Let’s be straight here. Being an introvert in today’s society is sometimes a struggle. Social media? Assertiveness? Self-promotion? Hustle? Yup, that’s only a couple of examples of things that can totally overwhelm someone who would rather just enjoy their free time without any distractions or human contact.
My definition of a perfect day would include interacting only a handful of people, maximum. If I’m tired and stressed, I would be totally fine with spending one day of the week without speaking to anyone.
Being an introverts sometimes has a negative connotation in people’s minds. That’s totally wrong! Introverts and extroverts are just two different tribes of people that are wired in different ways. Lately I’ve been wondering why being an extrovert seems to be such a virtue in today’s culture. Probably because the interaction nowadays is inevitably more shallow. Introverts are better at making deeper connections, and that’s where the conflict arises.
WHICH ONE ARE YOU, THEN?
Introversion and extroversion are the two extremes, and there’s probably both qualities in each and every one of us. The easiest definition is probably that extroverts thrive in social situations and are energized by them. Introverts are the opposite. You can have qualities of both and extroverted introverts like me enjoy social situations, but it always comes down to that. What energizes you?
“SO DO YOU HATE PEOPLE?”
Umm, no. Quite the opposite.
From my own point of view, here’s the qualities that make me an introvert and some misconceptions I have faced myself. Introverts are a very diverse group of people like any other. Still, there are similar, recognizable traits.
Yes, there is such a thing as an extroverted introvert.
I’m comfortable with doing stuff on my own. It doesn’t mean I don’t like being in company of others.
Being alone is something I need to recover from the time I am spending with other people. It’s not personal or about you. When I need to be alone, I need to be alone from everyone. When I’m with my introverted boyfriend, we can stay in the same room and not talk, and we’re totally fine with that.
E-mail over phone any time.
It is so much easier to articulate my thoughts in writing.
I’m more than fine with not talking all the time, even though we are in the same room.
I still like to be around people and talk to them.
I’m hard on myself and most introverts will know what I’m talking about.
If I mess up, I won’t let it go anytime soon, believe me. Failure is a personal experience, so it’s not likely an introvert will blame others. I feel like introverts have a habit of internal monologue, also dubbed as “self-talk” to help us make decisions. Not entirely a good thing, since it easily leads to self-criticism. If your self-confidence is lacking, read this!
I don’t mind if the party or some other social engagement is cancelled.
Sorry I’m not sorry! It doesn’t mean I hate parties, but being in a big group drains my energy quicker. Meaningful conversations with a good friend over small talk at a party, any day. For me, it’s natural to gravitate towards a small number of friends instead of many acquaintances.
At the party, I’m the person you’ll find talking to the host’s pet.
Why does it come so naturally to talk to animals? The crazy cat lady is not that crazy in my eyes! 😉
When I’m quiet
… it’s very likely I’m observing you or articulating my thoughts. A discussion is so much more than just letting air out from between your lips. If I look away, I’m not disinterested, but trying to focus.
I often catch myself thinking about the past and worrying about the future.
Then I found out that this is actually because I’m learning all the time. It also has the benefit of being a better problem-solver. Thank you, frontal lobe!
Reading Susan Cain’s Quiet was a revolution in my thinking. It was like a pat on the shoulder and being told that being more extroverted would not make all my dreams come true, contrary to what the society seems to tell me.
Fellow introverts, you should also go check out The Quiet Rev for great articles and stories. There’s also a test to determine if you have more extroverted of introverted qualities, if you’re unsure.
Any other introverts out there? What is your favorite way to recharge?
Check out also my previous post on Lessons in Life: The First 28 years.