Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

My introvert activism

With 45’s presidency in full effect, we’ve reached a level of activism in this country (and around the world) that I’ve never seen in my almost 40 years. If you’re like me, you want to get involved any and every way you can except there’s one problem. You are a raging, textbook introvert. Crowds intimidate you. Confrontation, particularly on Facebook, is difficult. Calling people on the phone is nerve-wracking and while good for an introvert in theory, is almost as difficult as confrontation. 

Basically, if you’re an introvert with a people aversion (like me), typical activism is not your cup of tea. But, fortunately, there are still things you can do to support your cause or #resist. I’ve talked a little bit about this before but here’s what else I’ve been doing:

  1. Voting with my money. I don’t have a ton of disposable income right now (thanks, Disney World. #cheermomproblems) but I do set aside some to contribute where I can like the ACLU or Planned Parenthood. I also frequent stores, businesses, and other places that align with my beliefs and don’t support hatred and discrimination. 
  2. Social media. While I don’t engage in discussions on FB, I will share posts on Twitter or support other activists on their social media platforms. For instance, a friend of mine is a concert producer (like big time. Runs the shows from behind the scenes) and she frequently uses the hashtag #damselinsuccess on IG. There’s also an IG account where they share what they’re working on and highlight other women (similar to Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls). Following them, commenting, letting them know I support what they’re doing is sometimes the encouragement activists need to keep going. 
  3. Wear my label. I know this is mental health thing but it works here, too. Steph is really good at showing her feminist wear, and sharing others who make various products, so you can check out her site for ideas. But a simple, easy way to let people know where you stand is by wearing it. On your shirt, on your wrist, on your car. It’s subtle, maybe it’s passive aggressive, but that’s just fine by me. 
  4. Write letters. Or postcards. Calling is not my scene. I’ve never been a big phone person. I’m great face-to-face or in writing but the phone makes me weird and nervous. So you can imagine how hard it is for me to pick up the phone and call my representatives’ offices. EVEN THOUGH I know their job is listen to me, write it down, and move on, and they’re not judging me (seriously. My husband worked for Senator Carper and it was literally his job to answer the phone, write down constituent complains, pass them along, and then stop caring about it), it’s still difficult. So letters it is. 
  5. Buy or make things. I’m not crafty at all but if I was, I’d be making signs for my friends who do attend protests or making jewelry to sell or whatever other creative, artsy thing I could do. I could write a book like my friend Sheila and her friends did (and all the proceeds from the book go to Planned Parenthood) but let’s be honest, I’d write it and then not promote it. So instead, I’ll buy the things and share the things made by people braver and craftier than I. 

I’m sure as time goes on, I’ll find other ways to make my voice heard but for now, this will have to do. 

Other introverts, tell me what you’ve been doing? Anything working really well for you or anything working not at all?

 

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10 Comments

  1. Linda Sheridan

    I agree with all of the above. I’m really pissed off that we have to fight for rights over and over. I’m tired of life right now. I know all of this is for a reason, but I’m so tired and it is negativity I don’t need.
    When I post things to inform people, I am sure it
    Causes more negativity. It sucks. Anyway, I will keep on keeping on.
    Love, Steph’s Momma

    Reply
  2. Brittany Pines

    For calling, I call after work or on the weekends…at least I’m stuttering to a voicemail and not a live person.

    Reply
  3. Rebecca Jo

    I think sometimes the quiet ones that do work behind the scenes make the loudest impact… keep doing you.

    Reply
  4. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    Love this, Jana. I am an introvert too so this is something that I have been struggling with as well. I want to participate but my introverted, anxiety-ridden self has not figured how to do this well. Part of the problem is my tendency to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. I can’t solve everything but I can do my part. I agree with everything you said, especially #1. I am being very mindful about where I spend my money because I want to support businesses that don’t support hate and discrimination or are willing to overlook it to curry his favor. Nope!
    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…Goofy, Silly and Weird Stories about MeMy Profile

    Reply
  5. Allison

    I’m not an introvert BUT it is hard to sign up for/attend every event and social gathering meant to support these causes. I get emails from PP about events they’re throwing but can’t always attend because of work/scheduling, and I feel like I miss a lot. Therefore, your list is even good for the extroverts who want to do whatever they can when the in-person stuff isn’t doable. Good ideas!

    Reply
  6. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    What has been the hardest about this shitshow for me is increasing my phone calls, large crowd participation, etc. It wears me OUT because of the part of me that is the introvert.

    These are all great ideas. For me, it really does start closest to home with what I wear and where I spend my money. Small local community stuff is my favorite too so I’m always on the lookout for that. And postcards! The postcard has been revived.

    Reply
  7. Audrey

    Yes! I am the same way. I made a few phone calls this year but I had one of those “scripts” in front of me and it was a weekend (*great tips^^ ) so I was reciting to a voicemail. I have a had time with confrontation on FB or in real life and I don’t like phone calls so this list is perfect for me! Thank you for putting this together!

    Reply
  8. Mackenzie

    I also am a super introvert so I totally get where you are coming from on this. I am glad I don’t have a Facebook account because I would probably lose my mind with all the vitriol that is on there. That being said, writing letters like you mentioned, or sharing important stories and/or messages on Twitter and Instagram is still helping the cause!
    Mackenzie recently posted…Minimizing in MarchMy Profile

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  9. Elle

    Um, are we the same person? 40, introverted and more? This summed me up and I’ve been taking a lot of these steps–not really social media bc I’m a wimp. One day!!

    Reply
  10. texerinsydney

    I think this is a great post because it is good to be reminded that if you feel moved or convicted to act, your way of doing things may be different ways than others, but there is no “right” or “wrong” way. Well, there are WRONG ways…like being violent or hateful…but you know what I mean.

    Reply

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