There is nothing that will put disdain in the heart of a true introvert more quickly than the fast approaching holiday season. Everything about this holiday goes against the grain of the inward focussed; those who prefer to find fulfillment and peace of mind within their own enchanting, calm and quiet inner worlds. While the great majority of people thrive on boisterous family gatherings, boozy office parties, midnight shopping, and overall holiday cheer, the introvert would rather find a rock under which to hide until all of the sillyness passes and things get back to normal. Now, if on top of being an introvert you are also annoyed by the boundless, manic consumerism of the capitalistic type that takes hold this time of year, then good luck with that. The holiday season will leave you in a constant state of agitation, holding your breath and counting the days until Jan 2, when the great capitalistic machine will finally come to a slow, grinding halt. Until February 14th.
For weeks on end, and even months leading up to the big day we are force-fed society`s notion of a good time. Society, fuelled by big capitalist business, persuading you to buy more, buy bigger and buy sooner, and how dare you question the tradition of Christmas. How dare you?
The problem with introverts and the holiday season basically comes down to one of excess. Too much of everything that introverts normally avoid at all cost. Too many outings in noisy shopping malls, too many crowds, too many parties, too much small talk. Is there anything the introvert despises more than small talk? I don`t think so. This is starting to sound like a rant, I realize, and yes I am of the humbug persuasion it`s true, but really, do we need to have Christmas music playing on the radio one day after Halloween? Can we not have a break between the two, a little breather, before we get assaulted with the incessant sales pitches on tv and radio beseeching us to buy this, buy that, and most importantly, buy now?
Whatever happened to simplicity, and purity and the true meaning of love and life? I welcome all occasions to spend time with my family, and always will. Even my introverted self can see that these are joyous moments worth appreciating and holding onto. However, I refuse to be coerced into responding to societal pressures trying to mold me into something I am not and do not aspire to be. I prefer to choose my own manner of living, loving and sharing of my time with others. I want to be the one to create my memories, and to own my self-made joy. The more I feel forced to act a certain way, the more I resist. I am a rebel with a cause :). Of course all of this is easier said than done. The pressure to cooperate is great. Even an introverted rebel with a cause must make compromises or else risk being banished from the pack. But… if I was lucky enough to have my way, I would choose to skip all the pre-holiday insanity and just keep the one special day for making true, meaningful memories with my family. I would make a nice crackling fire and I might even listen to a few Christmas tunes…
Happy Holidays to all introverted rebels with a cause. May you find your own joy this holiday season.
“If we value independence, if we are disturbed by the growing conformity of knowledge, of values, of attitudes, which our present system induces, then we may wish to set up conditions of learning which make for uniqueness, for self-direction, and for self-initiated learning.” — Carl Rogers