The Dog Days of Summer
The Dog Days of Summer
And the Introverted Dogs of Sweden
In the middle of these dog days of summer, I came upon a video of dazed and confused dogs. (Homage to Led Zeppelin noted.) The occasion? An introverted dog meetup in Sweden. In a world filled with frolicking dogs, this group was frozen, seeming to wonder why they were there. (The CNN video can be viewed here.)
I did not think it was possible for a whole group of dogs to completely ignore each other – maybe one or two, but an entire group? NYC dogs cannot be unique in their enjoyment of exuberant play in public places with their new or old friends. Dogs tend to be curious They literally follow their nose to explore their world. Introverted dogs – who knew?!
I, too, am an introvert and I can relate. When I pause to reflect on this pawed group, I cannot help but view it from the lens of my own experiences. What strikes me about them is that they all seem perfectly self-contained. They are more than happy to sit and wait – presumably for their human(s) – with an occasional indulgence to catch a fly as a diversion or snack. If waiting extends too long, they’ll probably just take a nap.
I spend most of my days alone, working from home. As an introvert, I thrive in this way of working. When it’s time for a break, I walk to one of my neighborhood parks where I sit and peacefully enjoy the shade of a beautiful tree and watch people walk by. Perhaps I’ll read a book or something on my phone, but often these lie unopened as I sit. As always, I welcome a random conversation when the opportunity arises.
As an introvert, my sweet spot is to interact and be in conversation with one person or with a small group of people. I revel in it! Put me in a big group, however, and I could easily be mistaken for one of those Swedish dogs.
Years ago, a fellow introvert shared party advice which I have found helpful: pick a comfortable spot with a glass of wine in hand and wait for others to come talk to you. Someone always comes, and their curiosity typically starts an interesting conversation.
A person who I think of as a “master networker” shared his technique for meeting people when in large networking groups: approach a person standing alone rather than try to join a group that is already talking together. That lone person will happily engage since they are there to meet people. I found this helpful, as well.
So fellow introverts, find your level of comfort, be at peace in the moment, and enjoy it. You might be drawn to speak with someone, or someone might be drawn to speak with you. And you might be just fine observing it all.
There’s much we can learn from dogs. My favorite example is something we can see at the very end of this short video – their ability to experience and share unconditional love. They teach us how to give unconditional love by showering us with it. And what a joy-filled lesson that is!
© 2022 Cathy Joseph. All rights reserved.