Happy Hump Day!
I am so inspired today as I began listening to an Audible book titled, “Quiet.” Have any of you read it? I’m sure you have as it seems to be popular. To summarize, it is about being an introvert in an extrovert world. Part of the process in discovering who I am, has led me to learn that I am a true, yup you guessed it from the title of this blog, introvert. Although this has been a slow process, I am happy to be digging inside of me to better understand myself. That sounds odd, but it is not an easy task for me to complete. Often times I am better at understanding and figuring out other people, but when it comes to myself, I often get confused. There seems to be a trend among most social workers or others in the mental health community.
Now that I have discovered my introvert-ness (ha), let me explain a little further what this looks like for me. The word introvert, can be interpreted in many different ways. Most of the time an introvert has a stigma of being shy, nerdy, quiet, etc. And yes maybe I am a tad on the nerdy side but I am learning so much about being an introvert beyond the social stigma! When you first meet me, I do not seem introverted, but more on the extroverted side. I will admit, on different scales, I am not completely to the far left side, as I tend to lay in the middle but still on the introvert side. However, over the years I have become much more introverted than extroverted.
Owning this title was something I never wanted to do because it has such a negative stigma most of the time. But I am finally owning who I am and embracing that YES I need to have time to myself (daily) and I prefer being alone rather than being with people. In order to recharge my batteries, I have to be by myself. Being around people is great and can be very enjoyable to me, but it is also very draining. I can handle being in groups and at parties as long as it is not for an extended period of time and I can mentally prepare for it.
At the end of the day though, I prefer sitting at home reading a book or taking a bath (with a glass of wine or cup of tea), rather than going out. My husband is an extrovert (like 98% extrovert) on the Myers-Briggs test, so at times he has to convince (well actually beg) me to go out with him. We have a beautiful balance between the two of us…probably because I am an INFJ and he is an ENTP (on the Myer-sBriggs test) which happen to compliment each other quite well. If you haven’t taken your personality test, I highly encourage you to do so! It has really helped me understand myself and others much better. Here is the link if you decide to do so and it only takes about 15 minutes:Free Personality Test.
Along with enjoying being alone, I find that it is much easier for me to write my thoughts down instead of speak them. As a highly observant and self-aware person, it is difficult for me to shut my brain off as my thoughts run wild. Since I do not need to use that many words during my day, the thoughts get stuck inside my head and do not make it out…unless I write them down. I had a therapist ask me once what I was thinking in a moment of anxiety and guess what my answer was? Nothing. I told her I wasn’t thinking about anything. Turns out I was completely wrong and I was thinking SO MANY THOUGHTS at once that I was unable to identify them because they were firing off too rapidly. Needless to say that was not healthy. Writing down my thoughts helps to get the jumble out. Additionally, I cannot handle a lot of stimulation, such as, bright lights, loud noise, large crowds and bright colors for very long. If I am in a situation like that I need to go home and rest to recharge and usually I feel depleted afterwards.
It is almost comical that I did not identify this about myself sooner as there were signs here and there of being an introvert throughout my life. For example, I never had a big group of friends, but only a few close friends. Group projects were NOT my jam, as I always preferred to work alone in school or at work. Finally, I have always loved reading as it brings me into a place that feels like an escape, a different world, with just me, myself and I (oh and maybe the characters from the books too). It would have been easy to label myself an extrovert growing up as I loved to talk and I talked a lot (sorry mom and dad!). Also, I did not mind being the center of attention as a child and I was very opinionated. Plus, I could hang with crowds and make friends fairly easily but little did I know that I had it all wrong. I misunderstood myself.
Now I am embracing who I am and I get to share it with those who care. Thanks for joining me in this journey as I share about my experiences of who I am, where I have been and where I am going. I would love to hear any feedback you have!