Sunday, 1 November 2009

Attention avoider

Some people love to be the centre of attention, surrounded by a phalanx of admirers. I'm quite the opposite, I prefer to be somewhere in the background chatting to one or two people at the most.

If I do happen to be at the centre of things, I usually find it very embarrassing. Seeing so many people waiting on my every word is sure to stop me in my tracks and render me speechless. Whatever I have to say will never be witty and sparkling enough for all those expectant faces.

I don't understand why so many people want to be famous, relishing the prospect of their slightest move being followed by the media and the gawping millions, their every minor mistake flashed instantly around the world. How can anyone enjoy that sort of goldfish bowl existence?

I tend to think the attention-seekers just have huge egos that need to be constantly fed, but that's probably unfair. More likely they're just natural extroverts who enjoy sharing their vibrant personalities with as many people as possible. And I have to admit such gregarious souls are a necessary balance to hesitant shrinking violets like myself. If you want a party to go with a swing, a room full of ruminating introverts isn't going to help.

When extroverts encounter retiring corner-huggers like me, they always want to sort me out, to give me a taste for the limelight. You enjoy an audience really, they say, everyone does, and all these people are just dying to know more about you.

Maybe they are, I reply, but the thought of a dozen razor-sharp brains weighing up my every sentence and deducing heaven knows what makes me want to run for the hills. That level of scrutiny is way too scary.

I'll just keep hovering in the wings, if you don't mind.

14 comments:

kylie said...

jeez nick,
if you think we're all waiting for you to make a mistake you are just wrong. most people cant give their full attention to one thing for more than a few seconds!

Nick said...

Kylie - Oh, I know some people's attention span is zero but there are others who don't miss a thing!

Grannymar said...

Nick when faced with extroverts, simply ask them a question about themselves and you'll have no need to worry. They will do all the talking, sure they love themselves. Don't they?

meno said...

I've never liked parties. Superficial conversation with many people. I prefer no more than 6 people (including me) at a time.

Nick said...

Grannymar - As long as they're talking, that's fine. The problem comes when they look expectantly at me.

Meno - I agree. Big crowds of people usually prevent any serious conversation about anything.

Rummuser said...

Ah Nick, you have not met someone like me yet! I do not like to be the center of attraction. Unfortunately for me, I think that it has something to do with my size and my whisky and nicotine voice, I become one sooner than later in any place with more than four persons. It then becomes difficult to quietly pursue matters of interest to me, usually the food/snacks. Inevitably, there will be someone like you around and I would do exactly what you say they do - ask questions. If however, you were to meet me, you would not even know what was happening and you would be telling me the inner most secrets of your life.

Nick said...

Ramana - Oh, I would tell you my innermost secrets, would I? I don't know about that, I'm very good at hiding them. On the other hand, if I revealed my deepest secrets, perhaps my listeners would be so shocked they'd all drift away and give me a breathing space....

Baino said...

I hate being the centre of attention actually I hate attention.. .I'm quite happy sitting it out or staying home. Although you know some introverts can give an air of confidence and self-assurance that's quite misleading. I think I'm like that . . totally insecure but give the impression of absolute self-assuranbce

Leah said...

I'm sure your secrets give you a nice mystique. No need to blurt all one's secrets, keep 'em guessing!

I'm an extrovert. But I also think I'm pretty good at not making people feel uncomfortable. Extroversion isn't always synonymous with overpowering, domineering manners...(although admittedly the two often go hand in hand)...

Nick said...

Baino - That's funny you see yourself as an introvert because that's not how you come across either in person or on the blog! I think I often come across as falsely confident and self-assured myself.

Leah - I seem to keep people guessing all the time. As with most quiet types, all sorts of hidden traits and characteristics are attributed to me to fill the vacuum!

Judging by your blog, you seem to be very good at making people feel comfortable and not judged in any way.

Scarlet Blue said...

I agree with Leah. I'm not exactly an extrovert - but I have done amateur dramatics and I love dancing and being daft at parties. The other side of the coin is that I often enjoy my own company and like peace and quiet.
Sx

Nick said...

Scarlet - Yes, I have a contradictory extrovert side as well. I love dancing, I enjoy public displays of affection and I've often taken part in political demos. But for me a little gregariousness goes a very long way, I thrive on quiet rumination.

Liz said...

i've been shy all my life and in a group situation I'll be very quiet but I've found I like to read my writing to people, especially if it makes them laugh. I think I have confidence in my writing rather than in me.

Nick said...

Liz - I've never tried that, but I think I'd be happy to read my writing to people too. One thing I do have some confidence in is my ability to write (though anything longer than a short story defeats me).