How Do You Get An Introvert To Participate? Just Ask The English

Given my social media absence, many of you might think I fell off the face of the earth. Sorry to disappoint, but I didn’t. I did, however, fall off the face of North America.

Good to see there’s some reading material at Stonehenge.

Good to see there’s some reading material at Stonehenge.

Mr. Rubin, youngest teen son, and I spent ten days east of the Atlantic, the first seven of which were in England, a place I am now convinced houses the nicest people in the world. (Look out, Canada and Minnesota, you have some competition.)

Though most of our time was in London, we detoured to Cardiff for a day as well as to Stonehenge. We then spent three days in Paris where I put my rusty French to poor use

carrie eiffel tower  with sheldon 1

Eiffel Tower selfie

So many great places we saw, including a visit to the Cardiff Castle where a cordial staff member named Dean achieved the impossible: he engaged this introvert in conversation.

Which leads me to today’s topic:

Q: How do you get an introvert to participate?

At the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, Wales.

The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, Wales.

A: You don’t give her any choice.

Picture this:

You’re below ground, near the London Bridge, in a dank and dark room. Around you, fellow tourists shuffle in. In front of you, a blood-spattered tour guide describes how suspected witches were bound thumbs to ankles and thrown off the London Bridge.

Without warning, he swivels to you, stabs a finger in your face, and says, “You, madam, what’s your name?”

You look around, praying he means someone else. “Um, Carrie.”

“Carrie? Well, ‘at sounds like a witch’s name, duh’nt it?”

Laughs around the stifling room confirm that it does.

Emboldened, the tour guide carries on. “E’rybody point your finger at Carrie and yell, ‘swim the witch, swim the witch, swim the witch’.”

And so they do. All the while you smile and laugh and long to be an extrovert. You also long to smack your husband and son who appear to be chanting the loudest.

But truth be told, I loved e’ry bit o’ it, even my imaginary witch swim. And later, when the tour guide told everyone to join him in singing “London Bridge is Falling Down,” I dived right in. Why? Because if we didn’t, he said he’d make us sing by ourselves “in fron’ o’ e’ryone.”

And that, my friends, is how you get an introvert to participate.

Paris catacombs

Paris catacombs

Have you been to any of these places? Are you good at joining in?

A big thank you to England and France. What a treat to visit your beautiful countries.

*     *     *

Rubin4Carrie Rubin is the author of The Seneca Scourgea medical thriller. For full bio, click here.    

281 Responses to “How Do You Get An Introvert To Participate? Just Ask The English”

  1. Gai Reid

    hi Carrie, great post, made me laugh. I’m SOOO excited that you got to see Paris my absolutely favourite city so far. What did you do? What did you love best about it? Can you post about Paris? merci.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I was only there a few days this time around, though I was an au pair girl there years ago. Since my husband and son were with me, we did touristy things–Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Tuillerie Gardens, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, etc. It was wonderful. 🙂

      Like

  2. Gai Reid

    Hi Carrie,
    I was just reading your post about dealing with bad reviews! Yesterday I had my first (thankfully not on Amazon!!) and I have been struggling to let it go. It wasn’t so much what the woman said but how she said it. So thank you for the guidance as wait for a good one 🙂 . Luckily this is a beta reader, my book is still a PDF!! I’ve updated my details, and new blog etc http://www.postcardsfromfrance.com
    cheers, Gai

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Sorry to hear about the review. It definitely stings, especially the first few times around. The good news is, it gets easier over time, and we realize we can’t please everyone. I’ve also decided that a bad review–if it’s respectful, which sadly sometimes they’re not–can be better than sheer indifference in our book. At least we provoked a reaction. 🙂

      Thanks for visiting!

      Like

  3. Kourtney Heintz

    LOL. Sounds like fun trip. 🙂 All those historic sights that are hundreds and thousands of years old. It’s so foreign to Americans to have that kind of history.

    Like

  4. benzeknees

    What a great way to get you to participate! I’ve always wanted to go to England, but unfortunately it’s not going to happen now. I’ve often been mistaken for British because I was raised in a distinctly English home – we ate steak & kidney pie, beef & kidney stew, over-cooked roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, Shepherd’s pie, cottage ham, called a stroller a pram, etc., etc.

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    • Carrie Rubin

      Yum, now I’m hungry. I didn’t get one of the meat pies in London. I saw them everywhere; I really should have. Next time, I guess. 🙂

      Like

  5. adamjasonp

    lol. Another Sheldon head. ‘Oh, that sounds like so much fun!’ Being bound and tossed into water, no thanks. 🙂

    Like

  6. LivingsTheDream

    We love a bit of audience participation; last year we visited Melbourne gaol and my kids, me, husband and father-in-law all took speaking/dressing-up parts in the court house play – much to mother-in-law’s chagrin!

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Ha, that must’ve been a hoot to watch. My hubs and youngest would be willing to do that, but the oldest and I would watch from the sidelines. 🙂

      Like

  7. Aelish

    Oh that sounds like so much fun! And also cringe-worthy and terrifying! “Audience participation” of any variety scares me so much. But I am so glad you survived, and it looks like you had a great time too.

    Like

  8. peakperspective

    I’m fairly certain tour guides pick those of us who are trying to hide behind the others. We’re easy sport.
    Good on you for jumping into the fray of rowdy singers, though.
    Sounds as though the trip was a terrific success.
    I adore the UK, although I’ve seen more sites in London than I’ve had hot dinners so I usually tend to avoid it. (especially any bits with tour guides. 😛 )

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Ha, yes, I hear you. Luckily the London Bridge Experience is one of those touristy sites that once you’ve done it, no need to do it again, so I’ll avoid that (and a witch swim…) in the future. But it was fun with a teenager. I look forward to going back and seeing more throughout the UK.

      Like

  9. Gwen Stephens

    What you insist you’re lacking in face-to-face social skills, you more than make up in humor. 🙂 Enjoyed this post! Although I’ve never been to Wales, I’ve been to various points in England. And since we used to live 3 hours from Paris, I’ve been there many times. Fascinating history that puts the concept of “old” in this country in perspective.
    I agree, the English are wonderful — so friendly and overly helpful and polite. I’ll never forget the fitness center attendant I met at a hotel in a small northern town. She was so entranced with my American accent, she wanted to engage me in conversation while I toiled away on the treadmill. They didn’t see much in the way of international tourists, so there you have it. One sweaty American, charming accent and all, was the highlight of her day. Poor thing.

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    • Carrie Rubin

      Ha, that made me laugh out loud. I’m picturing you on the treadmill trying to get your workout in, but having to play American ambassador instead. But I always think our accent sounds so embarrassing next to theirs. The British always sound so smart and sophisticated.

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gwen Stephens

        Yes, in Dusseldorf, Germany, for 5 years. Both the kids were born there. Three hours by train from Paris and Amsterdam. 🙂 Glad you had a good laugh. It’s nice to return the favor.

        Like

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