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 coming; 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?