Blue Is Blue, Yellow Is Yellow

When I first met my friend Ruby (an extrovert in every definition), I was new to the concept of personality types and introversion versus extroversion. I don’t remember why, but I decided to try and explain how I saw being an introvert compared to being an extrovert and how those relationships worked (based on the extroverts I knew and what I knew of them).

I said something to the effect of, “Think about it in terms of colors; let’s just say extroverts are yellow and introverts are blue. Sometimes, blue only works with blue, and yellow only works with other shades of yellow. But sometimes, blue looks really great with yellow, because the contrast brings out the best of both colors.”

 

***

As an introvert, I frequently am told by sunny, bubbly extroverts to “lighten up”.

“Lighten up, Mouse, don’t take everything so seriously.”
“You look sad; you need to lighten up!”
“You have to see the bright things in life and lighten up!”

After a lifetime of hearing this, it gets old.

Recently, when Ruby told me to “lighten up”, I gave her my Icy Glare  of Irritation. When she asked me about my reaction, I referred back to the blue and yellow conversation.

“It makes me uncomfortable when extroverts tell me to lighten up because I don’t always know what they mean… Just because I’m not on your level of sunny doesn’t mean I’m not on my level of sunny.

Blue can be light blue, but it will never be yellow.” 

 

***

My extroverted friends and family, I love you. You’re amazing, wonderful people. You’re yellow, and you look damn good with my blue. I know you only want me to be happy.

But with those two seemingly-harmless words, what you’re saying is, “You might be happy, but it’s not good enough for me. You should be not you — you should be yellow, because blue isn’t good enough.”

Those words hurt.
Those words warrant the Icy Glare of Irritation.
So please think twice before telling an introvert to “lighten up”.

 

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32 thoughts on “Blue Is Blue, Yellow Is Yellow

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      1. Haha most of my friends are extroverts, and even if they don’t understand my need for solitude, they respect it enough to not pester me about it.
        Yes, people can be awful. But I think with a little understanding here and there (which was the purpose of this post), we can all try to get along a little better. 🙂

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  1. I got the same thing when I was young…did I ever tell you that? In fact one of those people shares your name and I wanted to be friends with her because I liked her name…but she told to lighten up a least a couple of times/week.

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      1. Well our friendship lasted about 3 months or less….and that’s one reason why. Still liked her name though :))))

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    1. I think a lot of it is simply a misunderstanding, or a disconnect between expectations and reality.
      Thanks for stopping by and reading! 🙂

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    1. Oh yikes — I thought having one extroverted family member was difficult, ha. The more people I interact with, the more I notice how little we actually understand each other, so I’m glad you were able to relate to this, in a backwards sort of way.

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      1. Haha! When friends ever came over to my house, everyone except my brother would disappear — “Someone’s here; hide!” How fun the differences are!

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  2. This was just a wonderful read! I never thought about comparing it to colors. That is a perfect way to describe it. 🙂

    Hmm I never really got the specific remark, “lighten up”. I was quiet, but not “moody” or anything. I was usually the one who brough the calm in the group again or who tried to make others see “the other side of the coin”. The extrovert people, well the ones who chatted more, did question this calmness and asked if I really was this relaxed or if I didn’t have something to add. When it comes to the calmness, it was always “Yes, I was” (and I still am). When it comes to the chattiness, I often said “I’ll do so when I feel like it or when I really have something to say”. I can ramble a lot though haha, but I often sense when people really listen and when they don’t, I won’t waste my energy on them. That’s why I love kids, they just chat and ramble whenever! ^_^

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    1. It could be a difference in culture — where I was growing up, if you weren’t constantly smiling or talking, you were seen as “moody” and “grumpy” and “unpleasant”. Little you sounds so much like little me!
      I ramble a lot when I’m happy, but likewise, I only ramble to those who will listen to me. 🙂
      Haha I have a three-year-old niece and she talks so much! Little kids are adorable.

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  3. Reblogged this on MichelloJello and commented:
    I just came upon this lovely and eye-catching website, asignoflife.wordpress.com, and this post really made me think about introverts and extroverts. It opened up my eyes to another persons’ point of view. Everybody should definitely read this, I think 🙂

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    1. Thanks! 🙂 I typically don’t care for yellow on its own (the color, not the metaphorical extrovert, haha) but I’ve always loved it paired with dark blue. 🙂

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    1. Haha! 😀 I’m partial to green, myself, a serene mixture of the two. I wonder if favorite colors are indicative of personality traits… Probably not, but it’s fun to think about, y’know? 🙂

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      1. Oh no, I believe favourite colours tell a lot about a person! Or, I like to think so, anyway. I like looking into and trying to understand people via their interests, likes, body language etc. I thinks it is really interesting! 🙂

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      2. I don’t tend to read much into favorite colors, but I do believe you can know so much about a person from their interests and habits, and their reactions to unexpected situations. 🙂

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