Well Respected

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Pathfinder
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Well Respected

Postby Pathfinder » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:17 am

Some time ago a co-worker told my wife that I was "well respected" at my place of work. Being Introverts I'm sure most of you will also acquire the same status if you haven't already due to the fact that we are said to be more focused and better able to execute the tasks and duties in our areas of expertise. One of the things I've come to learn over the years though is that "well respected" is not the same a "well liked". Now I'm not saying that people don't like us, it's just that we are not their first choice to hang around, unless of course your services are required...

It never ceases to amaze me just how transparent the people who approach us for advice or assistance can be. After they've got what they need from you, they simply just can't wait to get back to their extro buddies. You're the "go to" person, the "subject matter expert" and the one who can see clearly etc... but socially they have no interest in you. I see it time and time again. Some people will consume hours of your time crying on your shoulder or trying to work out a problem and then simply leave you behind like a spent condom (hopefully after thanking you). Do they ever think of inviting you for lunch or a beer afterwards, or to bring you a gift as thanks? Sometimes, but not often. So I guess many of us don't care much about them hanging around afterwards anyways, but the whole thing makes me feel used and abused somewhat. It's irritating... Sometimes for a little entertainment however I'll ask what their extro buddies have to say about the matter. I've never heard a good response back though...

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AcousticPond
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Re: Well Respected

Postby AcousticPond » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:27 pm

Pathfinder wrote:It never ceases to amaze me just how transparent the people who approach us for advice or assistance can be. After they've got what they need from you, they simply just can't wait to get back to their extro buddies. You're the "go to" person, the "subject matter expert" and the one who can see clearly etc... but socially they have no interest in you. I see it time and time again. Some people will consume hours of your time crying on your shoulder or trying to work out a problem and then simply leave you behind like a spent condom (hopefully after thanking you). Do they ever think of inviting you for lunch or a beer afterwards, or to bring you a gift as thanks? Sometimes, but not often. So I guess many of us don't care much about them hanging around afterwards anyways, but the whole thing makes me feel used and abused somewhat. It's irritating... Sometimes for a little entertainment however I'll ask what their extro buddies have to say about the matter. I've never heard a good response back though...


You pretty much described my entire life up until about 10 years ago, particularly the bolded part. This used to happen to me at least once a month. Since I'm a complete nerd and prefer to read a lot instead of socialize, I tend to accumulate knowledge. And, because I accumulate knowledge, I'm a valuable resource to many, especially when they need something fixed/explained/done/etc. Then, they're all over me. They call repeatedly, they text, they email, and some would even just show up at my door. And they'd be SO friendly! "Hey! How are you! I know we haven't seen each other in awhile, and I thought I'd just see how you were doing. Oh, and while I have you on the line, could you do me this really teensy favor?" (And, of course, the chances of the favor actually being 'teensy' is pretty remote).

It was like a bloody script. The first line would state that they haven't seen me lately, or that they missed me. The second line would be them asking how I'm doing. The third line would be them asking me to help them somehow. Every damn time. It got to the point where, when I'd see someone's number come up on my call display (call display - greatest invention of the 90s!!!), I'd purposely ignore them because I knew damn well they weren't calling just to inquire about my health. Or, if I did happen to pick up for whatever reason, I'd start my timer just to see how long it took them to start asking for assistance.

It took me awhile to catch on, but I finally did. The way I see it now is, if you have no time for me when you don't need my help, I have no time for you when you DO need it. Go find another 'expert' and pay whatever it is they're charging.

What really makes me laugh is that even though they haven't made an effort to reach out to you for months (or possibly years), they still get offended when you don't immediately pick up the phone/answer their email or text and help them.

If someone is helpful to me (I have a few coworkers who really are, and they do take the time to talk to me when they don't need anything; I feel as if they genuinely like me), I'll do whatever I can to make their lives easier. But, if I haven't heard from you in two years, and you're suddenly having problems with your computer crashing and you want me to spend an hour on the phone diagnosing your problem, you can go get stuffed.

It reached a point where I stopped telling people I had any specific skill set. I used to build my own computers, and could pretty much troubleshoot anything, but once people discovered that, the phone would ring constantly, and I'd spend hours upon hours trying to fix things that they'd pretty much screwed up themselves. Years ago (I'm old), I was a licensed hairstylist (job from hell for an introvert), and as soon as people found out, they'd try to get free haircuts for them and their entire family ("It's only me and Tim and our six kids, it's not like I'm asking for the moon!"). Or, when they found out I did calligraphy and graphic design, they'd expect me to do wedding invitations, websites, etc., for free. And, once they had what they wanted, I wouldn't hear from them for another year.

Not telling anyone is the easiest route, but sometimes people are going to know anyway (i.e. you're at work and they see you doing whatever it is they need). All I do now is accounting, so they can't ask me for much. I play dumb with any other tasks.

