Sometimes You Have to be Weird to be Great: Success and Connection Through Introversion and Sensitivity
NBA superstar, Kobe Bryant, practices without a basketball. According to his former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe spends time cutting, motioning and grunting like he is dribbling and shooting but without a ball. Shaq finds this weird but admits it seems to help Kobe’s game.
Bet you didn’t think you’d get a sport’s story here.;)
Feeling weird in your own home
Two years into space2live’s existence, my oldest son declared (in our kitchen in front of his brother and sister), Introverts are weird. Making it unsafe or at least uncomfortable for any of us to admit to our introverted traits. Despite my in-depth writing and explanations regarding what it means to be an introvert, my son still saw introverts as shy, anti-social irregulars who aren’t as successful as extroverts. So sometimes, I feel weird in my own home.
For a long time I hid (somewhat unsuccessfully) my desperate need for alone time because I felt like a non-mainstream, selfish mother for desiring time away from the family. I felt out of sync with other parents/women because I couldn’t juggle multiple sports’ schedules, homework assistance, dinner preparation, household maintenance and husband attention.
I multi-task poorly. I pay attention and move through life linearly, one note at a time. I savor sounds, smells, words, tastes, touch and beauty and fail to thrive in constant busy-ness and lose energy when forced to spend money. Which in the universe I inhabit, is weird.
Sensitive = weird?
I am extraordinarily sensitive. My eyes well up at country songs with sad stories. Hell, I cry during The Voice sometimes because I am so moved by the singing.
I talk about gratitude and harmony and the heart behind every face. My sons think I’m… weird (and a hippie). The other day my middle son’s teacher spoke of gratitude and kinship in the classroom. The teacher, Mr. L, told the kids that grateful people are healthier. My son, relaying the story at our dinner table, said, He sounded like you Mom. I was so thrilled to be associated with such lovely concepts I almost cried;).
I also get a huge high from music, art, writing, intimacy, the stars, compassionate gestures and travel. I have a hard time focusing on small details and conversations without meaning. I have determined that relationships and experiences are all I need to maintain a level of contentedness that most would call happiness.
I don’t have the energy or desire to constantly strive for more. I’m feeling oriented rather than event or task oriented. I am very selective in my loves and passions because I go deep into what I pursue. Sometimes my selectivity offends others. Sometimes my choices are strange. I choose to make my children a top priority but not my whole life. I don’t insist my kids have full schedules. I don’t go over every inch of my children’s homework. I sit at home and write rather than shop or socialize. I keep my home good enough rather than impressive. I chose divorce over security.
Weirdness leads to greatness?
Kobe Bryant is a great basketball player because of his discipline and work ethic. That he dares to be unorthodox in his practice methods just makes him that much more connected to his passion. He goes deeper.
I am saying that I am more content because of my willingness to be different. I am more me. I am weirdly satisfied and open to connect with others. Because of this willingness to feel odd and uncomfortable I have attracted and validated other weirdos like me. Frankly, that’s an experience way better than great.
What do you do that other’s might view as strange? Is there something that you love but are afraid to embrace because it’s not mainstream?
If Sometimes You Have to be Weird to be Great… spoke to you, then you may also enjoy:
- You don’t need a basketball to practice basketball (apparently) (tkcoleman.com)
- 10 Awe-Inspiring Ways to Live Differently (LonerWolf)
- There’s Nothing Wrong with You. You’re an Introvert.(space2live)
- The Introvert’s Love Affair with Solitude: Will It Always Be Taboo? (space2live)
- Understanding the Introvert Cycle: Why We Go From Irritable to Ever-Loving (space2live)