I’m not a people person. Those who know me are shrugging and saying, “Well duh,” right about now. I’m the dreaded introvert. It’s not that I don’t like people; I do. I just prefer them in small doses. Preferably one at a time. And not for very long.
Readers of this blog will know that I’m a counselor working in mobile crisis, and some of you may find that a bit incongruent. Though I’m secure in my contradictions, of which there are many, I don’t consider this to be one of them. I’ll explain.
You see, I dislike the willfully stupid. I love working with the sick, the ignorant, and the poor. Many of them are brave in ways I’ll never have to be.
I also enjoy conversations with people who like to talk about books, movies, ideas, characters, the weird, wacky, or wonderful. I know of the Kardashians from skimming the headlines on Yahoo news, but I’ve never seen a single episode of whatever they’re in. I don’t have any interest in writing passive aggressive posts on Facebook or making small talk. If I’m going to talk to someone, I prefer that I either really care about the person, or we’re talking about something interesting. I’m not into single serving friends.
Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with any of the above things; they’re just not for me. This was brought home to me pretty sharply at the recent counseling conference I went to. We were encouraged to talk to others and get to know one another, and I thought, “why? What does that have to do with my learning to be a better counselor?”
On one hand, I could use more curiosity about others. However, I think that what makes me a good counselor is my willingness to sit back and just listen. I’m not composing shopping lists in my head or waiting for my turn to speak. If I’m sitting there talking to you, it probably means I really want to hear your story. I don’t waste my energy listening to nonsense.