I had touched about this matter in a post but I didn't get the space to talk about this yet since I was occupied. Yesterday, I accompanied second sister to her friend's wedding banquet in Seberang Perai. She only returns home North sometimes so when she returns home I also wanted to show her some places that I had earlier been especially in Penang Island. She said she wants to find some time next time just to go to spa and relax with her friends or alone, hehehe. I also suggested her to bring her friends to go through Penang Heritage Trails when they have time. Just imagine our selves like those Western travelers and travel, haha.
We also went to Batu Feringghi and Tanjung Tokong which has a nice beautiful floating masjid. I haven't been to these part of island alone yet since it needs extra days to explore these parts. I love to explore places alone first and without any friend because I need to make sure the places are safe for friends and I can sleep anywhere without having to book any room or hotel. If anything happen to me would be ok since I am not important but if I burdened friends I would feel guilty my whole life.
Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive into the Extrovert World
This one is from a site written by a screenwriter known as Carl. He talks about his discovery when reading a book known as the "Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive into the Extrovert World" which was written by Marti Laney. Marti Laney is an American Psychotherapist but I don't know how far she did researches about introversion. But since she had published a book, I guess maybe we could also check her works and other researches as well. I actually never realize that I am one of this group of introverts. We do know about the word used in English but we didn't really know about it as a psychological term, right???
Before this, I always thought that everyone is the same since I was taught by people around to be merciless to myself if I can't do what others can do. I did realize that my ability with others is different but I don't know how to defend myself. When I saw people who faced the same fate like me I always feel sympathy to them and wanted to help them too. Kedahans call those who can't do what others can do as tak menyekoh or tak bertokoh. Our society does not recognize difference in people ability so we tend to classify people with these kind of derogatory labels. Poeple however recognize difference in status based on those things that they view as special ability without really looking at necessities in which I found that I can't fit in and I don't know what kind of ability satisfies society needs or brings them to admiration. Even until now, I don't feel like I need any praises if I do anything or I found no reason to receive any sympathy from people for myself if being hit by misfortune.
Conflict within Myself or with Society?
When I was humiliated by teachers and schoolmates during my lower secondary schooling time, I felt that I should not be the same like them and I began to be serious with Buddhism practices that I had gradually seek and learned since I was 13 years old at temples. Well, I recited Trairattana on a glass of water. I imagined that I took the vows of precepts with Lord Buddha and recited all of them in Bali (not Balinese language of Indonesian island but Bali the ceremonial language of Theravada Buddhist rituals) and in Malay. I remember some of my offerings are some flour, sugar, candles, some white threads and I bought incense sticks which all of them represent specific meanings of Brahman traditions and Buddhist precepts. I began to collect Bali-Sanskarttam terms which I chain them to make montras like what I heard at temples when I was a student of the madrasah in Perlis. That's why I had notes and stuffs. I also made a will which I wrote in my notebook and I put in the box under my bed saying that if I died I wanted to be cremated like a Buddhist with Buddhism rituals. Only after I repent I dispose those notebooks.
Owh yeah, I still remember at the time we also heard about Bamiyan Buddha bombardment by Taleban and again I viewed Muslims as barbaric savages and I hate people around more especially those who call themselves Muslims, hahaha. When Muslim friends talked about Bamiyan Buddha should be bombed I felt like I wanted to kick them and felt my heart aches. The Bamiyan Buddha was actually the image of Buddha of the past known as Dipangkar Buddha. It was not the image of Siddartha Gautama Buddha as what people always think. I would also advice brothers and sisters in faith and also Christian friends, don't lower estimate those people just because we see them as idolaters who bow down to golden idols. Sometimes, our intention wanted to make them as our brothers with love could also turn them to be our life-enemies if we do it without precautions and manners.
When I was a Buddhist as an experience of this short life, I could still perform pujas without idols or images and it is roughly known as the highest pujas. I only used mudras and imagination of emptiness. I could not always perform darshan (watching) at the images since I lived with my family so I performed mudras. I almost forgotten some mudras because I didn't practice them for long since repentance but I still remember few names of the mudras or signs of the hand. I don't know how to explain this but it could be quite complicated to explain. I didn't believe in a God as Allah but I believed in Buddhas and Jinas (conquerors of desires) whom are all teachers. They are all my examples. I didn't really performed salat but I pretend like performing salat just to make sure that people won't suspect me and sending me to Muslim teachers because they might think I was possessed. I did those things while I was sane and I was aware about environment around. So, maybe this is called as Taqiyya by other fellow Sunnah Muslim brothers? Hehehe.
