Mom, I Talk When I Have Something to Say


We tend to label people. Let’s discuss the words extrovert and introvert. We immediately label the extrovert as outgoing, the life of the party, friendly and the happiest of people. The introvert, on the other hand is described as withdrawn, self-absorbed and probably lonely. My thoughts on this subject may surprise you. One day many years ago my beautiful and talented daughter, Jennifer, taught me a lesson. She was all of ten years old. I asked her this question, “Jennifer, why are you so quiet? Are you alright?” Her reply was, “Mom, I talk when I have something to say.” “How profound,” I thought to myself, as the extroverted mother of this ten year old.

Fast forward Jennifer is married with three children, an artist and was a guest on the Oprah Show. She now goes into classrooms and teaches teenage children about bullying through art. Her company is called Face Tolerance. She still talks when she has something to say. I love this quality in her knowing that she is not lonely or self-absorbed.

I am drawn to you so-called introverts! When I watch you in a group you are the ones that make me feel peaceful because I think of you as reflective, meditative and reserved. You seem to avoid small talk and superficiality. You think before you speak. I hold you in high esteem.

However, if you are feeling that you need a nudge to mingle a little more here is my advice: consider joining a small group where chatter is secondary. A dance class or art class or maybe a wine tasting class that lets you taste and think and then converse in a quiet setting. Or a book club might be a wonderful venue for you to listen and learn and gradually meet people you are attracted to.

This morning I spoke to Jennifer. I am going to visit her this weekend in Arizona. This was our conversation: “I am definitely coming Friday, Jennifer.”

“Oh mom! I am so excited!” My Jennifer had something to say! Looking forward to this weekend!