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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
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Winter Fun

3 Rules of Attraction

3 rules of attraction

Boy, does this advice ever hit home. I remember years ago when the kids were very small, I was trying to get out the door for a meeting with someone who wanted a newsletter. It was complete chaos but I managed to leave the house (pretty much) on time. But my stress meter was elevated thanks to last-minute spit-up on one of the few “professional” shirts I owned. And then I got stuck in traffic, couldn’t find a parking place, yada yada yada.

So I walked into the coffee shop, found the table where my casual acquaintance was sitting, and burst into a flurry of explanations.

I finished and there was silence for a moment. Then she said, not unkindly, “Give me a second to wipe off the emotional spew.”

As I type that, it sounds harsher than it was. Sure, I was a little embarrassed at the time, but I’m grateful that she called me on it. She was actually the motherly type and probably thought I looked like I could use the help!

I think we extraverts/ambiverts have a harder time managing the spew. We enter a room ready to connect but the wires can get crossed if we’re focused too much on what’s going on inside our own heads. It takes a conscious effort sometimes to set aside the spew, put on a smile, and pay attention to what’s happening with the people around us.

I’m curious: do introverts have this problem? Is there an introverted equivalent of the spew?

[Update: Yes, I did get the job. I didn’t yell at her or anything. She was just pointing out that I took 20 seconds (without taking a breath) to explain why I was a little late when I should have just smiled and said “hi”.]




  1. Jackie says:

    I generally spew in my own head. It’s why I have terrible frown lines (thank god for bangs) and teeth that are found down. When I’m inwardly spewing, I wind up looking a bit like Statler from the Muppets. Your version is better.

    1. Shannon says:

      I was hoping you’d chime in as one of my Top 5 Favorite Introverts. 🙂

      So we have Statler at one end of the spew spectrum and I suppose Miss Piggy at the other? Which Muppet is the happy medium?

  2. Yep – the pout! Or the crabby-face! Or the withdrawn silent treatment (even when the person you are sitting with are not at fault)! Neither the introvert nor extrovert version are very flattering and welcoming. I’m guilty of the introvert one all to often. I like your rules of 3.

    1. Shannon says:

      Hah! Tim WISHES I could use the silent treatment. I agree that neither extreme is a good way to go.

  3. Marilyn says:

    Mmm…as an introvert, I wouldn’t spew in front of someone I wasn’t pretty comfortable with. Oh, my poor poor husband. 🙂

    1. Shannon says:

      I’m sure you make it up to him. 🙂

      This may be an over-generalization, but I think extraverts want so much to understand and be understood that they do too much explaining when they should leave well enough alone.

      I’m really embracing this dictum of Mary Poppins and Tim: “I never explain anything.” It’s so freeing!

  4. Tim Taylor says:

    Yes, we introverts do have problems with spew. Extroverts spew on us all the time. 🙂

    1. Shannon says:

      Oooh, smack-down!

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