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(The Introverts… with Can A from Istanbul)

My first contact with Can A came from a very enthusiastic email where he said he wanted to be part of the Elska project. So excited was he that he didn’t only want to be photographed but he volunteered to be an assistant for other photoshoots during the Istanbul project. Then a quick look at his social media showed that he was active on the scene, had a ton of friends, and was practically a celebrity. I assumed I’d have a gregarious little extrovert on my hands, but I was greatly surprised when after meeting him in person, he was the quietest guy I’d met in Istanbul.  Was he shy? Perhaps it would take time to break the ice, but it barely even crackled. Was he an introvert? Is that even the same thing? I started to get confused about these notions and about myself, whom I tend to think of as an introverted and shy. But according to some basic psychology readings. I began to better understand these terms. It turns out that shyness and introversion are quite different things.

Introverts get off on being alone. It energises them. I’ve long enjoyed swimming and cycling, claiming that the best part is the ability to just think; it was often in a pool or on my bike where my creative ideas would come. And like classic introverts by definition, I don’t really like parties, I don’t like networking, I don’t like interacting with large groups of people. I’ve often called myself shy, but shyness is more about a fear of social situations. It’s about feeling anxiety at meeting people. This isn’t me. I can blend in fine at a party but I just don’t like it. 

So what’s the deal with Can A? Why was he so quiet? If he was shy, why would he want to be photographed? If I was shy, why would I do a job where I’m constantly meeting new people in an effort to work so intimately with them? I can’t really speak for Can A, for he didn’t really open up enough to make much of a judgment, but if you look up the definition of an extrovert, he fits none of the descriptions listed. So I guess we are both introverts… or maybe he was quiet because he just didn’t like me …I’d ask him, but I’m too shy!

See more of Can A (pronounced like ‘John’) in Elska Magazine issue (06) Istanbul

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