At some point in our lives we are issued some form of 'what group do you belong in' psychology test. It could be something Myers-Briggs related or the DISC test most companies use. Regardless of the type, though, it slaps a label on you. Nothing new there, though. We label ourselves and each other all the time. I wanted to discuss my labels.
Regardless of what test I take I always end up with a high level of introversion. I am an introvert. However, I am also a personable introvert. I have had people laugh at me asking what the heck is that? Usually, when you tell someone you're an introvert they cringe like something slimy just touched them. There are possibly introverts nodding at that statement. I'm not sure when being an introvert became a bad thing, but it's really not a bad thing. When people think 'introvert' they see some 45yo who lives in their parents' basement playing video games.
Back to the meaning of personable introvert. You know those people who talk to everyone, regardless of what clique they might be a part of? If there is a party, they will slowly work their way through the party. When enough people have seen them, or they feel that they've been well-socialized, then *poof* they are gone. They say their goodbyes, or maybe just to the host, and vanish.
If you ask those people later on about the personable introvert they'll be like 'oh yeah, I know them, but not that well' or 'oh yeah, they are really nice.'. If you were to ask their favorite color, food, or something, they'd stop and think and shake their head. They wouldn't know unless they were a close friend. And if they were a close friend, depending on the nature of the question, they would also most likely not answer.
At work they are nice to everyone. Coworkers, customers, visitors, the vending machine guy. They'll help with doors, answer questions, and even offer water, coffee, or tea. They appear to be social creatures who enjoy being around people, when the truth is, they are being kind to get the people to go away faster so they can continue on whatever it is they are in the process of doing. Unfortunately, due to their kind nature, it tends to blow up in their face.
Personable Introverts are just like regular introverts, accept they put on an exterior shell called 'my fake extrovert mask' and hope to get through a day without having every ounce of energy drained from them. They also tend to be somewhat empathic, or they may be VERY empathic. Depending on how well their emotional walls are built, this extra-sensory perception could also fluctuate. Basically, this means they suck up your emotions, whether they are good or bad, like a sponge.
When you take any kind of introvert and put them in an environment with many others nearby, such as Cubeland, they are most likely only going to leave their cube when they absolutely need to do so. The reason behind this is they may hear every person around them, but they can't see them. Deep down inside they pretend they aren't there and they try to tune them out. It's helpful if they have a job where they can wear headphones or listen to music at a reasonable volume.
Due to these lovely 'tests' I usually end up being labeled the Diplomat or the Mediator. I want everyone to get along and I want everyone to be happy. However, I don't feel that is a good answer to what I actually want. What I truly want (what I reall really want) is for people to be honest, trustworthy, and to believe in themselves. I want people to say "let us agree to disagree" instead of getting hot-headed. I want people to be accepting.
Now, don't get me wrong, obviously terrorizing people or molesting children or raping and killing are not acceptable. However, do I care if men want to marry other men? No. Do I care if women want to marry other women? No. Do I care if four, six, or ten people want to be in a polyamorous relationship together? No.
What I care about is that they found a way that life works for them. They found a way to live happily and (hopefully) peacefully. There isn't any harm being done to themselves or others. They treat everyone respectfully. They don't go out of their way to shove the way they have chosen to live their life into other people's faces (the whole, I don't care what you do or who you are, just stay off my lawn, way of life).
All in all.. I just want people to take a step back, evaluate their thoughts, take another step back, then breathe deeply in and out a few times really slowly before telling others that what they think, feel, say, do, want, love, hate, etc, are bad or wrong. I'd also like it if people would stop worrying about what others think about them. Their opinion shouldn't matter. Your opinion of yourself is what matters the most and if you are a good person who does good things, or at the very least, is trying to be good, then leave it at that.
Did you feed the family? Did you make money to pay your bills? Did you use that money to feed the family and pay the bills? Did you do your best at work today? Did you take time out for yourself to stop and 'smell the roses'? You do not have to sacrifice all of your being for others. That's where we end up with hate and drama and pent-up anger.
Now.. go out and smell the roses.