I was listening to the radio today when I heard someone describe themselves as hyper-extrovert/hyper-introvert and I thought for a moment – “hey that’s me”. I immediately knew what he meant when he said this and was affirmed when he was described himself as the kind of guy who likes to go to parties and be around lots of people but prefers to go to movies alone.
It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I struggle to maintain “normal” relationship expectations. That is to say I tend to go through looooooong periods of relational invisibility followed by short bursts of relational connectedness (and to those who go say – “since you know this why don’t you change it?” I reply “because I like me this way and frankly one may as well as the leopard to change its spots).
I have always known this about myself to one degree or another but have never really heard anyone else describe themselves this way. Having been given a framework of language to work within it occurred to me today that someone I greatly admire was also wired a little like this. Andy Warhol.
Warhol was quite the character really. Enormously connected and influential in the NYC art, music and pop culture scene he was constantly around crowds of the who’s who of society in his era. At the same time he managed to be an incredibly private and isolated individual living at home with his mother until her death and then on his own afterward, rarely (if ever) having anyone over to his home he managed to divide up his world into those parts which were with people and those parts that were alone. His temperament suggested he preferred both but that isolation may have been the greater necessity.
When he was with people it was generally to the service of his art and his image (which was arguably in service of his art too). When he was not with people it was in service of himself.
I feel this way often. Frankly I like people in crowds and busyness but rarely on their own one on one. It’s not that I dislike people on their own but I have a distinct preference if I am to be honest. It could be selfishness but then name me one human preference that is not selfish at its core.
This makes me challenging to relate to (understatement) and it makes me challenged to relate.
This post really is not going anywhere. It is not designed to be therapeutic or self-counselling – it just is what it is as I am who I am. I am encased in a hermetically sealed bubble in this world, observing, taking notes, offering interpretations but rarely getting close to anything or anyone. It can be a sterile existence that makes beauty that much more aching for the difficulty to obtain it. Everything is heightened to a degree in the way water must be to a thirsty man in the desert.
It is interesting how the lack of something can give one a much greater sense of this thing in comparison to one who has it in abundance. In this sense I appreciate my wiring.