I spoke before I thought, yes I do that occasionally, unusual for an INFJ.
“Boy, take your headphones off, you’re being rude.”
He was in the back of the car playing on his iPad. His friend was also in the back of the car, also on his iPad. The drive to the Lego expo was going to take us about an hour. So I’d given permission for iPads.
They were not talking at all and I realized why – one had headphones on. Yes, in this case it was rude of him to have his headphones on. As an introvert I have found and sought solace through the use of headphones on numerous occasions. He is an introvert too, but he wasn’t seeking space at this time, he probably didn’t want to listen to my music. I do think that I need to work on ways to communicate that don’t make me feel like a complete hypocrite, the moment my words exit my mouth and sound in my ears. I’ve used headphones to establish space for myself in my workplace, in public and even in my home. I want him to know that it’s okay to do that sometimes, and it’s not always rude.
What might be considered rude is the extrovert who comes up to you and has to raise his/her voice to be heard because you have headphones on, because he/she needs to know “what are you listening to?” This happened to me once – I wanted desperately to say “anything but you”.
I didn’t. I do usually think before I speak, sometimes too much – hence there are zingers and one-liners I’ve never delivered. Some of them are hilarious – I know because in my head I rehearse them, and they get more witty each time I silently deliver them – and possibly a little more cutting.
As introverts, we need to be aware that some of our behaviors might be considered rude. Just as extroverts might need to consider some of their behaviors might be considered rude too. This is why I find personality “stuff” fascinating – when our home has its full compliment of characters, we have three introverts, one introverted extrovert and one EXTROVERT. So, often, the point at which I most desperately need to retreat into quiet, peace and silence, the extrovert with a capital ‘E’ has to make noise. Yes, silence is golden — but is it wrong of me to need silence, or is it wrong of the E to need to screech, squeal, whistle, sing loudly and bang on every wall, tabletop, bench, piece of furniture in the house? Maybe I just need to invest in some of these …
In the end I think it comes down to respect. We need to respect each other’s space. If you, the E, are yelling, squealing and screaming in the yard that’s ok — if you’re doing it in the kitchen — that’s not ok. If I’m requiring silence from our 2 acres — that’s not ok — but if, in the future, I can hear you over my noise cancelling headphones, we have a problem!
So that’s me preparing for the week that’s ahead of us … 😉
I give it about one hour before I have to come and read my own words, telling me I need to be more tolerant.
Because while this is occasionally a tempting solution — it is not ok!
Disclaimer: I would never seriously advocate the use of duct tape to silence an extrovert. Not for one minute. I would however advocate the purchase of some noise cancelling headphones, and the establishing of some appropriate and mutually beneficial and respectful rules. I decided that the disclaimer is necessary for literal and extroverted readers who may eye me with suspicion from now on. And no, I don’t carry or indeed own duct tape.