Off The Cuff Friday: Introverts Hate Happiness (and other stuff)

This is what is on my mind today:

Do introverts hate happiness?

I have been reading Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe, for over a month now because I keep re-reading the passages that are relevant to me. (Most of them!) In one of the chapters, Helgoe writes that basically, introverted people are not moved by positive emotions.  Introverts find that extreme emotions such as happiness and anger are distracting, and prefer to neutrality. So we don’t hate happiness. We just like more controlled expressions of it.

Oh, Paula Deen.

This story will not go away. First, Deen came under fire for statements she made a deposition she made in a lawsuit against her and her brother. She admits to using the N-word, and a plan to hire only black male waiters for an event, with the purpose of them pretending to be slaves. (Or something to that effect.) First of all, I don’t know why everyone is surprised. The generation she grew up in wasn’t exactly the most minority friendly. Second, I don’t believe she is any more prejudiced than any of us. We all have our issues with people from different backgrounds. (I straight up flinched when I saw a woman wearing a full burqa once.) I don’t excuse her behaviour at all, but at the same time, it’s not a shock. She apologized. She’s lost her good name, her endorsements, and her TV show. Let’s move on.

NSA. Welp.

So, the U.S. government has been spying on its citizens. Knock me over with a feather. I’m pretty sure this has been happening for decades, if not centuries. I have heard people complain on and on about the government’s violation of their privacy. All while they check in their PHYSICAL LOCATIONS on Foursquare; They post their names, birthdays, work and educational backgrounds on Facebook; State opinions on Twitter; Keep all of their photos and documents in Dropbox, and take vacation photos using Instagram.

Yeah. It’s a shame when one has no privacy.

(Also, I believe that this was part of a plot in season 2 of Scandal. Only the surveillance program had a classy name, Thorngate. The episode is called “Hunting Season” If you’re interested.)

Keep your eyes on the prize.

I don’t get discouraged easily, but I do have perfectionist tendencies that rear their ugly heads every so often. If I cannot do a job well, I’d rather abandon it outright than finish it poorly. However, over the years, I have learned to override that voice in my head that says “give up”. I have never gained anything of value by quitting. Every year I experience what I refer to as a “gut-check”. If a bad situation that is beyond my control happens and I have to reevaluate my priorities: if I stubbornly refuse to give up while I maintain my composure, I take it as a sign that what I am working toward is important to me, and I persevere. If I can easily give it up without giving it a second thought, it is something that I need to change.

Get over yourself. Goodbye.

I am the first to admit that I’m a princess. I’m the youngest in my family. I’m the only girl, and I am tenacious when I want something to happen. I’m fortunate in the sense that, while I wanted to be spoiled with lots of toys and clothes as a kid, my parents spoiled me with love and lots of attention instead. As one can imagine, this did not prepare me well for the real world. (However, it did give me a nice lovey-dovey cushion to fall back on. My parents are awesome.) I had to learn that the bank, my boss, and the general public did not care that I was mommy and daddy’s special princess, and I do not receive special treatment.

If I wanted anything of substance, I had to work hard to get it–without tearing anyone else down. I learned to mind my own business. I learned to be respectful, whether the person was worthy of my respect or not. Most of all, I learned that my life is not just about me. In order to be a contributing member of society, I had to endure a painful procedure to remove my giant bobble-head from my behind.

In doing that, I found out that my life is not just about me, my family, and my interests. There is a whole world of people out there who are living their own lives with their own family, friends, and interests. I learned that my focus had to shift from being grabby and helping myself, to using what I have been blessed with to help other people. There’s a direct correlation between how unhappy a person is with how much of their life is spent focusing on his or her own needs and wants, to the exclusion of others. The bottom line: People who are content are helpful because they want others to feel the same way that they do. Selfish people are rarely content.

When you get over the need to be praised, coddled, and validated, you are on the first step toward growth. (It will take the rest of your life, just so you know.)

Peace,

Erie

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