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I hate buying new music.

My music connoisseur friends find this mystifying (and mildly frustrating) but it’s true.

The last CD I bought was from Page CXVI – a group that remakes hymns. So while it’s technically a “new” CD – all of the songs and tunes were already familiar. The rest of my music purchasing history is littered with single song purchases from iTunes. All of those are songs I’d already heard a million times before purchasing on the background tracks in stores or played for me by friends desperate to expand my popular music horizon. I’ve got about 400 songs on my iPod, but generally only play the same twenty. I’ve rocked out to the same three songs every day for the past month and a half.

I love watching reruns of my favorite TV shows.

This may sound like a waste of time – but isn’t all TV basically a waste of time?

Usually, I’m happier watching the rerun than I am watching a new episode. Given the choice of watching a movie I’ve never seen or a favorite movie I’ve watched a dozen times I will almost always choose the one I’ve already seen. One of the main sensations I experience upon finishing a new TV show or movie is the anticipation of watching it again at a later date as a rerun.

I’ve just purchased tickets back to Thailand.

I have to leave my host country every six months and the next trip is coming up in July.

When I was trying to decide where to go on this little mandatory trip, I seriously considered going somewhere else. Malaysia. Cambodia. Sri Lanka. Someone I know talked Malaysia up as infinitely better than Thailand so much so that I was in the process of picking out a hotel in Penang.

But then I realized – that’s just not me.

One year in college, just two weeks before finals, my completely extroverted roommate wanted to re-organize our dorm room. Mired in papers, studying every waking moment, and anticipating the craziness of the Christmas holiday – nothing sounded more stressful to me. I put her off as long as possible until she threatened offered to do the reorganize herself. That sounded like a worse idea, so one night we rearranged absolutely everything.

What neither one of us knew at the time was that the tension between us was caused by our personality’s reaction to stress. For her – stress was a catalyst for change. She coped with all of the other craziness by initiating changes she could control (furniture reorganization). My preferred coping response to stress was to hunker down and attempt to make sure nothing else changed as far as I could control.

Introverts generally find routine and sameness life-giving – especially if they’re already stressed out in other areas of life. So when life’s a little bit crazy, I blast the same three songs over and over every day. I leave the new TV episode in favor of a rerun. And, once I get over how it may make me sound boring, I make plans to go to the exact same hotel in the exact same city in Thailand.

Introverts – Do you see yourself in this description? What are some things you find you prefer on rerun? Do you have extroverted friends/family members who urge you into new experiences?

Extroverts – I’ve described this to an extrovert friend of mine who’s married to an introvert and she laughed at how much like her husband I sound. Have you noticed the preference for reruns in your introverted friends/family members? Does it bother you?

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