9th July, 2019

Review: Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want To Come by Jessica Pan (Doubleday)

What if a shy introvert lived the gregarious life of an extrovert for one year? If she consciously put herself in uncomfortable social situations that she’d normally stear clear of at all costs? When she found herself jobless and with all of her friends having moved away, Jess couldn't help but imagine what her life could have looked like if she had been just a little more open to new experiences and new people, a little less willing to hide at home instead of going to the pub. Jess made a vow: Despite being a massive "shintrovert" (a shy introvert), she promised to push herself to live the life of an extrovert for a year.

Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come is an endearing memoir that follows the author's simultaneously funny and painful 365 days of adventures and mishaps in extroverting. Every introvert will easily find themselves in this book as Pan reports back from the frontline of cringy experiences, such as improv comedy, dining out and traveling solo, or asking intentionally stupid questions of passersby in the streets of London ("Does England have a Queen? What is her name?" - You'll be amazed by the answers she received!).

This book makes for hilarious, compulsive reading, and it's perfect for dipping in and out of. Being an introvert myself I found some of the things Pan pushed herself to quite a long stretch out of my own comfort zone, but I also identified patterns that I have obviously learned to overcome. What I found particularly interesting was the author's take on initiating deep and meaningful conversations and on how nowadays a lot of people can no longer commit to these. What makes Pan's view so interesting is that it is indeed that of an introvert and not the perspective of an extrovert who is trying to motivate shy people. She knows how debilitating it can feel when you are thrown "out there" and she decided to try it anyway. And yes, sometimes things backfired but she still persisted.

I recommend this book to any introverts out there who would like to live vicariously through someone else in order to know what extroverting is actually like. I felt that it gave me a new perspective on many things while at the same time being extremely entertaining.

Rating: 4/5 stars

© Copyright The Constant Reader

All texts and photographs are mine, unless indicated otherwise.