About Me

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Pacific Northwest, United States
I am The Shytrovert a proud, moderately shy INFP and this is my blog. I write about society, relationships, current events and how shy and introverted folks can cope in an extroverted world.


The Open Plan Office: a.k.a the Scourge of Shytroverts Everywhere

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Are you unfortunate enough to work in one of these arrangements?  No office, no cubicles, elbow to elbow with your coworkers and privacy be damned?  If this sounds like a nightmare to you, you’re not alone.  Increasingly workplaces are adopting this model, no doubt dreamed up by some extrovert, supposedly to foster “collaboration.”

Unfortunately for the architects of this workaday utopian concept, it is backfiring badly.  Apparently even some extroverts and “ambiverts” find open space offices to be an odious intrusion upon their workaday lives.  Extroverts need quiet in which to work and concentrate too. 

Familiarity guaranteed to foment contempt
Besides, if I’m not mistaken, people have been managing to collaborate for years despite the cubicle farms – it's f***g work, they have to.  Anyway, it’s not like a flimsy cubicle wall is going to stop that or any person from talking loud enough to solicit an opinion over that cube’s wall or otherwise be a pain in their colleague's a** as any gainfully employed person can attest. 

News flash: people have legs -- or, if disabled -- wheels to venture outside of their partially-enclosed cubicle and collaborate away.  I honestly don’t think there has ever been a lack of that.  Ever.

If you ask me, this whole movement toward open offices probably has a monetary driver.  Companies are probably too cheap to install the cubicles, and instead of admitting that, they are instead selling the idea as “collaboration.”  Undoubtedly, one big contiguous desk probably costs much less than installing a cubicle farm.  A sad fact for the introverted among us and increasingly the extroverted.  However, seeing that in life the loud squeaky wheels get the oil, maybe for once what workers want and need will trump money, and employers will move away from the bullsh** that is the open plan office. 


Rest in Peace, Sweet Prince

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Well, The Purple One is gone.  I’m a little disappointed that we (by whom I mean the public) was not made privy to where his final resting place will be.  However, I am happy that his estate will be made into a museum.  Can’t say I didn’t see that coming.   

Prince, by all accounts, was a loving and caring man, a generous man, obviously a straight up genius and, something you won’t hear much about – appeared to be an introvert despite his flashy stage persona.  Sure, you hear that he was purposely mysterious, declining to do interviews for much of his career, you never saw him doing the big Hollywood thing, and he was conspicuously absent from the tabloids.  He pretty much stuck to home, tooling around his Minneapolis on sundry errands, but he mostly seemed to stick to his sprawling Paisley Park estate.  No extrovert could stand to be that intensely private for long.   

From the rare occasions when we did glimpse him not performing, he seemed reticent; slightly uncomfortable, self-composed.  Quite introverted indeed.  Perhaps even a little shy too.  I’m very sad that corporeally he is gone, but like all the brilliant and famous among us, he will live on forever through his work. Apparently the work we do know only scratches the surface.  Reportedly Prince has a vault of work that, according to a close source, “would take a decade to listen to.”  In the end, Prince died as he lived, on his own terms.  In a world dominated by extroverted norms, that’s a hell of a life.  Rest in peace, and goodnight sweet Prince.


Shytrovert Wishes You A Happy April Fools' Day - btw, Do You Have Foot in Mouth Disorder?

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Happy April Fools’ Day! Today brings to mind that famous Mark Twain quote: "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”  In my experience as a Shytrovert, this is true of a lot of people who tend to often contract foot in mouth disease, aka open mouth insert foot.  I and many of my shy and introverted cohorts are not these people. 

Maybe it’s because of my superior impulse control according to experts (sadly, mine does not extend to chocolate, and I may be losing the wine battle as well). 

It has been determined that impulse control has a positive correlation to intelligence and greater life success.  I can see that, since popping off about your boss being a dick at the Christmas party would a) not be too wise, and b) land you on the street without a job.  Hey, that’s a hypothetical, but people have done dumber things!

