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Nancy Okerlund
Volume 2, Issue 4, 02/28/08

Enough

A few days ago I came across a quote I'd written on a blue index card some years ago. It says, "So much power in short and sweet!" No source noted. (Uncharacteristic of me with quotes.) I have no memory of where it came from. Maybe I made it up :-) but I don't think so. I pulled it out from the pile and I've been staring at it regularly.

Here's a paradox about introverts that makes me smile. We're known as the quieter ones, but give us the right subject at the right time in the right place and we can talk up a storm. It's as if a button gets pushed and the rich complexity comes billowing out, in all its detail. Sometimes it seems like all or nothing for me.

I'm interested in a middle way. I get the idea of the power in short and sweet. Poets are masters at it, a few carefully chosen words creating whole worlds. Maybe the trick is to become a poet :-). Or at least tap into that poetic sensibility. (I wonder how many extroverts write poems.)

In the last Introvert Energizer "No! No! A Thousand Times No!!" I reported on my pursuit of the happy no. In the spirit of short and sweet (and mostly for the fun of it), here's an update from the front line.

Emma the cat, my daily companion, age 19, (extreme introvert) doesn't like going outside. But this winter, every so often I detect a subtle pull toward the front door from her as she and I come down the stairs, heading for the kitchen.

I always jump at the chance for Emma to have a little fresh air. (At our house we call it fluffing up the DNA.) My job is to slowly open the two doors to the (cold) front porch and hold the outer door open, staying completely still.

If she's still there by that time (a cat of strong constitution but no tolerator of fast movement) she sits at the doorway, her nostrils sniffing the air.

Sometimes she only sits and sniffs. Sometimes she comes through the doorway and sits in the porch, sniffing the colder air coming through the screen door. And sometimes she walks around the porch in a slow circle.

Whatever she chooses, at some point she finishes fluffing up her DNA and slowly heads back in toward the kitchen. Because I'm frozen (sometimes pretty literally :-)) as the silent door-prop, I watch her decide how much is enough. It looks deliberate and easy.

I want to be like Emma.

End of food for thought on to some practical ideas:

A Practical Idea for Introverts

Think of something you have many thoughts and feelings about. Get quiet for a few moments; then write two good sentences about it.

A Practical Idea for Extroverts

The next time you're with an introvert who's "talking up a storm" get curious. Try out cheerfully wondering about what makes this person tick.

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