I’ve read a lot lately about being introverts and how it affects a person’s life, namely needing time alone to recharge. But the other day I saw this title: “Leave me alone, but I also want to be included”, and it instantly reminded me of something that happened to me.
I was finally getting over a cold, no longer contagious, but couldn’t go more than a few hours without a nebulizing treatment. There was a family activity at church, involving board games. All my kids wanted to go and my husband talked me into it, after all, churches have electricity and my nebulizer was portable.
Once there, I sat, near an outlet. I thought it was a good spot, near the door, where everyone coming in would see me and with several fun games in front of me, I figured someone would join me as soon as things got started.
It was held in a large gym and I knew it would be difficult to hear my quiet voice if everyone was socializing. Also, as shy as I am, starting any conversations was out of the question. Besides, I couldn’t wander around because of my asthma and my bad back, aggravated by my excess weight.
Then people started coming in and mingling.
I’m not saying no one talked to me. Several people said hi as they brushed past me, but that was about the extent of it. Not one person sat down and offered to play even one game, except my own family.
For nearly an hour.
Not even the friendliest people there.
After being pretty much ignored by everyone else, I asked my husband to take me home.
Anyway, I thought of all of this and wondered how often we as writers think about why a character sits quietly in a corner.
Are they shy or an introvert? Or is it health reasons? Or, like me, a combination of all three.
Do we consider how these people feel about being left by themselves? Do the others around them even notice that they are there or when they leave?
I once had a lady enthusiastically tell me about a recent party, and something funny that happened at it, saying I’d missed the fun and I should make the next one.
All well and good, except I’d been beside her when the funny event occurred. Yeah, I walked out early, because no one was talking to me anyway, but I’d still been there.
Do you have characters who experience that?
When Bonnie needs to write the shy characters she comes to me precisely because I understand them so well.
Now the outgoing, extroverts, I have to ask Bonnie though I suppose I could ask my oldest daughter. She gets that sort too.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.