Phil, who I’m still in touch with every now and then, sent me an article tonight and it resonated so much. It was all about introverts and just about summed me up to a tee.
1. An introverted person can function better when working alone, than when working in a team. It’s not about being a “team player”, it’s about what can help them produce the best possible result. And working in a team, well…it’s is distracting.
2. Being quiet does not mean “having nothing to say”. It means that one simply enjoys being quiet.
3. Going out in a coffee shop with your book, work, or music, and enjoying that perfect little state between sociability, but without interaction, is very, very satisfying.
4. Introverts choose who they connect with very carefully. And when that connection has been made, it runs deep. Some people can be all depth, instead of breadth. And that is perfectly okay.
5. Rainy days at home are blessings. Period.
6. A trip alone to a foreign country or another city is not scary. It’s an adventure, and not having anyone meddling with your planning is pretty liberating.
7. You can never comprehend how some people can spend the entirety of their day together, even fresh lovers in their honeymoon phase. Space is healthy. Silence is necessary.
8. Time alone means time for introspection. While many people avoid looking at their problems, letting them fester and become toxic for them, an introvert can take the time to listen to themselves and perhaps find solutions.
9. Being the observer in a group can actually be very beneficial. It gives one more chances of operating in a behind-the-scenes way.
10. Similarly, the observation of people can lead to better understanding them, which can make an introvert a very likeable person. Everyone wants an understanding confident who lets them speak out for a change, in a world where everyone has an opinion that can, unfortunately, be pushed on to you.
11. Spending less time socializing means coming up with so many more things to occupy your time! There is always a book to read, or a movie to watch, or a language to learn, or some volunteer work you can do, and so on. An introvert can see adventure in the most ordinary settings.
12. That moment when you finally come home after a large party is like the first breath of air in a long time, and a great relief.
13. It can be funny, interesting, and a little bit sad when people get surprised that you have so many interests and hobbies. “Oh my god, I had no idea you did so much!” I mean, it’s not like I sit and stare at my ceiling when I am not with people. But your surprise entertains me.
14. Socializing can be draining, but an introvert can love spending time with an extrovert. Opposites do attract, and one fulfills the other. There are things an introvert cannot do without an extrovert, and vice versa.
15. Introverts prefer written communication to verbal. Although introverts are said to be good listeners, being treated as a sounding board is not their idea of fun. When communication is conducted with the buffer of e-mail, it is two-way and the introvert feels engaged in the conversation. Also, writing is less exhausting. An introvert feels like he’s on stage when he has to talk at extended lengths of time. Writing gives introverts time to think. Introverts prefer to think before speaking. An introvert doesn’t want to be misunderstood and writing prevents this.
Reading this article tonight has been liberating. I can look back over my entire life now and see that I’ve always been an introvert and that actually a hell of a lot of what I was feeling as a child, the behaviour of my parents and as an adult and the behaviour of Tom, has maybe been something that an extrovert could have coped with but, an introvert just can’t. I’d say Tom and my parents are extroverts and so they probably never understood me the same way I never understood them.
I can really appreciate that an introvert must be quite difficult to understand, it’s not the norm to want to be alone or stay indoors and sit in silence, but it is the norm for me and people like me. It doesn’t mean something’s wrong, or that we’re depressed or weird, it just means we’re happiest and more effective in the world when we do our own thing, alone and silently.
I’m also seeing why I dislike having people in my home so much. It’s not very often that I invite people around, I prefer to go out to meet them rather than them coming into my space because I need to keep this space precious, my place to retreat and recharge and not have it tainted with noise and other more excitable energies.
This is such a liberating thing for me because it really fits in with something I’ve battled with for the last few years. How we’re encouraged to step out of our comfort zones and do things that scare us a little. I argue, why should we? This isn’t a comfort zone, this is me. I am an introvert and stepping away from that makes me feel as though I’m stepping out of my body and into someone else’s and it just doesn’t fit. I’m no longer going to try and be something I’m not for the sake of stepping out of zones that actually don’t even exist, I’m just going to embrace who I am and work with what I’ve got, because what I have, while in the minority, is actually pretty good.