Saturday, March 29, 2014

An introvert's dilemma


I don't like attention. Several years ago, at our wedding, I felt so happy to be marrying my husband while wearing a beautiful dress. I felt less pleased about all the people watching me do so. Who could possibly blend in while wearing a tiara?

Lately, I've been experiencing some deju-vu. Over the last couple of years, I've been trying to overcome my predilection for schlubbiness. I wrestled with tiny elements of style that other people befriended effortlessly. I bought more jewel tones. I got some tinted lip gloss. I plucked my eyebrows more frequently. And I served these changes alongside a newly fit me. Adopted over time, the changes energized without overwhelming.

Then, other people started to notice. I felt happy receiving compliments from acquaintances. I felt less pleased with prolonged looks from strangers. What do you do when the thing that makes you happy makes you unhappy as well?


Question - How do you feel about being the center of attention?

7 comments:

  1. Oh, my goodness. That's exactly how I felt at my wedding. It was exhausting being the center of attention for such a long period of time. I do like being the center of attention sometimes such as when I'm performing, but overall, the background is a good place.

    Prolonged looks from strangers--that's interesting. I need to know more about that. My mind is going many different places with that comment.

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    1. I concur with Kris. Which performing do you speak of? :)

      As for "looks," the ones that make me feel the most uncomfortable are the once overs. I'm sure they're mostly kindly meant (checking out the outfit, etc.), but it's a new, unsettling experience for me.

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  2. Um, Live & Learn, performing what????

    Marilyn, you looked beautiful at your wedding. It's hard not to watch someone who looks gorgeous who is also soooooooo happy. It draws you in.

    I so identify with your comments today. For years I was the somewhat overweight girl with glasses who dressed ... okay ... but tried to avoid drawing attention. After losing some weight and getting contacts in my late 20s I found I attracted more attention, and it was kind of a mixture of fun filled with discomfort. I was actually asked out on a few dates, which hadn't happened in years. I got married, had 2 kids, my weight kept increasing to the point where I crossed into the "obese" category, and I felt like I wanted to hide. I had always been uncomfortable with my body, but after losing 60 pounds (and with the insight that comes when you enter your 40s) I realized, finally, that most people don't have bikini bodies and I was doing just fine. I think now that I am older I am a little more comfortable when I get attention for my appearance, probably because I no longer set my self-worth on how I look.

    Overall, I'm not someone who seeks out the center of attention--I occasionally sing solos in church and have tried to learn to be gracious with compliments but seeking out the limelight just isn't my thing. Choir is way more fun than solo-ing. :)

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    1. Thank you, Kris. I was and am a very happy bride. :)

      You know, I'd actually heard of other people expressing similar sentiments related to weight loss. It seems like a lot of the same emotions must be involved. Perhaps, like you, time will make me more at ease with this new experience.

      I'm sure it's because I can't sing, but the thought of doing a solo terrifies me. I'd much rather speak in front of a crowd. Do you enjoy preparing for solos? I sort of enjoy creating a talk/presentation.

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    2. What I love about singing is creating harmonies ... which is only possible when singing with others. If you hit a "sweet spot" in harmonizing, it's a feeling I can't describe--it's just so energizing. I am singing a solo for my niece's wedding and I purposely over-prepare when I have a solo--I like to know the words and the music so thoroughly that I can concentrate on telling the story of the song. I've gotten more comfortable with solos but it isn't fun for me the way that corporate singing is.

      Sounds like I feel the same way about public speaking as you do about solos! I have done a little public speaking but I don't really like it. Words on paper are easier for me.

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  3. Don't get too excited about my performances. Through the years I have done plays, songs, and sax and clarinet solos. These days however, most of my performances or spontaneous, I do humorous bits for my friends, but I have to be in a very familiar and relaxed situation. That is when I'm seeking attention. Otherwise, I don't want it. It feels very awkward.

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    1. Fun! Sometimes I think I should dust off my flute ...

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