The Introverts Survival: Rules of Engagement
Combat fishing is a social opportunity for the extroverted angler and an exercise in frustration and tolerance for the introverted angler. The simple truth is that introverts are profound thinkers. All external stimulation that disrupts our train of thought is considered an unwelcomed intrusion, and without a doubt that assuredly includes people with no more on their minds than idle chit chat or mindless gossip. Sadly America is a nation dominated by extroverts who are affable, personable, team players with aesthetically pleasing smiles (approachable) that are highly sought after attributes in the career arena. The introverts suffers by comparison because we are misunderstood and mislabeled with negative adjectives like antisocial, asocial and snobbish and do little to dispel this myth. There is an important point to always be cognoscente of when dealing with extroverts; we suffer from “people exhaustion” (Helgoe 118). Being attentive to the masses involves expending our emotional energy, which means can only successfully deal with the masses in measured increments before we need to retreat and recharge. “It is in your power to withdraw into yourself whenever you desire. Perfect tranquility within consists in the good ordering of the mind---the realm of your own” (qtd. in Helgoe 231).
The term antisocial actually refers to sociopathy or antisocial personality disorder, a condition in which a person lacks a social conscience; asocial—the correct term for someone who does not like to interact with people; and snobbish or elitist attitudes---believing ourselves to be superior to those with whom we interact. These have nothing to do with introverts or introversion. “Introversion is an inward orientation to life and extroversion is an outward orientation. Introverts tend to gain energy by reflecting and expend energy when interacting. Extroverts tend to gain energy by interacting and expend energy while reflecting” (Helgoe 18).
The fundamental problem with combat fishing is too many anglers occupying a specific part of the Kenai River, located just north of Anchorage, Alaska. Between the months of May and October, four different species of salmon leave the ocean, and make their way back to lakes and rivers where they were spawned to procreate and die. We booked a package deal for a party of six. The group consisted of: my father, Chuck; my father-in- law, Marvin; two brother –in-laws, Mike and Steve; my ten year old son, Brian; and myself. The package included airfare, hotel for five nights and a wake-up, and most importantly, the cleaning, dressing, freezing and shipping of your catch.
The first morning after arriving in Alaska, we were all eager to get started. Our group of six rented a minivan which had plenty of room for the six of us, and our equipment. We arrived at the Kenai River at five in the morning, thinking we would have our choice of the choicest fishing spots. Boy, were we wrong, there...