So, are shy folks and introverted folks lack of yapping off the top of their heads randomly a cause of better impulse control or a crucial characteristic of it?  Well, from what I know of introverts, being one myself, they hold back because they’re thinkers who can appreciate the dire consequences of speaking out of turn.  We have a tougher time recovering from the fallout with our maddening propensity for rumination.

When you have a filter as strong and tightly knit as an introvert's, it's easy to not make a damn fool out of yourself on April 1st or any other time.

So, I’ll put the question out there:  Have you ever said the absolutely wrong thing in a social situation? Something like accusing someone of being so stupid they rode the little yellow bus to attend school when they actually did ride the little yellow bus? This is a true and unfortunate example from my own life-- a former co-worker said this to someone in front of a crowd of people.  No, my co-worker was not an introvert.  Go figure, but we’re not perfect either.  Everybody plays the fool sometime after all.


Your shyness is not the enemy

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Your shyness is not an enemy.  So states an article Psych Central.  According to them, if you treat your shyness like it's a foe you have to wrestle to the ground it will only stress you out more when, say, you go balls out on a relaxation technique and it just doesn't help much.  Apparently 4 out of 5 shrinks think you're better off accepting your anxiety, thoughts and feelings.

From my experience this is true.  Even non-shy people feel butterflies from time to time when they need to speak to someone in authority or talk up in a meeting or everyone's worst nightmare- speak in front of a big group *shudder*.

That being the case though, I would advise against telling people you're shy unless you're demonstratively, stereotypically shy as I explained in this post

Otherwise, accept your shyness.  It's not that terrible.  Supposedly about half of all adults consider themselves shy, and that includes a lot of famous people

Shyness is a personality trait.  Extreme shyness, a.k.a. social anxiety disorder, is something that requires a good therapist.  You may find over time that you are less shy if it's just garden variety shyness.  In any case, you can learn to live with it and thrive.  REMEMBER: there is nothing the matter with being shy to the extent that it does not seriously curtail your life.

Look at me, I was super shy in junior high school all the way through college.  I mean I literally could not hold a conversation or make eye contact.  Over time by being forced out by my boyfriend I floundered hard in social situations until little by little with frequent exposure I became less anxious.  The severe butterflies went away, but I was still awkward and struggled at conversation.  That's when I got heavy into research and finding books that could help me and therapists that could help me like Dr. Renee Gilbert.  She used to be shy herself and conducted social skills classes.

Today while I am still shy (and introverted, too) I did manage to finish school, get a job, get a husband and a tiny circle of friends.  Acceptance was huge.  I don't think I would have made it this far if I didn't stop cursing and hating my shyness.  Some of us are shy, some of us are loud-mouthed bold people and some of us are loud-mouthed bold people in writing. Whatever your deal, respect yourself.

It takes all kinds.


Shytrovert Random Rant: Is Short Hair on Women Not Sexy? Somebody Better Tell Halle Berry

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I recently saw an article on Daily Mail where the commenters were raving about a Victoria's Secret model that had the AUDACITY to cut her hair short.  She's a perfectly lovely young woman and probably would be with a buzz cut, but some of these nut balls were saying she wasn't sexy with her hair in an adorable bob.  WTF?  I guess these are the same people who claim that Kim K. is a fat ass.  LOL.  Right.

If short hair is so unsexy, how in the hell do you explain Halle Berry?  She is not some exception either.  There's the young Mia Farrow and the cute-as-she-wants-to-be Ms. Cameron Diaz.  

To paraphrase Forest Gump, sexy is as sexy does.  Hair is just a small part of the sexy.   Sexy is the totality of the woman and that even includes her facial beauty and figure.  It's her comportment, voice, fashion sense – all of that plus that element of je ne sais quoi that makes a woman sexy.  Ask any man or lesbian, they'll tell you. 
If you think this isn't sexy, get to an emergency room, fast. 
You're very, ill

Take a woman like Jennifer Aniston, not a classic beauty by any means, but inexplicably pretty.  If I were to take her apart, her face anyway, the beauty is hard to add up.  She has a huge jaw, a weird nose, her eyes even seem a little close together, but the totality of her - glowing skin, vibrant blue eyes, and her fit, slender (but not too slender) body with its pleasant curvaciousness – well, it's no wonder she caught Brad Pitt's eye and is considered sexy well into her 40s.

