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Introvert RVer says getting out of comfort zone brings unexpected fun times

I’ve written before about the tension that exists between an introverted personality and an extroverted one. Put those two personalities inside a very small living space (like an RV) and you might rightly predict an explosion of sorts. Will it be a glorious fireworks display or a disastrous implosion? That’s really up to you! Yes, I’m lookin’ at you—you extrovert, you! And I see you trying to avoid eye contact, you reticent introvert! As with so much in life, the choices we make have the power to either enrich our life or make us miserable. The choice is up to us, and I’d like to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone.

An introvert’s life

I should begin by reminding you that Hubby is the extrovert, and my personality has tended to fall a bit more on the introverted side in our 45+ year marriage. Our potentially clashing personalities have found a comfortable rhythm, of sorts. I like to spend my days quietly reading, crafting, or writing. But don’t get the wrong idea—I do not spend all of my time enclosed within our four small walls. I also enjoy an occasional motorcycle ride or bicycle ride with Hubby. I like hiking, too. But are you sensing a theme to my introverted life? I mostly enjoy solo activities or doing things as a couple—just the two of us.

The extrovert’s life

Hubby’s extroverted self needs more than my quiet, mostly-stay-at-home life, so he meets all of the other campers in the campground, makes himself available to RVers who may need help, and generally, “feeds” his extroverted needs by being with others—lots of others. He assures me that he also enjoys being with me. And I guess those 45+ years of marriage can’t help but back up his claim. Right?

Getting out of my comfort zone

Well, here’s what happened. I was thinking about dinner plans, but mostly anticipating another quiet night of riveting television. (Who am I kidding? There’s nothing on. Ever. At least no programming that I care two hoots about anyway.) Hubby burst into the RV, all smiles. He announced that our neighbors, along with several other folks in our CG, planned to attend a local restaurant’s “Thursday karaoke night.” Of course, he wanted to check with me before accepting the invite. I’m sure that my “no-way-in-the-world-does-that-sound-like-fun-to-me” look was written all over my face. But somehow my traitorous mouth said, “Sure! Let’s go!”

Huh?

Before I could reconsider my hasty “Sure! Let’s go!” Hubby was out the door. I’m not sure if he thought perhaps he’d stepped into the wrong RV, or was afraid that I might change my mind. He returned a few minutes later with a bounce in his step and a glowing smile on his face. I got myself out of my comfort zone and we went. No, neither Hubby nor I braved going up on stage. We did enjoy singing along and wholeheartedly cheering the great local singers right along with the not-so-great ones. It was fun. Really! It was loud and raucous and silly and entertaining and wildly fun!

Lessons learned

My point? Well, to all of you introverts out there, I understand how hard it can be to do something “new” or “different,” especially with people you don’t really know. Getting out of your comfort zone is difficult! I also recognize that I sometimes miss out because my default response is typically, “No.” I’m working to change that. Baby steps, but I am trying!

And you extroverts? First of all, thank you for allowing the introverts in your life the time we need to “feed” our introverted selves (quiet time alone or just with you). Also, thanks for sometimes coaxing us introverts to enjoy a small glimpse into your gregarious, convivial life. Together, we can both enjoy the days to come—whether we go out or stay home.

Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? Does your personality affect the way you RV? Share your thoughts in my forum or in the comments below.

[Editor’s note: If you’re an introvert or have someone close to you who is, the book Quiet by Susan Cain is certainly worth a read.]

##RVT1041

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pursuits712
7 months ago

We are also opposites, although at our age we have learned to be “whatever we need to be” for the situation. When we work/volunteer, it is interesting to see which parts of the shared job each of us take, usually bowing to the others’ natural MO.

Also interesting is how the new camping culture has impacted us. As the introvert, the closeness of sites is bothersome to me…I need my privacy. As an extrovert, hubby misses the sense of community in many short-term campgrounds.

I am ready to throw in the towel after experiencing the huge change in camping recently. He is dragging his feet at the thought of giving up his “out of the house” time.

So which type do you think are most likely to be buying RVs today?

Pat S.
7 months ago

My husband is definitely an extrovert, he will meet someone and by the time he says farewell for the time being he has learned the name of each person, all animals names, grandkids names, type of vehicle, where they are from and where they are going, and what they liked/disliked- about almost anything. I am hearing challenged and have become a definite introvert, but thanks to hubby I get to learn all about people and their lives through him- he is super great in sharing with me, and when I’m with him he repeats what is being said so I can be included in the conversation (he wears a Mic around his neck and his voice goes directly into my hearing aids), I love that he loves people, as for me, I usually stick to doing jigsaw puzzles outside during daylight hours, and read at night, and listen to hubby share his wealth of information, been together 30 years.

Suru
7 months ago

I love new experiences and trying new things, but I’m not good with meeting new people. My husband on the other hand loves meeting new people. We can be boondocking a hundred yards away from someone and before I know it he will be over there talking to them or someone will be at our campsite. I think extroverts have some kind of secret radar that allows them to find each other LOL!

Neal Davis
7 months ago

I may be either, depending on the situation. I never talk to airplane companions other than my wife. I do not like “new” things usually, or going to events when I do not know anyone that is present. However, when we walk our dog through a campground, I am the one more likely to fall behind talking at length to someone I have never met. I do tend to recharge more fully when alone or with my wife, so I guess I am at least slightly more introverted than extroverted.

Ron T.
7 months ago

I guess, in my nerdy dotage, I’m somewhere in the middle of the introvert/extrovert spectrum. Was and still am a fairly quiet person, but now can converse on just about any subject as needed. I’m comfortable in crowds small or large, but really enjoy the wide-open and sparsely populated land out west. Also, I can get up and sing or speak in front of people. Never had a bucket list, but now have memories, mostly good, of all the things, people and places I’ve gotten to do, meet and see and you don’t get to that point without enlarging your comfort zone.