Introverts and Politics

Let me start out by saying how much I cannot stand politics. Anything having to do with the word “election” gives me the heebie jeebies. I don’t put a lot of trust in humans to begin with (myself included), so when you give me a crop of people whose job it is to talk about themselves and convince people they are the bomb-dot-com, I have about -5% trust. But, as a responsible adult, I’ve been forcing myself to pay attention to this election cycle so I can make an “informed decision,” which, let’s be honest, is an oxymoron when we’re talking about politics.

While I’m 1000% not going to talk about the candidates or who I’m voting for, I do want to talk about the biggest smack in the face that I’ve realized this cycle: Can you imagine being an introverted politician?

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Let’s back up.

I’m an INFJ on the Myers-Briggs scale. It basically means I’m an outgoing introvert who can handle public speaking just fine, but with an added dose (or twenty) of the intuition-feeling component. I don’t mind social situations, but lordy do they suck the soul out of me. I enjoy spending time in groups of people (okay…enjoy is a strong word…) but when I get home I am utterly exhausted, both physically and mentally. There have been numerous occasions at which I’ve just cried because I had nothing left in me after being with people.

Which leads us, essentially, to the definition of an introvert, taken from Susan Cain’s 2012 interview with TIME: “The key is about stimulation: extroverts feel at their best and crave a high degree of stimulation. For introverts, the optimal zone is much lower.” Susan wrote an incredible (and incredibly well-researched) book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

I’ve watched Trump/Cruz/Rubio/Bush/Kasich/Clinton/Sanders and more debates than I care to say, on both sides of the aisle. And I get sick to my stomach thinking about doing what they do. We are talking 12+ hour work days, for months at a time. And all of those 12+ hours? SPENT WITH PEOPLE. Oh, the humanity.

On top of that, we see these people going out to a lovely dinner and being mobbed by their adoring (or not so adoring) fans, and shaking hands and kissing babies, and talking talking talking talking talking. I imagine there is no such thing as date night, and definitely no nap time. They’re talking to HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of humans. They are always on. It actually makes me nauseous thinking about it.

And you know what? Most of these people love it.

Which brings me to my point: Can an introvert be a politician? Especially, can they handle the stress to their systems that a presidential campaign would cause?

Matt and I were talking about it this week, and we know that neither of us could. And I bet that is true for most introverts. Yet………introverts are incredible critical thinkers. Amazing listeners. Creatives. And they are people who tend to only speak when they really have something to say.

Let’s look at some famous introverts: Albert Einstein, Warren Buffet, Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Gates, J.K. Rowling. We are in some good company. Along with some pretty good presidents: Lincoln, Jefferson, Madison, among others.

I thought this was isolated to presidents before the advent of TV and social media and ridiculously long presidential campaigns, but alas, our current POTUS is even said to be an introvert.

So can we be politicians? Technically, yes. But with around half of the country being introverted, I imagine most of us see the wild, wild world of campaigning and know that we’d never even entertain the idea of running for president–even though we may be the most qualified.

While I won’t use the “d” word (discrimination–okay so I used it), I will say that the current election system is not set up to allow introverts an adequate go at running the country. You’re automatically discounting TONS of people who could probably be actual bomb-dot-coms, but just not tell you all about it. We can think about it, and probably could have killer blogs or websites or books about our ideas and suggestions, but there’s seldom an introvert who can handle the campaign trail.

I’m not saying that extroverts shouldn’t be president, or that there is any type of hierarchy in the introvert-extrovert distinction. I’m simply saying that introverts could totally kick butt at running a country (or a company, for that matter), but it seems harder for them to reach the finish line (here being the general election) than it does extroverts. And when we start to look at things that way, where else are we drawing lines in the sand along the I/E border where one personality type is naturally forced out?

I’ll leave your wandering brain with this quote from Susan Cain, which surely is applicable not only to this argument, but to our society’s going-ons in general:

“It’s a culture that says it rewards authenticity, but it really rewards a curated, managed kind of authenticity. It’s not and will never be the authenticity of two friends sitting down and having a cup of coffee together and sharing the truth of their lives.”

Let’s change that.

xo, A
PS: You can buy Susan’s book “Quiet” here: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Friday Faves #4

Here we are for week #4! This has been a crrraaazy week, so I’m pretty stoked that I had the presence of mind to get this post up. That’s a favorite thing, right?!

1. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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You guys know how much I love books, and after finishing this in January, I think I can officially say it’s (possibly) my NEW FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME. A story about two sisters living in WWII France, The Nightingale illuminates the brave story of women in war. Each sister’s story is different, and the way they ebb and flow together is unbelievable (actually–it’s believable, which is what makes it so amazing). The emotion that is conveyed is unreal. I still think about this book and the story of Vianne and Isabelle some days when my mind shifts into neutral. Kristin Hannah’s writing (and research) is spectacular. I cannot recommend this book enough.

2. Real Simple Cutting Board

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My BFF got us this off of our wedding registry, and I don’t know what I’ve been doing my whole life without a beautiful wood block cutting board. It stays out, so that’s really convenient.

