Marlena’s little finger is whirling, like a whisk. As if she was beating egg yoke to perfection. I am transfixed by the evocative dance of her body. The swiss, red -curly, haired woman is telling a story. A secret, only she knows. Every little movement counts. The shifting from one foot to the other, the slight raise of an eyebrow etc. Marlena is fully present. As if she had to translate simultaneously and couldn’t miss a single precious word, being spoken. The stillness turns into a silver lining, dancing through the room. Tickling the tips of our noses. We, her audience, are baffled and enchanted at the same time.
Marlena was the only one within our group of performers, who wasn’t shouting out loud:
’Look at me, look at me! See what I can do! I am here to impress you! I want your attention’
Yes, I know.
I hear you say:
‘I love it. It sounds magic and beautiful. But in our society, if you want to get somewhere, you have to shout out loud to be noticed. Like it or not!’
Where do you think this weird belief comes from?
I tell you. Western society has put a high value on extrovertism. It seems like, everybody needs to be the life and soul of the party at all times. That’s if you want to be counted in. If you want to be part of the in crowd.
An invisible slogan whispers constantly into our ears:
‘Be happy. Be outgoing. Appear confident. Always.’
I am sure you have noticed how many reality shows are built on obnoxious characters, being willing to do anything for their piece of fame. Like eating still alive cockroaches in front of the nation. ‘I’m a celebrity… get me out of here’ comes to mind. Or think of the ‘Appentrice’, where the contestants have to display high self-esteem bordering on narcissism during all their actions. They have to proof, that they are the best. That they’ve got what it takes! Even if it means being nasty and manipulative towards fellow contestants.
And what about the commercials? Did you ever think about them?
They are packed with beautiful men and women conquering the world with an irresistable smile on their face and a bottle of Tequila in their hands.
No wonder everyone thinks they have to shout out loud to get a piece of the cake. Even though it doesn’t fit their personality, because they are introvert, not extrovert.
Are you familiar with those nasty voices in your head?
‘Don’t hide away! Don’t be so awkward! Show them what you’ve got! Outperform everyone else. You need to secure a spot. You need to stand out from the crowd.’
When it comes to shouting the loudest for attention, it is quite amazing to what lengths people are willing to go. God, I’ll never forget the guy, who in 2003 gatecrashed Prince William’s 21 birthday party in Windsor Castle. Remember? He disguised himself as Osama Bin Laden!
Why was he doing it? To promote his upcoming solo comedy show at the Fringe in Edinburgh!
Guess what, it certainly worked for him!
If this was really the only way to be noticed nowadays, than it is bad news for people like me, being an introvert myself. I never would do such a stunt, no matter what. Basta!
Man, when I was 16, I even had problems fetching a salad at a salad bar in the middle of an italian restaurant. I felt observed by everyone.
Yes, of course I want to be part of this world. And yes, I want my art to be noticed. I want to have recognition like everyone else does. But I am not prepared anymore to play the part of someone I am not. Pretending to be an extrovert, when you’re not, is exhausting. You’re always afraid, they gonna find out.
‘What if they don’t find me interesting anymore, once they know’, you tell yourself.
That’s why I am saying, if you tend towards introvertism like me, do the following:
‘Stop trying to be like all the others. Stop shouting for attention and learn how to baffle your audience instead.’
Don’t forget! Introvertism has its advantages too. Us introverts have a great imagination and we think deeply about things. Where do you think all my crazy stories come from… But mainly I would say we are adventurers of the mind.
We are free spirits!
Don’t give up on these fine qualities, because you want to fit in! It’s not worth it. Really!
Let me give you another example apart from Marlena, the swiss performer I mentioned in the beginning. Someone, who also manages to baffle their audience and is succesfull at the same time.
I am talking about Sia, the singer, whose face you never see; neither on her videos nor when she performs live. Instead you get to watch beautiful, intriguing dancers. Check it out. ‘Elastic heart’ or ‘Chandelier’ are a real treat for anyone, who loves a special performance. Sia hides her face in public. She disguises it with a wig, whose long fringe is covering her eyes as well.
She says she doesn’t want to be famous. She wants to bring some mysticism back into pop culture.
Well done Sia! I believe she is anti person-cult and pro-art as such. I am pretty sure she tends towards introvertism too.
Sia is mesmerizing and mysterious apart from being extremely talented of course. She doesn’t shout out loud. She baffles her audience instead. And it works! Boy it does!
That’s why I am telling you again. Leave the shouting to all the extroverts and find your own way.
Do it like Sia or like Marlena. Don’t lay it all out open on the table. Hide something, let people guess. Make them curious. Hide things on purpose. Don’t make everything so bloody obvious. Stop explaining.
Hide it, hide parts of yourself, of your work. Hide it, because it makes sense to you. Because it has meaning. Let the story underneath, the secret behind the black veil, talk for itself.
Let’s show our extrovert society, that there is another way! Let’s entice them by being mysterious, by conceiling something, like a hidden message, that needs to be figured out.
Let’s do it!
Wait a minute.
You love the idea, but you don’t quite know how to make the change and where to start? No worries, I’ve got your back.
Head over to my Be Creative side and book a free 15 min or 45 min. coaching session. I’ll help you figure out how to baffle your audience, instead of shouting at them.