Sunday, July 24, 2016

When did it come to be an expectation that men ought to be talkative?

The title of this entry serves as a basic summary of an observation I've made in my experience of working minimum wage-esque jobs. Time and time again, I've encountered, in some form or another, vocal observation about how introverted I am (based on my numerous takings[?] of the Myers-Briggs personality test in recent times, I'm somewhere between 80% and 100% introverted (INFJ, to be exact - though I'd probably rather be an INFP - but nah, I can't lie to myself like that) - yes, one time the result was literally 100% - now where's my reward - I mean, I had a good laugh at the time but ... wow, look at this meandering).

But enough of this psychological personality banter. It's not really about me, since this is about men in general, or, I should say, what I perceive to be an expectation of men in general. From what I'm aware, there existed in the past a stereotype that men were less talkative than women, and it would seem to me that this stereotype remains vital to some extent. So the problem then becomes: why am I expected to be more talkative?

Believe me, it's not that I'm so deluded as to think I have some inherent right to not talk (is the right to remain silent not contrary, though? ... guess I've never been in the back of a police car). It's not that I'm particularly interested in how this macro level change occurred, assuming it occurred at all, either. I guess it truly is more existential than I thought; it all points right to me.

Nor do I really care to stop people from analyzing and evaluating me - though I do have some trouble with in-person critiquing, since I'm not particularly "quick on my feet." I cannot for the life of me understand how some people always have something to say ... well, maybe I could find something to say all the time, but it wouldn't always be related to what other people talk about. Hearing strings of words and drawing blanks is a usual correlation.

What's the point of all this? I guess I am, deep down, curious to know whether or not men in general have become more talkative over time and whether or not they are expected to talk more than they once were, particularly, in public settings like the workplace, for instance. And ... contradictions are at full speed!

But my ambition in writing this must have been greater than that? I guess this was a topic I left on the back burner for awhile and it came to mind tonight, and tonight I attempted to write a poem but that effort plummeted, so I resorted to this. I guess life is sometimes strange as an introvert, if I must give myself that label. Not that I'm calling for some quasi-Marxist overturn of extroversion / extroverts ... I'm sure life is strange for everyone. Consider this a sample of what I find strange.


  1. Is it mostly females making this observation to you?

    I worked in retail for a while. I was mostly fine with it, but as an strong I, I was always a little bit uneasy about some interactions. I'm not sure if I ever got used to it.

    1. Interesting question ... as a matter of fact, nearly everyone who has said that has indeed been female.

      Yeah, I would think that introvert habits in retail jobs are more along the lines of dramaturgy compared to extrovert counterparts.