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. twmowen

    Glad you enjoyed Cardiff, but it’s not in England. It is the capital of Wales. Wales and England of course are both in the United Kingdom along with Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Yes, I mentioned in the caption of my Doctor Who photo that it was in Wales, but I guess I didn’t make it clear in the post itself. The staff member at the Cardiff Castle was really funny. He told us to stay in Wales next time because it’s more calm and quiet than England. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Britt Skrabanek

    Haha! Love the Stonehenge pix with your book. Interesting marketing tactic we can all jump on. Literally start leaving your books at popular tourist destinations.

    See, this is where the introvert in me comes out. I hate getting the sudden spotlight like that. I turn bright red, sweat, and want to run away. Congrats for surviving that! 🙂

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    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you. And yes, I agree, we should start leaving copies of our books worldwide. Think of the eyes they’d gather! Though I didn’t really do that, I must admit, however, I DID leave one of my bookmarks in the hotel room. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Xaeyruudh

    Ugh, I hate those sudden spotlight experiences. Glad to see you survived!

    Do you ever see the similarities between having dozens of eyes analyzing your face while you’re forced to recount a story (because it would be far more embarrassing if mom tells it) and reading all the comments from we adoring followers, and knowing there are more of us who don’t always comment? Or can you feel the positive energy from This, even though That (the limelight of in-person storytelling) might still be nervewracking?

    I ask because I can’t reliably feel the positive aspect of embarrassing attention, and I’m not averse to being sneaky in seeking wisdom from better-adjusted introverts. Fortunately my own blog(s) are specialized and/or offensive, and don’t suffer from tons of admiring fans. 😀

    Also: Welcome home!

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    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you! As for the eyes on my blog, social media is so much easier for introverts, isn’t it? No eye contact required. But you actually raise a good point. It’s funny because on Mondays when I publish a post and respond to comments, I do feel exhausted by the evening, kind of like I do when I’ve been out in the ‘real world’ all day. I need to veg out in front of the TV or with a book for a while to calm my mind. But it’s still much easier than face-to-face socializing. No verbal mishaps because I get to think before I type.

      You’re kind with your praise, but the comment numbers likely come from the fact I visit a lot of blogs myself. I have popped over to yours, but I’m afraid I know nothing about Dungeons and Dragons, so yours is one of the few I haven’t been able to reciprocate comments on. I’d have no idea what to say! But I always appreciate when you stop by here. Thank you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Xaeyruudh

        Ha! Thank you. I agree that socializing online is easier… the time to think (and backspace) is so awesome. It makes a lot of sense to me that replying would be tiring, and getting it done on Mondays sounds brilliant. Wisdom filed away for frequent reference. And I rarely/never play D&D anymore so I don’t know much about it either! 😛 My interest is in describing and building imaginary worlds that things (and lives) take place in … kinda like Middle Earth or Shannara or any other non-Earth setting for novels, games, and movies. I’m just a dreamer and (aspiring) writer like any other. I’ll try to remember to comment on Mondays from now on. 🙂

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            • Carrie Rubin

              Thanks for the link. I like what I saw. I’m a bit of a political junkie myself. Nothing sets me off like a good stewing over the miserable state of the US Congress. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  4. Andrea Stephenson

    Glad you enjoyed your visit over here Carrie, I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been to either Stonehenge or Cardiff! I can just imagine you cringing as that finger pointed at you 🙂

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Cardiff is a wonderful city, and the castle was great to see. Of course, my youngest was more enthralled with the Doctor Who Exhibit there. 🙂 And it was cool to walk around Stonehenge and learn the history behind it. Can’t wait to go back to England!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kate Johnston

    I enjoy both England and France, and long to go back again soon. I figure I’ll wait until my kids are older and don’t mind vacations without roller coasters!

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Yes, it was great to see my 15-year-old so excited to see the historical sights (and the not-so-historical like Doctor Who…). My oldest chose to go to New Hampshire and stay with his grandparents instead. He had stuff he had to do, and it was good practice for me since he’ll be off to college in a couple months. :/

      The hubs and I would love to go back and tour more of the UK. Such a lovely area.

      Like

  6. Jennifer J. Chow

    Glad you got to make the trip! I’m not sure I would have liked joining in. Most of the time, I hang in the back and avoid contract. That doesn’t always work, though–I used to have one professor who, without fail, looked for students with their heads down and called on them to answer questions.

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    • Carrie Rubin

      Ah yes, I’ve known professors like that.

      In groups, I tend to hang in the back, too, but the London Bridge tour guide was smart–he made us form a semi-circle. Should’ve cast a spell on him while I had the chance. 😉

      Like

  7. Phillip McCollum

    Haha! Sounds like Dean is well versed at getting introverts out of their shells. It also sounds (and looks) like you had a blast. Loved the accent by the way. I could easily hear him talking to the tour group!

    Like

  8. michellejoycebond

    Good advice–have to remember it when introverts in my class fall back on participation. No threatens to burn though, lol. 🙂

    Like

  9. El Guapo

    Best way to join in is in a crowd where you can be anonymous!
    Been to London and Paris. LOVED both trips.

    Like

  10. Maddie Cochere

    What a dream vacation! How cool to go with your boys at their ages. I bet it was a blast. You already know I was horrified at the thought of someone picking you out of a group and almost making you sing by yourself. You are a good introvert and a good sport. 🙂

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you. 🙂

      The oldest actually stayed in the US with his grandma. (He’s 17.) He wasn’t really interested in going because he had some things he wanted to get done, and he was able to help my mom out a lot, so it worked out well. They had some nice bonding time together.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Christy Birmingham

    Giggling! I’m glad you had a fun trip and complete with photos for us 🙂 I can only imagine if I put my own rusty French to use… watch out! lol

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Yes, it was a bit intimidating to speak it again, but within a day I felt more comfortable. At least they seem to appreciate the effort. 🙂

      Like

  12. J.B. Whitmore

    With all your Yoda exercises, did you offer to demonstrate thumbs to toes? Welcome back, and thanks for the laughs. Sounds like a good trip.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Haha, no, I refrained from demonstrating my flexibility. You never know who might be recording things for You Tube. 😉

      Like

  13. gdkonstantine

    I like the first photo the best. Looks like there is plenty of room for more of your novels on Stonehenge. (By the way, it’s about time someone did some decorating there — the all stone look is so 1960s BC.)

    Like

  14. Brigitte

    What a great time! Thank God you kept your wits about you, Carrie whilst the chanting was going on. ;). I don’t think Carrie sounds like a witch’s name. Maybe a vampire. Definitely not a witch. Kidding. Your trip sounds great!

    Like

  15. acflory

    -giggles- So that’s how it’s done? This post brought back happy memories of travelling for me too. I think we build walls around ourselves, walls that lock in our comfort zones. When we travel though, we can’t take those walls with us so we literally sink or swim as needed. Can be very liberating. 😀

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      That’s a great way to look at things. It is quite liberating. Traveling makes us more carefree, too, I think. All those real-life issues left behind for a bit.

      Like

  16. Nicole Roder

    Oh my! I’m not exactly an introvert, but that sounds terrifying even to me! Sounds like you had a fun trip, though. Welcome home!

    Like

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