good ways from my body, larger being an introverted type. I need a wide girth of “protection” as I see it, not that I see others in a negative light, quite the opposite. My choosing no conversation is more a function of my need for controlling my life, my organized life. It is more a function of not getting off track, staying with the plan, remaining with the ritual (of which I try too much to do), but that is another story and a long, long tale at that.
To function well, I do not multitask. I cannot. My intrepid OCD sees to that. One thing at a time and if that task is interrupted, by any number of variables, or if my physical space has been populated, well, my mind is overloaded. Speaking to another often sees my OCD brain become anxious, so I smile to cover. I DO acknowledge the other; I am not rude, I believe. I try though not to engage unless necessary, unless I feel fully on my organizational game, and I am happy, satiated, content. Conversely, I see myself as one who tries to see a smile grow on someone’s face. I do try to “spread the love”, as goes the colloquial expression, share a good moment and it is always an intent of mine to be kind, to be empathetic. If there is a hint of sadness or worry, I, as almost all of us, step outside my box to speak. Clearly I do cross boundaries on occasion as everyone I would think does, particularly extroverts. Sometimes, without provocation or much reason, the bravado in me takes hold and I actually speak.
No longer do I feel being the quiet one in the room is undesirable. Though it took me awhile to let myself off the hook, I finally learned that not all people should be extroverted. It shouldn’t be a goal to be such if you aren’t naturally gregarious. This would be against nature, my nature, possibly you the reader’s nature. This planet does need persons that take more time to listen, and less time garnering attention or naturally drawing attention. It takes both. If too many were gregarious, just as if there existed a great majority of those introverted, this would not be a soothing world in which to live.
Balance is needed in society. Balance is needed in ourselves, but this balance need not be symmetrical. Sounds much like an oxymoron, but just as in art, balance here can be created with unity that is implied. A painting may seem more weighted at one side with vivid color, but is balanced by more action of line on the other. We can be balanced even without obvious equal distribution of all variables. One doesn’t need to do all, experience all, nor express all equally. There is a unity in simply being oneself. Oneself may look to be heavier in one aspect of personality and lacking in another, LOOK being the operative word. The balance though is in the whole, made up of many variables not all equal in amount.
At some point in societal history, it was decided that being “on” the majority of the time was preferable to slowing down, backing up and thinking, using perspective to balance the active voices. This world needs both types of social personalities and variations in between; no type is optimal for all of life’s business.
At any rate, I try to surprise myself occasionally. When the stars are aligned and I feel I am on my game, it is fun to speak to a stranger in line at the market and ruffle feathers in some regard, just as inviting conversation with someone I am standing next to at a concert or as I’m walking down the beach is as well. I guess what I am doing is ruffling my own feathers. We all need to jump out of our personal boxes periodically and “ruffle.” Surprising ourselves on occasion is a necessary release which keeps us balanced, as long as we remain true to whom we ultimately are.