The asexual flag

Over the 12 months, I’ve been learning about asexuality and aromanticism; gobbling up books, blogs, the AVEN (Asexual Visibility and Education) forums, Tumblr, Twitter and a lot of You Tube. As a result, I’ve begun to identify as aromantic asexual, or ‘aro/ace’. This means I experience no romantic or sexual attraction towards other people.

I decided to start exploring my sexual and romantic orientation because I thought it would help me to understand how I’d managed to reach 35 years of age without ever having had a relationship. I’m becoming aware of the fact that people my age are either…


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Following the publication of the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, there’s been a whole bunch of books, blogs, articles and podcasts about how to ‘thrive’ as an introvert in a working world that’s more suited to extroverts.

These books and articles have encouraged us to embrace our introversion, to tap into and flex our many ‘quiet strengths’, in order to achieve success and find happiness in our careers.

The thing is though, all of this advice still expects introverts to adapt to the dominant extroverted working world. It gives…


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In the palace’s most magnificent ballroom, princes, princesses, the prime minister, parliamentary and other political dignitaries are gathered for the state banquet. Dressed in all their finery, tuxes and tiaras, they sip from crystal and eat off china, glistening in the chandelier light. HRH the Queen and the US President raise a toast. Nothing less than the most sumptuous setting for sealing this most special of relationships.

In town, an elderly man shuffles onto the 54 bus, dishevelled, stinking of piss. He sits down, does his scratch cards. …


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The Tory leadership contest hasn’t even officially got underway yet, however this hasn’t stopped the mainstream news media from talking up Boris Johnson as the one most likely to succeed Theresa May as UK prime minister. It’s ‘his race to lose’, they claim, based on the fact that amongst the Conservative Party membership — who ultimately get to decide who the next prime minister will be — Johnson is the most popular candidate.

I’m not wholly convinced he will become the next prime minister though. Here’s why:

Boris is no doubt popular with the grassroots membership of the Conservative Party…


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It’s 9am. I’ve been at work for an hour and I’ve already done all the jobs I need to do. But there’s still another seven hours to go. I groan inwardly. The thought of being pinned to this desk, with nothing to do for the rest of the day, is hard to bear.

Most of my days at work are like this. I started the job just under a year ago, and I was excited to take the position. I expected it to be a step up the career ladder. …


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Introverts are ‘born quiet’. In her book, The Introvert Advantage: How To Thrive In An Extroverted World, Marti Olsen Laney sets out how an introvert’s brain is wired differently to an extrovert’s brain. She draws on scientific studies which have shown that introverts have a longer neural pathway through which they process information. This explains why introverts may take longer to speak or react and are quieter in their interactions.

Laney also describes how introverts are more sensitive to the neurotransmitter, dopamine. When in social situations, for example, the introvert’s brain produces more dopamine than it needs, which then causes…


Photo credit: Pixabay

May’s Brexit deal will do nothing to tackle the deeper divisions that exist in the country.

It’s one of the most oft-repeated phrases in the Brexit vernacular: that Britain is a ‘deeply divided nation’, split between those who voted to leave the EU in the referendum of 2016 and those who voted to remain.

But divisions had already emerged between the people of Britain years before the Brexit vote: between the bankers and the taxpayers; between those living in London and those living in the towns and cities of the Midlands and the north; between the old and the young…


Introverts can find it hard to carve out the time and space we need to be able to thrive in an extroverted world. Here’s four things I started doing in 2018 to honour my introverted nature.

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1. Exercising

I started exercising this year, much to my surprise. I hated sports at school, and have never thought of myself as the ‘active type’.

But when I got home from work one day a few months back, I just got this urge to MOVE, and stretch out a bit. I felt so sluggish. So, I looked up ‘beginner workouts’ on YouTube. That…

Michelle

Writing about introvert life & aro/ace pride.

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