Remember You’re a Womble (Or Whatever You Are)

If you didn’t have your childhood in the 1970’s you might not remember The Wombles. If you don’t remember, it’s worth taking a few minutes to watch this clip from the first episode.

The Wombles were fictional pointy-nosed, furry creatures that lived in burrows on Wimbledon Common, where they aimed to help the environment by collecting and recycling rubbish in creative ways. At just seven when this series came out, it was perhaps the first time I had heard of recycling and you know what? The Wombles made it fun.

My favourite Womble was Orinoco.  He was a little bit lazy compared to other Wombles, but still as honest and kind-hearted as the rest of them.

There were many songs but my favourite was Remember You’re A Womble.  A reminder to be true to your Womble spirit.  I am not ashamed to admit that I can still sing this, to the horror and amusement of my teenaged nephews.

But the purpose of this post is not about Wombling, but about remembering who I am.  I take a massive leap from the environmentally friendly Wombles to introversion.  Mostly because I can. 😉

I am an introvert.  That said, I often choose to take on the role of an extrovert, and therefore am assumed to be an extrovert.  Actually I think this is the case for many bloggers, and there is nothing wrong with doing this.  The problem becomes when it is assumed you should always act like an extrovert.  Actually there is nothing wrong with being an introvert.  It is not a disease.  Personally, I love it.

I found this description of introversion on Psychology Today:

“If a crowded cocktail party feels like a holding cell to you, even as you gamely keep up your end of the chatter, chances are you’re an introvert. Introverts are drained by social encounters and energized by solitary, often creative pursuits. Their disposition is frequently misconstrued as shyness, social phobia or even avoidant personality disorder, but many introverts socialize easily; they just strongly prefer not to. In fact, the self-styled introvert can be more empathic and interpersonally connected than his or her outgoing counterparts…”

Unless you take the time to really get to know me, I don’t come across as shy, but then being an introvert is not about being shy, even though that is how many people see it.  Back in the days when I was working full-time I was working as a corporate trainer.  I spent my days in front of a group of people, facilitating training.  Actually I loved public speaking and got energised by it.  One of the most fun things I ever did was compere a fashion show (who of my friends remembers that?).

What made it possible for me to do those things was that I would go home at the end of the day and recharge… on my own.  It doesn’t even mean I lived alone, but time alone was my opportunity to plug in the batteries and let them recharge over night.

As an introvert I do a lot of thinking, perhaps rather than a lot of talking.  I don’t need to talk through what I’m thinking.  I don’t necessarily need to get recommendations from those around me to be able to make my decisions.  As an introvert, I tend to get distracted and side-tracked by others and am much better to do my thinking alone.

To people who don’t work that way, probably extroverts, that is just plain weird.  It’s not though.  It’s simply how it works best for me and millions of other introverts.  As I said before there is a tendency to think that introversion is about shyness and being a quiet person.  It’s not.  I am just as capable as the nearest extrovert of being ‘out there’ and loud.  But it’s not where I get my energy and it’s not the real me.

Recently someone who I thought knew me better, accused me of having not thought through a decision I had recently made.  He drew that conclusion simply because I hadn’t discussed it with him in the way he was expecting.  Actually I had spent hours thinking the decision through, and also listening to what was being said around me by a number of people (including things that he had said).  That’s just how an introvert will work.

Remembering you’re a Womble connected so well to this, because when he said this I thought I had done something wrong.  I hadn’t.  I was just being a Womble (and a proud one) or an Introvert.  The way I function and operate is not wrong, simply because it is different to anyone else.  It is simply being true to who I am.  It’s a shame if other people can’t accept that, actually, we are all different… and that is good.

And in case I’ve left you wondering…  I’m not saying that Wombles are introverts, although they do tend to be wary of humans.  I know the feeling.

“Solitude matters, and for some people, it’s the air they breathe” 

―    Susan Cain


14 thoughts on “Remember You’re a Womble (Or Whatever You Are)

  1. That video made me want to watch “Winnie-the-Pooh and the Blustery Day”.

    My therapist once made the observation that we all need a certain amount of space, we exist on a continuum. She said some people need like about this much (holding her hands close together), and others need more like this much (stretching them pretty far apart). She then stretched her arms as wide as they would go (and she’s got some long arms). You, she said, you’re way out there on needing space, both mentally, emotionally, and physically. You think? I laughed.

    Which is why I’m being driven to pieces living with my parents right now.

    The point is, I get your point.

  2. I love your take on being an introvert. And I can relate so much. I enjoy being an introvert in the sense that I have grown to love my own company. Of course I love my family and friends but solitude and time to think alone is essential to keeping me well.
    Thanks for sharing Cate 🙂

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