Thursday, 2 June 2016

Happy families

This is a blog about personality. Introverts, extroverts and the newly termed word, ambiverts. I also write a Japanese language blog about being a foreign ambivert in Tokyo. The word ambivert is not very well known in the Japanese language and whenever I show my blog to a Japanese person he or she have never seen the word for ambivert. Just in case you are interested and if you can read Japanese, you can see my Japanese language blog here.

I don't want to talk about my Japanese blog today, I would like to talk about my family. First of all, I'm not married so if you are expecting to hear stories about my wife and children, I'm sorry, you are going to be disappointed. By my family I mean my mother, father and brother. We are a lovely family of four, two introverts and two extroverts. What a good combination.

First of all, lets talk about the introverted side of the family. That would be my mother and of course me. My friend would tell you that it takes a lot of work to get me out. I would much rather stay at home and do nothing but when I do get out I do tend to enjoy it to a point. Staying out until sparrow's fart can be tiring especially when your supply of Red Bull runs out at midnight and your friend's seems to be limitless.

You wouldn't be surprised to also know that my mother is exactly the same way. I'm not sure she partakes in Red Bull but she must be a real pain in the backside for my father to get out of the house but like yours truly when she is out she loves it and has a great time and many occasion she has come home with a splitting, self induced headache that she needs most of the next day to get over. To be fair though it seems from our weekly conversations that she is getting out more and it sounds like she is loving it. So, good on ya Mum.

Alcohol, you have got to love it. Making introverts, situational extroverts for many years and for many years to come.

On the other side of the family are the extroverts. That is my father and my younger brother. My father is a classic. He is very well known in town and you can't go shopping or anywhere in town without someone coming up to him for a chat or just to say hello. On occasions, I'm not known as Blair but more as Stu's son and I wear that label with pride. Although since I haven't lived there for 20 years when I do go home it has become more like "Pleased to meet you" and that is fine too.

My father seems to enjoy going to functions, especially related to sport. He enjoys listening to the speeches and catching up with people that he played with and against in the last fifty years.

The memory I have of my father is watching him leave a function. It seems to take about three hours for him to do this simple thing. For an introvert, leaving a function is simple, we say goodbye and literally run out the door. For an extrovert like my father, leaving a function is a little more difficult. He will telephone my mother to say he is ready to be picked up. (We don't practice drink driving in my family. We are very safe.) My mother will drive over and wait. Of course my father has to say goodbye to everyone as he leaves and this involves not just the simple greeting but some banter with a few people and a couple of jokes here and there. Meanwhile my mother is getting more and more angry. The windows in the car are getting fogged up as the steam from my mother rises. A few expletives are said under her breathe with the words hurry and up mixed in their as well. I've been in the car on these occasions and this is probably why I am very adept at using the f word. I've learnt from a pro although I will probably get in trouble for saying this. It's true though.

My brother is an interesting character. He is very much an extrovert who due to illness has had to downgrade his social life. Maybe this has something to do with marriage as well but I wouldn't know because I haven't had that experience. My brother seems to have many friends and acquaintances like my father and before his illness he was very much a social man, going to parties and events. He still enjoys the company of people but in smaller groups not because he has morphed into an introvert but because of his illness it is easier for him to be in smaller groups.

I'm sure out there, there are families of extroverts. In Susan Cain's book Quiet she talks about her family reading together. That sounds like a family of introverts right there and I'm sure that there are families like my one where there is a combination of the two.

If you can understand what you are and what other members of your family are and why they act like that then you can live a more enjoyable and harmonious life with each other.

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