Being an Introvert Might Look Like This

What it's like being an introvert.

Being an introvert has both it’s perks and disadvantages, probably much like it it is to be an extrovert or anybody else, for that matter.

There are different levels of introversion, and the way it manifests will vary from person to person. I consider myself to be a fairly functional introvert, which I believe to be somewhere in the middle. Essentially, it means I prefer not to be at a party having to make small talk, but I can uncomfortably deal with it, if I have to. The same cannot be said for karaoke.

For the curious:

Introvert Introspection

Being an introvert allows me to be completely comfortable with being alone with my thoughts and feelings, so my head is free to “roam about the cabin” without judgment. My mind tends to drift a lot, and I have a great imagination, but this ability is also vital to sorting out my own feelings, making major decisions, and finding solutions to problems that arise. I also need time alone to recharge, rethink, and reflect. It’s like breathing for me, and it’s usually when my best ideas and inspirations come to me.

The truth is, being an introvert, I just don’t need the outside stimulation that others do. I get plenty of it in my own head and in what I choose to do with my time, which is usually pretty mellow, so there’s a high probability that I’ll say “no” to your next party invitation because, honestly, I’d rather be reading a good book, watching an independent film, daydreaming, or writing my next blog post. I still love you, though.

And, if I do decide to attend the party or gathering, I will likely be off playing with a child or family pet out of the way of the main event, or distracting myself with food at the party table. I may even leave early…and you may or may not know that I’ve left (ghosting).

intro-

1. a prefix, meaning “inwardly,” “within,” occurring in loanwords fromLatin ( introspection); occasionally used in the formation of new words ( introjection).

Dictionary.com Unabridged Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.

The downside of this introverted thought process for me is that it can be slow when I need a quick answer, and it can become pretty dark. My thoughts can get heavy, as “looking inward” can turn into constant worry, dark thoughts, and can breed negative feelings and depression. It can be hard for me to pull out of these intense emotions that can be created solely through the introvert’s often complicated and thorough thought process.

Being Misunderstood

Because of how useful my alone time is for me, I like to be by myself a lot. People think that I’m either boring or lonely, but I’m really neither of those things. I go on road trips, meet up with friends (usually one at a time) for lunch, explore my town (love the farmer’s market and lake) regularly, and attend shows here and there. I like to explore and learn, especially in nature.

Being an introvert means I usually don’t talk much, unless I’m in my element. My element is a close friend, one-on-one, or when I’m with family. When I’m not with a close friend or family – like in the same room – my inclination to communicate declines significantly. I’m much worse when it comes to the phone, and I’m sorry to those of you I have ignored or “forgotten” to call back.

My natural quietness is usually construed by others as social anxiety or shyness, disinterest, superiority, depression or rudeness, but chances are I’m probably off in my head about something. In social situations, I usually keep to myself, and avoid creating any kind of controversy or conflict. You won’t hear any discussion on religion or politics from this girl.

Conserving Energy

I feel like I have a limited reserve of energy, so I have to choose carefully where I spend it. Some things take more energy than I want to give, like large parties, family get togethers, and concerts. All that stimulation is mentally exhausting for me, so I may bail early (introverts almost always have an escape plan).

Afterwards, I will likely feel like curling up in the fetal position and sinking into the depths of my couch, not talking to anyone for awhile. Even a really long, but thoroughly enjoyable, conversation with one person can take my energy reserve down to nothing.

I usually “recharge” with time alone, like a hot bath, reading a book, going for a long walk, meditating or breathing exercises, and sometimes focused writing. Being alone with my thoughts and feelings recharges me, and I can just relish in the silence I’ve created in my own space.

Making Connections

If you’re a an introvert, or know one, chances are that you also know how much we dislike small talk. Why are we so averse to small talk? It feels shallow and cumbersome, and usually doesn’t go anywhere interesting. It feels like a waste of time because I’m not really learning anything real about the person.

I really only like to speak when I have something important to say. Being an introvert fills me with the need to connect, so the only conversations worth having are those that lead to life stories, dreams and aspirations, and intimate details.

I love deep, think deep – I live deep.

Because I avoid small talk, large crowds, and I’m in my 40s, it can be especially difficult to for me to meet new people. I only have a small handful of close friends, but that’s because I’m very selective about who I spend time with, and it’s with those who I trust implicitly and those who at least try to understand me.

Introverts aren’t always sure how to get the ball rolling, but we do want to connect, and usually on a deep level.

Do you look like an introvert?

Introversion takes many forms, and there are small variances between each of us, but we’re all similar at the core and require alone time to recharge.

I know it’s difficult to put yourself out there (believe me), but know that we are very interested and would never judge. We’d love to hear from you, because many of us enjoy knowing more about our inner workings, which means learning about how others feel too. We also enjoy reading blogs, writing, wandering away in the grocery store, and making lists, oh, and binge-watching….did you see that show about –

but I digress.

Being an introvert still has it’s drawbacks in an extroverted world, but are they really drawbacks at all? I have a few great friends, I get shit done (it takes forever, but it’s almost perfect), I’m always on time, I will definitely notice your new haircut, and I’m somewhat intelligent (over-thinking bookworm). I’m overflowing with all the things that matter, and I’m sure you are too. 😉

Tea & ♥,

2 comments

  1. Thank you for this, I am definitely a functional introvert. I’ve been a nurse for 13 years and have no problem functioning very well in this role. However, I avoid social gatherings and the like. I no longer feel the need to make exciluses with those I’m close to, though I know they wish I was more social. I love people, I just don’t like large groups or noisy gatherings. I finally feel like I accept myself the way I am, though it has taken many years.

    1. That’s so great, Lainie! I think one of the hardest parts of being any type of introvert is just learning to accept yourself and roll with it, but it looks like you’ve finally reached that sweet spot. 🙂

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