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Pathfinder
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Re: Well Respected

Postby Pathfinder » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:04 pm

Wow, do I hear you! I'm an electrician by trade although I work in a different industry now, and I've always had a natural inclination for mechanical things. Yeah, no end to the "friends". When I reached my mid-30's I made a policy that with the exception of close friends I would only help people help themselves. You won't believe how many people expected me to wire their basements up and work for a case of beer. I had fun with one co-worker one day who asked that I come to his home and install pot lights in his kitchen. (usually a very difficult job to do well) No mention of paying me or anything. "So said sure no problem", I could see the delight in his expression. "But first I continued, how about you come over to my place and clean out my evestroughs...". After a long period of silence he reluctantly said "well okay". I asked him to let me know when he wanted to come over to do it, and never heard from him about it again...lol.

I also went through the computer thing as well for many years. Now I won't help anyone who hasn't done an exhaustive search of the computer forums first. My two favourite sayings are "Google's your friend" and "someone, somewhere, has had the same problem as you have and has posted how a way to correct it". Let me tell you they all hate that. How dare I suggest that they spend hours on the computer trying to find a solution themselves. "That's going to take forever...". Yup and it probably would for me too... God forbid they might learn something...lol.

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AcousticPond
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Re: Well Respected

Postby AcousticPond » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:48 pm

Yeah, how much is a case of beer? I know people who are electricians, plumbers and auto mechanics, and beer seems to be the universal offering for their services. Fix my car for a case of beer. Rewire my entire house for a case of beer. Replumb my entire kitchen for a case of beer. I work for an automotive repair shop, so I see what these guys go through. As one mechanic put it, 'pay me the $500 it would normally cost, and I'll buy as much beer as I want'.

I've also tried to teach people to fix their own crap, but I usually always get one of two responses: "I don't have time for that!", or "That's too hard!"

So my question is always, if it's too hard or you don't have time, why should it be MY problem?? Typical entitled attitude these days - everyone wants something for nothing, and they want it NOW.

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Pathfinder
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Re: Well Respected

Postby Pathfinder » Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:28 am

I think you hit the nail on the head earlier when you said that you no longer tell anyone about your skills. The less people know the better it seems. I've worked with a couple of people over the year who were masters at making people (particularly their bosses) believe they were stupid when I knew the weren't. The end result was nobody even bothered to give then a job to do most of the time since they were afraid it would get screwed up. That's verging on a whole other topic though... one that also gets under my skin... lol.

I got a chuckle from your comment about working "the job from hell" as a hair dresser. It's funny how we get roped into these things sometimes. I read somewhere once that Eugene Levy (Saturday Night Live) and several other comedians and entertainers are actually Introverts. Even Obama is said to be an innie. For the life of me I can't figure out how the heck that works out. I'm fortunate though in the sense that I work in a high noise environment which means with everyone wearing their hearing protection we can't talk a whole lot. Imagine my disappointment... :mrgreen:

samalyzer
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Re: Well Respected

Postby samalyzer » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:48 am

In my case, my skill seems to be that I'm the best listener on the face of the earth, and that I give advice that "lifts the veil from people's eyes" (sarcasm). To some degree, it's actually true. People talk to me in airports in grocery lines, you name it and they'll tell you all their problems, things they wouldn't tell anyone else. I actually had a new female acquaintance tell me about having sex with her half-brother when she was a teen, after which she looked at me with amazement and said" I can't believe I just told you that; I've never told anyone else". And during that whole conversation, I hadn't said or done anything to lead her into revealing anything.

I don't mind hearing people's problems and stories, though, because it appeals to my voyeuristic nature; and after all, aren't we all, all of us introverts just observers of life. It's why we read, we live vicariously through others works, and in the stories that we hear from others we experience the vagaries of life without the fear and danger of being affected by it. I'm perfectly satisfied with being an introvert.

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Pathfinder
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Re: Well Respected

Postby Pathfinder » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:49 pm

Hey samalyzer, seems like you've got a real honest/trustworthy look about you or something for people to be telling you that kind of stuff. I mean surely she wouldn't consider that a pickup line...lol. Now that you mention it though a long time ago a boss of mine told me and another guy sitting in the cafeteria that he was abused by his father... Just like that out of the blue, for no apparent reason. Talk about a conversation killer... It's bad enough trying to find something to say at the best of time but sheesh, I was dumbfounded.

On your comment about "all of us introverts just observers of life", I would definitely have to say that does not describe me. I truly enjoy living by first hand experience and I don't make a good homebody. As an example, I love the concert scene, love people watching and grovin' to the tunes. Any interaction with others tends to be short and sweet. However It's been pointed out to me by others on this board that I more accurately fit the ambivert label over an introvert one.

I'm curious, have you spent anymore time with your new acquaintance just in case she wants to reveal any other secrets? I would think the temptation would be overwhelming... 8-)

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BorgQueen
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Re: Well Respected

Postby BorgQueen » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:19 am

Wow, literally summed up my life in that post


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