Being comfortable in company is a skill. It requires the grace of silence and economy of words. Most women, I think, are groomed from childhood to be social and sociable beings. We are constantly extending ourselves to make the other feel welcome and comfortable in social settings.

And that’s how it becomes a performance. We see our mothers and aunts performing, and we take their cue and learn the steps, tweaking them as we go along.

You know that gregarious, charming and cheerful woman who seems to be everywhere, talking to everyone? I am willing to bet that she is a hidden introvert, performing and performing all her life, exhausted and drained. Talking, laughing, eager to fill up gaps in conversation, constantly guarding against the awkward silences, and so on… These are the signs.

Now, if we were to show up in the world as our natural selves, it would be less taxing. We are quieter individuals, less inclined to mingle and talk, and the world needs to see this. We need to model this to girls and younger women, so they start embracing and expressing their natural orientation. And there’d be no more performing.

Of course, this is a major act of courage and deconditioning. Some of us have got so good at performing that we don’t/can’t stop. And we have become adept at fooling everyone including ourselves.

But it’s so worth it, I tell you. Let’s bring our whole selves to the world.