My Introvert Confessions

I went to a conference last week for work (yay for finding some money for the part-timer). Conferences always bring out the introvert in me FULL force. It takes a lot out of me to be around people all.the.time. I stayed at home most of the weekend indulging in my current Netlix addiction and crocheting to deal with 3 days worth of people.

I have seen these elsewhere, but I figured I would put my own spin on introvert confessions. Some are similar but with my own thoughts. Please note that these may not apply to all introverts, but you may seem a theme.

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She pretty much is me any another life right? At least, I would like to think so.

First before I go into my confessions, let me briefly explain introverts and extroverts. It is from the Myers-Briggs personality test. The two indicators of extrovert and introvert refer to how/where a person draws their energy. In simple terms, extroverts draw energy from people or outer stimulation. Introverts draw energy from within, so lots of reflection and private time is a must to recharge. If you still don’t understand the difference just Google it; there are tons of sites to explain it.

Here are my Introvert Confessions:

1. Just because I am a hermit some days does not make me anti-social. It just means that I have been TOO social lately. I have seen it explained as selectively social. I also feel that our society has put an emphasis on the perception of extroverts as being a sought after personality, which makes us introverts seem awkward and loners. I am here to say we have so much to contribute if you just let us have our time.

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2. I can be spontaneous, as long as I have advanced notice to prepare. Tom and I have issues with this all the time with our social calendar. If you were not aware, my husband is an extrovert. It makes our life interesting. It is sometimes hard for him to understand that I have to prep myself for most social situations. And then I feel bad for holding him back…it’s a vicious cycle we lead.

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3. And that is because small talk is not my thing. I want to know your life story and go for coffee in a quiet space. If there are large groups of people, I have no idea how to contribute, and I think too much of what my contribution will be. I don’t like to focus on a large group because I want to connect with each person individually and that is hard to do in groups and with small talk. So unless it is a more intimate situation, I will more like stay quiet. Sometimes my profession takes a lot out of me with programs and many group settings.

4. Dear Hairdresser, dentist, and person sitting next to me on the airplane:  just because I can’t go anywhere doesn’t mean I want to talk to you. I like having an escape route, and you leave me no option when you talk to me. And really why is the dentist trying to have a conversation with me anyway?

5. I embrace my introvertness, but I don’t like being made to feel awkward or feel like an outcast because I am asking for space. There are people who have made me embarrassed and ashamed of needing to stay home or throw it in my face that I missed out on something. Trust me, you missed out on crazy-drained-angry Stephanie. So just get over that I may not approach you in a crowded room or that I may want to stay in more than I want to stay out. These are the things I wish everyone knew about introverts, or me really.

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6. My ideal “social” night is with one to four friends. More than that makes me feel uneasy. UNLESS, I know each of you really well. I like to be able to give all my attention and be intentional about the conversations we have. I want to let you into my inner circle, but I feel that we can only do that one on one or in a small groups, not at the club.

7. I am always thinking:  thinking of what I said (5 minutes and 5 days ago), what I would have said, and how to prepare myself with what to say. I also try to anticipate and analyze what other people are saying. This is the plight of most introverts. I think we get lost in our thoughts and expend our energy on this instead of being spontaneous with the masses. I feel like this picture depicts how I am taking everything in…

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8. Just because I am not talking, doesn’t mean I am in a bad mood or that I don’t like you. I am in observation mode. Again, I am probably trying to think of something clever to say…or I have been around people too long and am beginning to shut down.

9. I hate it when people say “Introverts are shy.” This is not a given. Around certain people, I am not. This is because I have let you in my inner circle, and we have had time to get to know each other. (Or I am on the job. I can put a good woo face on if need be.) In new situations, I can be shy. It just takes me some time to open up and feel comfortable. Again, the small talk is what gets me down. Anyway, shy and introverts are not two describers that are exclusively related.

 

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10. I love being an introvert. I feel that it makes me very self-aware. I can read my limits fairly quickly and know when I need to take a step back. I have learned to be vocal and not ashamed of needing my me-time. A lot of interaction will leave me exhausted and drained. I don’t perform at my best when I have been around people too long, so I have to have time EACH day to just be me. I feel that this makes it much easier for me to create balance because I can acknowledge and explain my personality.

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Fun Introvert fact, there are a lot of famous introverts.

Such as:  Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Matt Lauer, Diane Sawyer, and Barbara Walters.

Are you an introvert? Do you have any confessions to add? Are you an extrovert? Do you have thoughts on introverts?

12 thoughts on “My Introvert Confessions

  1. I love this! This is TOTALLY me. Conferences always make me so aware of how introverted I really am. I almost ALWAYS play back conversations in my head, what I should have said, or I think about possible future conversations and what I would say. Great post!

  2. Have you read Quiet? It’s a fantastic book all about introversion. It’s comprehensive with information about how your introversion can be a strength in the work place, how to make it work in your marriage, or if you have a kid that’s the opposite of what you are (be it introvert or extrovert). The book is big and a little daunting looking, but it is so good. It even talks about the whole “shy vs. introvert” thing.

    I’m an introvert to a tee! Spontaneity, unexpected phone class, meeting new people, time spent in large groups (even large groups of people I like), it’s all me. I also happen to be a shy introvert, so I’m sure people think that I’m rude when they first meet me. The truth is that I’m just paralyzed by social anxiety and tired from all the stimulation.

    • I have not read “Quiet.” I will have to add that to my list. It can be a struggle sometimes in this ever demanding world. I am definitely an introvert to a tee as well. I would say that I am generally also shy, until I get to know you really well. But new places and people forget it! I shut down.

    • I hate being “surprised” with plans. I need advanced notice and need to know who will be there and what activities there are. My husband however is very much a let’s roll with the punches kind of guy. It’s all a mental game I need to prepare myself for!

  3. Number two is definitely Zach and I. And seven is completely me….actually a lot of these describe me. I’m with you though—I love being an introvert. I think that’s what gives me my artsy crafty side. Love this post, friend!

    • I love that I am not the only one in an extrovert/introvert relationship! Being an introvert has it”s perks. I think that is why I have loved blogging too!

    • The two years go by so fast, it is hard to connect with everyone then. But I agree! Also, I believe that there are a lot more of us introverts than we realize in higher ed!

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