Marti Laney Foundings
Carl mentioned that a section in Laney's book in page 71-75 maps out human brain and explains how neuro-transmitters follow different dominant paths in the nervous systems of Introverts and Extroverts. He said that if the theory of the psychologist is correct, then it turns our that introverts are people who are over sensitive to a chemical cell known as Dopamine. Too much external stimulation overdoses these introverts and exhausts them.
On the other hand, extroverts can't get enough Dopamine. They require Adrenaline for their brains to create it. Extroverts also have a shorter pathway and less-blood flowing to the brain. The messages of an extrovert's nervous system mostly bypass the Broca's area in the frontal lobe which is where a large portion of contemplation takes place. The books says, only about 25% of people are introverts. There are even fewer with extreme cases. It leads to a lot of misunderstandings since society does not have very much experience with introverts.
The site writer listed few misconceptions about introverts based on his own life experience and I also found that it mostly resembles mine. I would also list them down as what he wrote because I don't think I need to change anything.....
1. Introverts don't like to talk.
It's not true. Introverts just don't talk unless if they have something to say. They don't like small talk. Try getting an introvert and talking about something they are interested in, and they won't shut up for days. I think this is true because I am not really a talkative person but I am not also a cocky guy who stays alone all the time or always in silence. I talk only with few people or when I feel important. I talked with karkun Firdaws or karkun Husaimi last time because I saw that they were serious to perform the duty of our path but on the other side, I feel that I wasn't a worth person to talk to them or others. Sometimes I only use a person to spread some important message and the message is not only for one person but for others. Usually that messenger person is an important person in my view and I respect them : )
2. Introverts are shy
Shyness has nothing to do with being an introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don't interact only to interact. If you wanted to talk to an introvert, just start talking. No worry about being polite. I think this writer is right in my case. I don't really feel afraid or shy to talk to people but I am afraid that I will violate few teachings and portraying evil example to others especially those who are "religious" which will cause me sin. But if people wanted to talk to me, I could be very flexible. I have friends who are not religious at all and we talk like other guys. We discussed and taught each other whatever we know about music, about movies, hairstyle, jeans, about favorite food, about girls, hilarious stuffs, about our differences in dialects or languages, talking nonsense just to laugh and others. I never talk like a preacher to these friends at all as I have a principle where I will never say anything regarding obedience if I do not perform it first. No such thing as hadith ini or hadith itu unless if they ask me or needs help regarding studies of hadith. Usually, I never ask people to follow me to masjid or do any religious activity because I consider it as between me and the Lord but if some friends are interested I would also feel happy and love to march with them while praying for them.
3. Introverts are rude
Introverts often don't see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings. So, introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting. Urmm, this one I do agree. For example if I am buying something and I am asking the price of certain stuffs during bargain session. It does not mean that I wanted to lower the price but I am actually testing the honesty of the trader. If they are honest, I will pay the price where he mentioned it at the first place and just go. Many people would not understand if I do like this but what matters for me is honesty and truth. The same thing like government adverts which says eat less sugar and etc. I don't mind if they just tell us, we are now facing some economic downturn so please try to save as possible as you can because ministers and their family also wanted to enjoy their life. Then, I would be happy to do so for them. Just don't lie with misleading reasons. I also will tell the truth if I think it is important but I don't know if people would also call me as a rude. If I don't like to talk or listen about something, I would just keep my silence and just slowly slip away.
4. Introverts don't like people
On the contrary, introverts intensely value the few friends that they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If one is lucky enough for an introvert to consider as a friend, he is probably have a loyal ally for life. Once a person earned their respect as a person of substance, then he is in. This is true in my case. I don't really make a lot of friends but I have few friends. They are all matters and I don't care what is their religion or faith. Sometimes I would also defend them and also being counted as an infidel by other Muslims even until now, hahaha. I talk to a person who first talk to me. That person will be counted as a close friend or even a blood brother though not really related by blood.
I am not close to my relatives and my relatives from both side live in scattered places. Some of my dad's relatives live abroad and I don't even know them. They are of foreign stock. My mum's relatives especially related to her siblings are also not close to me and I think they are cocky, narrow-minded, lower-estimating others and love to show off about their religious status though they just live in kampungs. I am just a son in my family and just have my sisters. I am not also really close to some of my sisters because they don't really understand me. I had to find out everything by experience and looking around. My real close friend last time was lord Buddha and his teachings. I even thought that I would be a monk retiring or die in temple one day but the result is now I am returning to ancestral path, hahaha.
