I remember starting this year with the goal of being more social, outgoing. It is the latest of the numerous times I have embarked on such projects. And the trouble is that regardless of how much progress I make I always suffer a relapse. Somehow I always end up going back to my super silent introversive self. And it's partly because of the way I handle pressure. We all have our ways of handling pressure. I know of some people who panic and talk a lot when under pressure; they make the most calls when they are nervous. They try to ease their way out of the pressure by talking to the people who matter to them, asking advice and verbally offloading their worries. Then there are those who act the same as when they were not under pressure just that they look more stressed. And there is me: when I'm stressed I automatically shift into energy-saving mode. I find it hard to do many things at once, even the normal things, like picking phone calls, replying mails, going out and getting back to a client. It sounds strange but it's the truth. The worst part is that I become too helpless to alter my natural reactions. It's like going down a valley, one only begins to come up after reaching the bottom. The times I have pulled out of this mode is long after the pressure is gone and I begin to feel like I am doing nothing, then I transition into my hyperactive mode of trying to create activities for myself.
One of the huge benefits of being an extreme introvert is that I know myself so well that I correctly predict my actions and learning. I'm never surprised by my actions. And it makes me look weird when I tell people that I'm not as good a person as a I look. I could be the most caring and helpful person when you've got a problem I could fix and then I wouldn't call you or SMS you for the next one year. And it's not deliberate: both the being helpful part and the not calling part. I'm just like that. I would help the hangman mend his rope even if I was going to the victim.
I have tried to figure out why I am this way. What I found out is that all my habits are like the pieces of a jigsaw that fits perfectly together. I am able to give whatever I'm doing almost 100% dedication, be it facilitating a training or writing a computer program or reading a book or writing an article or helping someone else on a particular task, because I'm going to hibernate afterwards. I'm extremely nice and cheerful on phone because I naturally won't call back (soon). I am skilled at a lot of things because I give each 100% attention while learning and then move on completely to something else. In fact, I know it's just a matter of time before my obsession shifts away from Excel. And I'm kind to everyone because I forget them more easily that way; the people I offend stay longer in my working memory.
The problem with changing for me has been that whenever I fix one of my bad habits I get overwhelmed by the good habit it counterbalances. When I tried becoming more outgoing I became less cheerful and nice. And when I tried calling people more often and chatting on Whatsapp/BBM I always ended the day with headache. The few bad habits I have succeeded in changing have also permanently lost me some good habits. And that is why I haven't been in a hurry to return people's calls or stop being unusually silent. I know that it's a symptom of something bigger and the only way I can rectify it is to let the pressure reduce.