Would Ms. Aniston be as fetching with shorter hair?  Possibly; who can say for sure? My point is nobody can say that short hair on every single woman is not sexy.  Maybe on some women it isn't, butI can definitely say that not every woman is automatically sexy with longer hair.   

I will say this, there exists a strong cultural bias toward long hair on women (as well as short hair on men).  Fortunately, as with many things in life, what we take for granted as the natural order of things isn't always so - nor should it be.



When Introverts Aren't Around Extrovert's Say the Weirdest Sh*t!

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Extroverts think and say the weirdest things about introverts when they're among themselves. Sometimes what they say moves from the odd to the downright nasty and mean.  A lot of extroverts assume if you don't talk much that you don't like them, you're stuck up, you're unfriendly.  All of these conclusions from you not saying a damn thing one way or the other.  Basically, if you're not fawning all over an extrovert like an overactive pup, well, you're just a big old nasty meanie! 


My husband has this syndrome really bad. He'll say of a grocery clerk who is all about business, not much banter, not nasty at all that "they're not that nice are they?"  I'm like, "Well, nobody has to fall all over me with small talk.  They're not rude, they're just not outgoing."  But to not be outgoing in the extroverted world is to be rude.  To me that's weird. 


Believe it or not, one can be polite and personable without turning on all syrupy, fake charm.  I truly believe that a lot of extroverts are faking that sh* too; it's manipulative. It's sociopathic.  I figure this is why it's so easy to take advantage of an extroverted person.  All you have to do is pour on the charm and they'll eat it up.  I'm just the opposite.  The more charming you are, the more I distrust you. 


Those people who jump in your face right away all friendly like and who barely know you often can't be trusted at all.  Usually I can tell when that type of behavior comes from a sincere place, but a lot of times it’s a way of trying to manipulate you or a way for that person to mask their own insecurities.  Whatever it is, I can't stand it.  Back the hell up, happy camper!  Nobody's that sunny without an agenda.


What do you think?  Am I just a hater and a meanie or do super ebullient extroverts have issues?


Yeah, Quiet People ARE SNOBS

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Yes, I am a snob. All of us quiet types are, your worst presuppositions are realized. In fact, I am right at this moment judging your hairstyle, the way you dress, your shoes and your general demeanor; which I find lacking, terribly, terribly lacking.   Oh, and another thing, I absolutely am plotting against you.  At this precise moment I know every single thing about you, your family, and your friends; knowledge I have gleaned over a number of painstaking months specifically so I can fire bomb and booby trap your homes so you will explore into a million bloody little pieces.  Because, y'know, it's always the quiet ones. 

We're just seething with homicidal intent being our sick, pathetic, quiet, judge-y, and aloof selves with our superiority complexes, waiting for the blessed day when we can destroy you.  Why?  Because fuck you, that's why. 

Stupid extroverts.  You think the world revolves around you.  Why else would you assume that a quiet human being minding their own damn business, who has never even interacted with your dumb ass, would just erroneously hate you for no good reason?  We're stuck up?  Seriously?  You ought to know that the true, stuck up alpha type is a loud, preening jackass that wants everyone within earshot to know how awesome they are.

Quiet people don't care about being at the top of the social food chain; in fact, most of us think it's as ass backward as you are.  So, let me sum up.  We are not stuck up, we do not think we’re better than you and we are not rude just because we are quiet.  I am not obligated to listen or respond to your diarrhea of the mouth narratives, nosy personal interrogations, or overtures to mind-numbing small talk. 

If you're going to call someone rude, at least learn what it actually means.  Asking someone who is a complete stranger probing, personal questions is rude, talking all loud on your cell phone in public is rude, and asking people why they're so quiet is rude.  Not being an extrovert or a cheerleader-car salesman – TV host type is NOT.