In the event of an emergency, place the oxygen mask on yourself first

CC0 Public Domain Free for personal and commercial use No attribution required. Click on the image to see the original. I have seen this meme pop up in dozens of places around the web lately. It has been attributed to Word Porn, Hart Ramsey, Truth Theory, Positive Energy, and Tiny Buddha. I am giving attribution to Lori Deschane at Tiny Buddha because I subscribe to Tiny Buddha’s Facebook page and derive benefit from it regularly, and honestly have no idea who originally said it (the Internet is terrible for that).

This meme resonated with me because I am an introvert with mad social skills. Contrary to popular belief, introverts are not necessarily shy. By strict definition an introvert is a person who loses energy being around other people too much, and restores her energy by spending time alone.

People often assume I am an extrovert because I am gregarious, conversant, and can hold my own in social situations. But when I’m done I’m done. There comes a point at which I can’t cope with the overstimulation of too much social interaction.

This is so important for extroverts to understand. If you’re an introvert, it’s bad enough (we restore our energy reserves by spending time alone). But if you’re an introvert also going through any one of these things, or several, it’s only made harder when you have extrovert “friends” pressuring you to come out into the world for their benefit. You need to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you try to take care of the needs of other people.

Life is good and I am grateful.

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