I will say this: you can’t submerge it in water (so I just wipe it down with a damp cloth), it shows knife marks more than I thought it would, and I don’t cut raw meat on it since I can’t really wash it. But I love how beautiful it looks sitting on our counter, and it makes meal prep (or snack prep) super easy.

3. Po Campo Midway Weekender in Umber

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For my Christmas present to myself (hah), I wanted a new weekender bag. I searched high and low, and finally landed on the Po Campo Midway Weekender. I LOVE IT. It’s smaller than most duffels, but I think it’s just the right amount of space for a weekend trip–plus it makes me be more intentional about what I pack, and I am a chronic overpacker. My favorite part? The separate shoe compartment. #winning

I bought it in Umber, but the Sky Stripe is also really cute.

4. “Making a Murderer” on Netflix

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OKAY if you have not watched this, you need to take a day and get with it. The story of Steven Avery is un.be.lievable. This docu-series is about the injustice that he has faced, and how he spent 18 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit (thx, DNA) and now is in prison for a murder he *probably* didn’t commit.

Regardless of whether or not he did it, Steven Avery is the definition of reasonable doubt.

PS: I totally have a fan theory if you wanna hear it.

5. NARS Blush in Orgasm

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I’ve heard it said that this is supposed to be the most universally flattering shade of blush, and I cannot disagree. It’s the perfect pink and shimmers just enough to make your skin look healthy. I’ve been sick for the last, oh I don’t know, FOREVER…so this blush helps me not look ill. Bless it.

xo, A.

Friday Faves #3

I’m getting such great feedback on this series, which is so fun! So let’s keep it going with Week #3: Valentine’s Edition!

Matt and I don’t celebrate VD (never have; except for sometimes I think Matt actually does get to celebrate VD considering one year we went to see Die Hard and another year we went to a high school baseball game…).

Here are five things I’m loving right now that you can totally get for the babe in your life (AKA YOU!). Pick one and treat yo’self!

1. LoLLIA BREATHE No. 19 Shea Butter Handcreme 4 oz

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This is definitely a luxury. My sister bought this for me for my lingerie shower, and now I’m obsessed with it. The scent is a dream, and I’m a sucker for anything with shea butter.

2. CHANEL Chance Eau Tendre Perfume

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This was my wedding perfume, and now I find myself wearing it every day. This is a scent I’ve always been able to recognize on other people, and now it’s my signature scent.

When I was trying to find a wedding perfume, I think I tried on over 50 perfumes at Sephora. One visit I was there for over two hours, and I knew it was time to leave when I had no idea what I was smelling, because I had just sprayed everything. Because of that, I basically consider myself a perfume connoisseur, so trust me on Chance.

PS: I’m pretty sure it’s cheaper at Sephora than on Amazon, which is crazy.

3. Eberjey Joey Cuff Robe

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Again, a luxury. I wore this for my boudoir shoot and for my getting ready outfit on my wedding day. It is so soft that I don’t even know what it is made of (?) but I just want to leave it on (sorry Matt). All of Eberjey’s stuff is gorgeous and comfortable, so browse their site!

PS: Sign up for their email and get 10% off your first purchase!
PPS: Love this photo of my wedding morning in my Joey robe by Lizzie Randazzo Photography

4. My sister’s artwork

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And she didn’t even pay me to say it! My sister is an incredible artist. She designed our wedding invitations and the sign we used at our ceremony. I am constantly amazed at her creativity and the things she makes.

I’m a big fan of filling your home with beautiful pieces, and Ashley can pretty much create anything you envision (or let her run with it and see what she creates!).

She has generously agreed to give B+B readers 15% (!!!) off a custom art piece. Just tell her I sent you! This would be also be a great gift for someone you love–a custom piece of art that represents something special to y’all! Normal prices range from $30-$50 (frames not included), with prices going up for larger pieces or pieces with more intricate detail. Just shoot her an email at ashleypurserdesign@gmail.com

And follow her on IG because she posts pretty things: @ashleypurser

PS: I think this piece would look so cute in a guest bath or little girl’s nursery!

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5. Chik-fil-A Strawberry Milkshake

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It’s pink, delicious, indulgent, and cheap. What more do you need on VD?

xo, Amanda

Friday Faves #2

Here we are for Week #2 of my Friday Faves! Each Friday I’ll post five things I’m loving right now and links to where you can get them. (Check out Week #1: Winter Edition here!)

 

1. GAP Girlfriend Jeans in Imperial Indigo 

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I’m weird about jeans. They need to be a little stretchy, but hold their shape. And since I have a *healthy* butt, they need to be snug in the tush and in the waist. Sometimes I think I’m asking for miracles with these demands, but GAP fit the bill with their Girlfriend jeans. These are crazy comfy and hold their shape (and can handle a wash and not suffocate my stomach the next time I wear them).

FYI: I’m 5’6″ and purchased these in LONG. That way, when I cuff them, they’re not Capri length (they actually hit my ankles). Continue reading