I’m an Introvert and (Quietly) Proud

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In my last post, I touched on being an introvert. It’s a term that’s been floating around for some time now, but I’ve only connected with it in the past year. Once I learned about what an introvert was, I felt like I discovered myself. Finally, I had a name for everything that I feel when I’m around people and when I’m not. I’m weird and different and amazing! And I’ve grown to love my introverted self!

Huffington Post and Psychology Today  have two great posts about what makes a person an introvert. Last year, I also discovered Quiet Revolution, a website all about introversion and how to go through the world as an introvert. I’ve come up with my own signs of introversion because I feel like I don’t fit every single characteristic.  Maybe you can relate.

  • I HATE talking on the phone. It’s not that I don’t love or care for people. It’s just I’d much rather spend time with you. I’d like to see you in person, hug you and connect over coffee. I also realize that I pick up the emotions of the other person even on the phone (more on that later). You can count on me sending emails and text messages rather than the phone.
  • I feel lost in a crowd and tend to stay in the outer edges. Whenever I go, I tend to sit where I feel most secure, which could be at the end of a row of chairs, in my own cubicle, etc. I prefer small, intimate gatherings at a lounge or quiet coffee shop. I feel safer and protected that way. Or I just stay home because it’s my happy place.
  • I get drained quickly with too much noise, smells and sights. I feel overwhelmed and can’t think. Then I feel worn out. I’ve learned to meditate to calm myself down and stay focused by listening to music, writing or relaxing.
  • I really DO love people; I just like connecting one on one. I focus my energies best when I’m with one person rather than several people at once. Group work can be tough for me because it takes a lot of energy to focus on the group. I can do group work, just infrequently and need to recharge right after.
  • I LOVE downtime. I can spends days without leaving home. Even with my two boys, I can relax with them, doing chores, fun activities and just playing around. It soothes me to be home in my sanctuary.
  • Small talk sucks for me. I hate small talk because I feel awkward. However, when I talk about something I enjoy, I can talk for hours. I’ve also realized that if I feel confident, I will talk more and will talk less when I don’t.
  • I don’t like confrontation, but will assert myself as needed. I don’t like to fight and living in NYC, I tend to avoid negative interactions with people. But, I will stand up for what I believe in and also protect myself. If it’s worth it, I’ll fight for it.
  • I’ve pushed my boundaries even as an introvert. Because I work in a field that requires me to talk to people everyday (crisis worker, hello!), I’ve become more of an extrovert. My work involves assessment and problem solving so I have to talk, connect and give recommendations. I’ve developed coping skills designed to help me get centered before meeting clients and providing support. I do my best work when I practice good self-care.
  • I love to write. Obviously, I have a blog. As an introvert, I’ve embraced the written word and love writing. I write better than I speak. Nothing works better for me than the idea that I can delete and rewrite what I want to say.
  • I love who I am. I grew up often feeling that I was weird and different and devalued (read: bullied) because I was weird and different. I love myself now because I know now that I’m amazing just as I am, introvert and all.

So if you ever feel weird and different because you’re an introvert, remember this – you’re unique and special because of your introversion. You can do amazing things with the gifts of who you are. Love you because there has never been and will never be another person like you ever again. You are amazing!

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