Depending on situation I am pretty much an introverted person. But it's not that simple.
In an unfamiliar situation I am quiet and try to stay under the radar. If I go with someone I know I latch onto them as I scope out the situation. If I am alone, assuming I go at all, I will looks for someone I know and then latch onto them (at least for a while). If I don't I will hang out at the edges of the event until I either become more comfortable or I leave.
Sometimes I can summon the courage to going to an uncomfortable situation. Last Christmas, T was singing in a concert at his church. I knew he liked to sing and he was very good, but I had never heard him sing. I decided I would go even though it would be an extra challenge for me. It was the perfect storm of uncomfortable for me.
1. He is Vietnamese and so is everyone in his church. My family is from Canada making it difficult to blend in. 2. The church does everything in Vietnamese. I do not speak Vietnamese. 3. I will know only T and I can't talk to him while he is there. He is not really out at church and anyway he will be performing.
I went anyway because I wanted to hear him sing and I knew it would make him happy.
Now contrast that to a situation where I am comfortable with the people. I have a great time and people generally think I am fun to be around. When K and I would have people at our house I easily engage in conversation, play games, tell jokes and other stuff. I guess that is not that unusual. I think that most people are more themselves when they are comfortable. But there are a luck few who are really extroverted, like K, who are comfortable in strange social situations.
In an unusual twist, I have a job where I am often called to speak to large groups of people, most of who I do not know. I am very comfortable in front of these large groups. It's funny. I can be asked to speak at a conference where I know no one. I will hang around the edges, uncomfortably until it is my time. Then I take the stage, microphone or whatever and I will commandingly take control of the room and present my message. I do it with humor, polish and ease. I don't even have to think about it, and I rarely rehearse. When my presentation is over. I blend back into the woodwork and fade away.
I need to get over my introvertedness. It is going to be an impediment as I try to meet people to develop friendships.
I am gay man in his 40's who was married for 18 years to a straight woman, who is still my very best friend. We have 4 children together. She is now remarried and we still want to be supportive of each other and make a stable family for our kids.
Cast of Characters
Jim: That's me
K: The wonderful woman I married in 1993. We divorced in November 2011, and she is still my best friend.
T: My ex-boyfriend. We were together from 2008 to 2013. He is still an important person in my life.
AJ: K's new husband. They got married December 2011.
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