REVIEW: Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan
An introvert spends a year trying to live like an extrovert with hilarious results and advice for readers along the way.
What would happen if a shy introvert lived like a gregarious extrovert for one year? If she knowingly and willingly put herself in perilous social situations that she’d normally avoid at all costs? Writer Jessica Pan intends to find out. With the help of various extrovert mentors, Jessica sets up a series of personal challenges (talk to strangers, perform stand-up comedy, host a dinner party, travel alone, make friends on the road, and much, much worse) to explore whether living like an extrovert can teach her lessons that might improve the quality of her life. Chronicling the author’s hilarious and painful year of misadventures, this book explores what happens when one introvert fights her natural tendencies, takes the plunge, and tries (and sometimes fails) to be a little bit braver.
Dear Ms. Pan,
You are my people. As I’ve mentioned on our site before (Reading List), I’m an introvert. I’m also a shy introvert (I’ll have to start using your description “shintrovert”). The idea of doing anything in public is enough to send me rushing home, to my bedroom, with the door slammed shut. So of course I needed to read about your year long experiment and how you coped with it.
Surface Talk vs Deep Talk, gathering the courage to enter a roomful of strangers, chit-chat (::shudder::), gathering the courage to talk to even one stranger – I empathized with all these challenges you took on. I too read books and blogs and articles when faced with something outside my comfort zone as a way to try and plan and prepare myself. What one of your mentors says makes total sense to me: our reptilian brains view social situations as safety threats.
As I read about your experiences, I nodded my head at your fears and worries. But I also cheered you on. Some of the things you jumped out and did – improve, live comedy, traveling alone to a strange city – made me initially recoil. But you did them and then told us readers about what happened. Then bared your soul to write it all in the book. Thank you for sharing from other mentors the information that most people do want to wave back and to enter a conversation. They just usually need someone else to get the ball rolling. I am enthused by your statement that “things that seem impossible can suddenly become possible.”
So yes, I lived vicariously through some of your year and would probably not have the courage for some things but I admire the heck out of you because you went for it and didn’t back down. Your book will help me try to ask Deep Talk questions, to creep a little bit outside my shell, to take a few more risks though honestly I’d rather try and climb Everest than do stand up comedy. B