Earlier this week, my daughter and I were sitting in the doctor's waiting room; she was playing Flappy Birds and I was wishing I had remembered to bring a book. Rummaging rather hopelessly amongst the available magazines (waiting rooms always seem to be heavy on Woman's Own, The Lady and stuff about racing cars) I found a copy of Psychologies with a front cover story about introverts, and how they cope in a world of extroverts, based on a book about this topic by Susan Cain. I'd never read Psychologies before, feeling that writers have quite enough introspection without adding to it, but this article interested me. I ended up reading most of it aloud to my daughter.
One of the big differences between extroverts and introverts is that extroverts find spending time with groups of other people energising; introverts can manage it, but it runs their energy down rather than increasing it; after a while they feel the need to recharge their batteries with a bit of quiet time. My daughter and I agreed that we both fall into the latter camp. She talks about her "hamster ball" of personal space deflating if she spends too long in a rowdy group; I myself once sneaked off during a loudly extrovert party and hid for five minutes in the ladies', imbibing the peace and quiet and wondering whether it would be possible to shin down the drainpipe, go home and read a book.
On the way home we discussed how gorgeous it would be to live in an introvert nirvana, a place we dubbed the Lost Island of Introverts. In fact, we got rather carried away planning it. The Lost Island of Introverts, we decided, would have no loud music and no rowdy parties. There would be no loud shrieky conversations in the street.
There would be no little dogs going yipyipyipyipyipyipyipyipyip. The animals on the Lost Island of Introverts would be peaceful ones: we would have coo'ing doves, loads of purring cats, and at night there would be owls.
Above: the Asleep Cat, indigenous to the Lost Island of Introverts.
Instead of nightclubs, karaoke bars, etc, the Island's entertainment would consist of vast libraries and museums. There would also be beautiful sandy beaches, but either they would be huge or the number of people allowed on them at once would be limited, so that everyone could have their own space.
"Heavy" conversations, when required, would be conducted via email or instant messaging. And, my daughter declared, if you wanted something in a shop you would just point at it and it would be handed over in blissful silence (I think doughnuts may have been mentioned at this point).
Sigh. If anyone comes across a brochure for this wondrous place, I'd love to book a week...