The Albatross

Because introverts spend many hours alone, they are often misconstrued as lacking, or having lesser capacity for friendship and love for their fellow human beings.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

There is a type of bird called the albatross that glides over thousands of miles of empty sea.  But it always eventually returns to the same small and isolated island in the same place to meet with its lifelong mate.

The introvert is an albatross:

Soaring above a curved horizon
Of rolling lapis lazuli dunes
This desert of time and space is its element
It will never forget its spirit’s home
When it comes time to return to love and life’s companions
It is as though not a moment has passed.

Extroverts typically attempt to keep surrounded by people most of the time.  The bonds they form in the competitive social group require constant reinforcement to stay alive.  The typical extrovert friendship is a fire lit only with kindling.  It must constantly, emphatically be renewed or else fade away.  Its maintenance is a constant task, a drain of the self for all involved for the sake of the social artifact they wish to create.  Even the greatest of ‘pals’ are quickly reduced to sending each other cards at Christmas without regular face to face interaction.

The introvert friendship is seldom, but it is based on a deep loyalties that are not so tied to place and circumstance as a bond quickly and adeptly acquired.  More specifically, the introvert friendship exists underneath the tumultuous surface of the mass society.  Companionship, fellowship, and maintenance are all one and the same.  There are no chores to perform in the introvert friendship.  It is self-sustaining and a source of renewal for those involved.  It lasts a lifetime, outside of the larger society, outside of time.

Zygmunt blogs at Kingdom of Introversion.  The Albatross appears here by permission.

[image via Flickr]

on 12/9/10 in featured, The Unconscious | 1 Comment | Read More

Comments (1)


  1. Clay says:

    It always seemed to me that extroverts were somehow “promiscuous” with their friendships. I wanted something deeper, and more loyal than indiscriminate friendliness. Never really got it.

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