Krzysztof Maksimiuk via Unsplash

Listen to Your Body Talk

greetings ted,

i know it is short notice but if you got the time i would urge either you, or you and your wife, to come with mary and i to a christmas concert saturday the 18th. we have two reserved tickets, $35.00 a piece plus dinner, at 7:30. over the years we have seen this christmas show, and many others by the slambovians, several times. we can pick you up, and drop off, at your door. you can check their shit out on youtube. doubt you wouldn’t find this deal interesting.

from the tower of song,


I spent two days after receiving “Stan’s” email obsessing over whether or not I would accept his invitation.

I met Stan’s wife Mary earlier last spring, Stan later that summer, and had dinner at their home a month ago. They are the kinds of people to whom I took an immediate liking. We hold similar political views and like the same music. Conversing with them is effortless.

The problem wasn’t about going withy them to see band. The problem was the prospect of going out in public. Two days following Stan’s invitation, I must have rehearsed dozens of scenarios, from imagining how many people might be there, where we would sit, if we would sit, the conversations that might ensue. All of it kept gnawing at my conflict between sociability and introversion. What I really wanted to do was stay home and finish the book I had been reading with some John Coltrane on in the background. Yet I also wanted to hear some live music with my two new friends.

My lower back and knees started to ache. I developed a nagging headache. Fluctuating between not wanting to offend Mary and Stan and remaining true to my introverted personality was exhausting.

Finally, a few hours before Stan was supposed to pick me up, I fired off a text expressing my sincere apologies about taking a raincheck.

Within half an hour, something interesting happened.

My headache subsided. My back and knees began feeling better.

As introverts, we need to be in tuned to our bodies as well as our inclinations. We need to be comfortable with saying “no” not just because we have to be honest with ourselves, friends, and family, but because our bodies might be telling us to.

This is something extroverts don’t necessarily understand. Being an introvert is hard because we struggle with others’ misunderstandings of us in addition to our own internal tug-of-war. When one’s energy is gleaned from contact with the outside world as it is for extroverts, it’s relatively easy to step outside and soak up the vibes. Those vibes exhaust introverts, though, like two magnets with the same polarity, and the physical effects can manifest in ways confused for other ailments.

It’s just as well, really.

With the pandemic still raging, introverts are perfectly adapted for social distancing. Avoiding crowds is our nature.

Ted Millar is a teacher, poet, and political writer for Liberal America and the Left Place blog on Substack:

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Ted Millar

Ted Millar

Ted Millar is a teacher, poet, and political writer for Liberal America and the Left Place blog on Substack:

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