5. Introverts don't like to go out public
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts. Also true.... One of my colleague last time, Amir was also like this. I guess that is why I was close to him. We don't like group discussions and usually we would end up checking everything through messenger but last time we also make great accomplishment in one of our presentation during undergraduate. We just did everything through the net while two other members of the group were not functioning. However, we included both of them as our group members and they also get the grades. No big deal.
Introverts always want to be alone
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don't have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave and authentic and sincere connection with one person at time. Urmmmmm, this is so right!!! This guy also experienced the same thing and it's quite surprising, hahahaha. Sometimes I feel not comfortable to talk with many people because we don't know if they could understand what we are talking about. I am always sincere with my friends I don't really have many friends, haha. My last time friends some of them had gone to no where. When I was a school kid too, I didn't really make friend with people around. I made friends with migrant workers from Pakistan and we always went to pray Juma'at service before I became a Buddhist but later they moved and I became extremely lonely. My dad didn't like the Patthans and he said I will be influenced to be an idiot like them, hehehe. One of the friend was Aftab, I guess that was his name, hahaha. Dad didn't have problems with Punjabis or other fellow Sub-Indian continent ethnics except the Patthans.
7. Introverts are weird
Introverts are often individualists. They don't follow the crowd. They'd prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don't make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy. Yea, I don't like to follow trend. Even if people look at me as an ugly guy, surely I feel sad but I would never change my style for that. I chose to seriously be a Buddhist last time because of this too. I don't find any couple, girlfriend, or even trying to ask anyone for marriage because of this. I indeed hate those people who use scripture verses and hadiths to sound like they are the most obedient people while they don't know what are the significance of their deeds. People might not understand us but what can we do.
Introverts are aloof nerds
Introverts are people who primarily look inward. They pay close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It's not that they are incapable to pay attention on what is going on around them, it's just their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them. Na'ah, I am not a nerd I know that. I don't really like to read books but I get everything because I just listen to things. I do memorize but not like others doing it by just looking at the books. I memorize while practicing. Supposed that if I am a nerd, I would be a computer science student or those who work with numbers, hahahaha. Sorry those who study computer science out there. Didn't mean to be rude.
9. Introverts don't know how to relax and have fun
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature. Not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just perfectly describing me but I love to travel alone. Maybe with a friend but not with many friends because I am afraid I would scare people. I don't like many people to know me. I don't mind hiking in the forest or meditating in the forest alone. I love nature. My science subject tendencies when I was a school kid was more to biology (botanical) and I know many things about Hindu traditional herbs but I think I can't suit modern kind of studies with research theories and everything. I didn't have the chance to study I wanted too because our education system was quite tight. I love to practice and try it on myself. Even until now I still practice them including burning weeds with ghee in my room. It's not for any sacrifice but only to scare away some insects without killing them. I guess one could understand why Muslim da'ies also sent their students to Indian sub-continent. It was once the land of philosophy and it is still like it was. Human experience mingles there with the environment. For now, I don't believe school or university as good institutions to make a human. For me they are just factories to produce literate labors or robots.
10. Introverts can fix themselves and become extroverts
A world without introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, poets, artists, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an extrovert can learn in order to interact with introverts. Writer of the side said, he reversed the two terms on purpose as to show people how biased our society is. Introverts cannot "fix themselves" and they deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to human society. In fact a study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of introverts increases with IQ. He said, people could not escape introverts and cannot change them as it will lead to their demise. I can be terribly destructive for an introvert to deny themselves in order to get along in an extrovert dominant world. Like other minorities, introverts may end up hating themselves and others because of the differences. If people think that they are introverts, they are recommended to search the topic and seek out other introverts to compare notes. The burden is not entirely to try and become "normal". Extroverts need to recognize and respect introverts. That will also make introverts respect themselves. Urmmm, I think I can't really respect myself since it is not easy for society to change. It means that I will have to have low-self esteem to the end of the world. We need to learn to be others and later being labeled with terms like Taqiyya :'(
So, this is about two terms, introvert and extrovert. We learned these in classes to signify a person who is shy or who is not shy but we are not so sure that it is also terms used in psychological studies. Hope this helps...
Adapted from Carl Kingdom
Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!