An Energizing Dose of Discomfort
“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” ― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
At a party last night there was a person of unusual charm and energy, clearly an extrovert. They wouldn't hesitate engaging new people, they would approach you and talk with extreme confidence, as if assuming a familiarity existed between you – perhaps even assessing it by demeanor.
Not everyone is ready to be approached in such a way, let alone produce a coherent response. Because what's the meaning? That's what it takes to produce an efficacious response, understanding what the interaction is about... Why and to what end? Having a sense for both is essential to respond in adequate manner. How can you rise to the moment otherwise?
This extrovert, you could tell they were not acting in bad faith because it all came in an envelope of playful charm. The approach made you slightly uncomfortable, but in a refreshing way. You could call it refreshing because it gave you the opportunity to act differently, to leave the script you use in everyday interaction. After all, if there is something unusual of the approach, it is only valid there be something equally unusual in the response.
It's the risk the extrovert takes, getting unpredictable outcomes. You could sense something in them, a sense of comfort at making other people uncomfortable. Doesn't seem like a good thing at face value, but in a closer look you can see there's something energizing about it. This type of approach removes you from a comfort zone, puts you 'on ice'. Seeking not to fall, you engage muscles and reflexes you never do.
Next time you're at a party, try to appreciate the role of the extroverts in the situational dynamic. You'll see they bring an energy with them. There is a value in learning to make people uncomfortable in a benign way. Consider the people you've learned the most from, how did you grow? Growth can make discomfort meaningful. It's a two-edged sword, a tool you can learn to use wisely.