Caution: Introvert ahead.

Here we go again. This isn’t the first time I’ve posted about life as an introvert, and it probably won’t be the last. Because it’s simply a fact that, as an intense introvert, I am often forced to exist WAY beyond my happy zone.

Tonight I’m having a work meeting at my house. Pros: I very much like the people who are enhanced-16946-1439310680-2coming; we work well together; good things are sure to come out of this meeting; I don’t have to leave my cozy nest on a cold, dark, winter night. Cons: People will be in my space; playing the gracious hostess is SO not me; I’ll have trouble sleeping tonight due to the intense stress of trying to be “on” way past the bewitching hour when “I need to be alone” is the only thought in my head.

When I ran across this graphic recently, I wanted to jump up and scream, “YES!!!” We extroverts are not only misunderstood, but considered somehow “less than” in our society. It is true that I love books, I tend to be serious, and being around a group of people makes me feel awkward. But that’s not the whole story. The more important part of the story is that being with more than a couple of people at a time (except for my husband and kids) sucks me dry; I leave a group experience feeling like a deflated balloon. It can take hours or even a day of quiet, reflective alone time/reading time to build up enough energy to go out and face the world again.

Another thing that’s misunderstood about us introverts: I’m perfectly comfortable addressing a group of people. I get totally fired up about giving a presentation, and have no sense of performance anxiety. I loved spending last Saturday morning doing a leadership presentation, and am seriously looking forward to doing another this coming Sunday. Some of the best articles I’ve read about introverts have said that this trait is common.

So, dear readers, a few questions – I’d love to hear from you. If you, too, are an introvert, how do you re-energize? How do you cope with the requirements of living in the world? And if you’re more on the extrovert side, how do you feel about being with others v. being alone?

 

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Caution: Introvert ahead.

  1. As you know, we share our introverted tendencies. Being with a group exhausts me. I’m the kind of person who needs to be asked ahead of time to meet for lunch or whatever. Having to keep friendships going is a little tough–especially if they don’t understand introverts. I have no trouble speaking in front of a group–not even any anxiety–I usually have some fun in group situations but like to leave early because I would rather be home knitting or reading. Well….from one introvert to another, I think we understand each other.

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  2. I was just thinking about introverts/extroverts the other day. I am smack in the middle of these two things. Some days I am an extrovert and very comfortable around people. Other days I’m an introvert and dread any interaction with people. I don’t go and hide on my introvert days, but I find interacting with people on those days is much more tiring for me. When I am in my extrovert mood, I find it very annoying when I’m around introverts because it’s so challenging to have a discussion when they don’t want to be bothered by people. And because I find it so annoying, it’s helped me to push myself and not be such an introvert on those days when that’s how I feel. (I hope this all makes sense.) There was a time in my life when I thought I must be bipolar or schizophrenic because, really, how can a person be both an introvert and an extrovert? But taking the Myers-Brigg test taught me that I can be both and still be “normal.” So now I just go with my mood and adjust as necessary. On the days when I’m feeling introverted, I tend to nurture myself more and pay attention to my body/mind/emotions more. I guess in a way I’m telling myself it’s okay to feel however I feel on any given day. And that little bit of “freedom” provides me peace of mind and just makes it easier to get through life. At 54, I’m all done punishing myself and beating myself up for “silly” things. One last comment — at the end of most days, I take a long soak in a hot bath. It is a sort of meditation/mindfulness. It is indeed my ALONE time, whether I need it or not. I truly believe it is the medicine that soothes my soul and that allows me the ability to face another day. Kudos to you! This was a great post. Thanks for letting my hijack it with my lengthy comment. 🙂

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  3. I am an introvert, possibly even an extreme introvert. (Is that possible?) I’m a substitute teacher and stay busy. I’ve subbed the last 2 weeks nonstop, have had all my weekends “ruined” having either parties to go to, or going to see my nephews baptisms, and out-and-about stuffs. Tomorrow, I have to get up again, put on my big girl panties and strut out that door to teach another class. Tuesday, however, I am OFF! and am looking forward to a day with no one at home for 8 hours and pajamas!

    I’ve found that introverts and extroverts do well in a companionable relationship. My S.O. is an extrovert. In the 10 years we’ve been together, he has shown me that being at home for weeks on end isn’t exactly healthy for me (I beg to differ) and I’ve shown him that being at home for a day and not being around people is okay.

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  4. Gosh, yes. I’m with you all the way. I think it’s very interesting that so many extroverts enjoy public speaking and presenting. I’d kind of like to do some more reading on what on earth makes us that way!

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  5. Great read! I LOVE TO BE ALONE. My favorite hobbies include reading a-l-o-n-e, shopping a-l-o-n-e, watching television a-l-o-n-e. Of course, I don’t mind my husband or children’s company in any of this, but I value highly my alone time. I’m a teacher and am very vocal, love being in front of people, love leading worship at my church (in front of people obviously lol), but I just prefer my alone time and value it so I can resonate with a lot of this post. I don’t know if I would call myself an introvert all the way, but I would say that I lean towards that in comparison to my super extroverted husband who loves to be around people all of the time. The idea of a perfect weekend would be snuggling with a blanket and some books. This is my ideal.

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  6. I’m the extrovert. My husband is an introvert. It can lead to some…interesting discussions ;-). But I think the thing that made me understand where he was coming from once was the quote that introverts don’t want to be alone, but they want to be left alone. That said–I have to say, it’s difficult at times. For instance, after a long hard week at work, he understandably wants some time to himself. But if I offer to take the kids out, to give him time ‘alone’, that’s not necessarily what he wants. He would rather have us all here, but just leaving him alone and with two young kids, it’s a whole lot easier to just take them out! So, while I get it, I’ll be honest, sometimes I do resent the amount of ‘down time’ that seems to be required, but only because it means I have to be ‘on’ even more. That sounds horrible when I write it all out, but it’s the truth. And not really something I think about often, but you know, since you asked! 😉

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    • That’s very interesting, and I can see how his need for alone time would place a burden on you. I feel pretty certain my need for so much down time tends to be hard on my husband – not that he’s an extrovert, but after a day with a lot of interaction I really just have to shut him (and everyone/everything else) out for a good long time in order to recover. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  7. I am an introvert through and through. I’ll admit that every now and then it’s nice to be around a group of people, namely family members at reunions. But even then, in the midst of the fun, I find myself looking around for a secluded place to run to if it gets to be too overwhelming. Being alone can’t be traded for anything – It’s comforting, calming and very energizing.

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