An introvert you say? No way!

I’m an introvert. There I’ve said it.

I’ve tried to hide it for years, behind cupboards, under mattresses, anywhere I can get away from people and I think I’ve been rather successful.

But I think it’s about time I fessed up. I’d love to be the extrovert people seem sure I am but I’m not. This week, after the millionth wanky psychometric test at work I was resigned to everyone looking, incredulous, as I, once again said: “ Yes, I am in introvert.”
“But how can that be” they all wailed as their extroverted lack of personal space awareness left me cornered. “Well, um, I just am, I love people but I love my own company so much too. I recharge by being on my own blah blah blah.”
“But you seem so lively and outgoing.”

Well guess what extroverts – you don’t have the monopoly on that. Well, ok maybe you do but not all the time.

It’s a shameful tag for someone working in the world of communications but us introverts are so misunderstood. We don’t sit in corners cowering at social interaction. We don’t necessarily have trouble speaking to people and, while I can’t speak for everyone, I’m usually the first person on the dance floor. There are many occasions I’ve channelled my introvert into all manner of groovy shapes, fuelled with vodka and gin. I don’t have permanently damp hands and a slight hint of body odour. I don’t think, oh god perhaps I do….I do have an unhealthy level of inappropriate angst.

 I am aware of these and give myself a good hard slap every now and again.
But the truth is I find it all very exhausting. I love going out but if I’ve been out I need time on my own. When Jonathan works away I’m not filled with fear and dread but a warm feeling of being by myself.

It always seems cooler to be an extrovert – someone fearless in the face of new people – someone unfazed by more than two social engagements a week. How freeing to not need a darkened room and a good book on prescription. But after years of keeping my introversion to myself I’m going to shout (but not for too long) about it. Here are the positives:

    • It means I’m reflective and take time to think things through
    • I never get lonely
    • I get to know people slowly
    • I choose friends wisely and those I spend time with are hugely important as they are not one of 1000
    • I like me. I think I’m good company and that’s what I spend so much time with myself!

So, here I am, an introvert. Time for a sleep.

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4 thoughts on “An introvert you say? No way!

  1. Fabulous, honest, touching post-it’s time introverts are celebrated as much as extroverts.

    I’m an extrovert, just born that way but that doesn’t mean I’m constantly switched on to confident mode, I think I use that ‘confidence’-that ‘big personality’ often as a hiding place at times, a way of coping even when I don’t feel confident, a bit like an actor or performer.

    I have to say though when I don’t feel like talking or I’ m not as loud as usual, people find it strange and assume I’m upset-we all need quiet times too though. My husband is my total opposite and I admire how long he takes to trust people, the friends he makes tend to be for life, yet he says he loves how I can make friends with someone I’m sat next to on the train in 10 minutes. There’s a place for us all. Thanks so much for this #allaboutyou

    • Thank you – I think you and your husband sum up perfectly the harmony introverts and extroverts can have!There is most definitely a place for us all!

  2. Hey fellow introvert… I learnt about all this extrovert / introvert stuff a few years back on a management course, possibly the most useful thing I picked up… I love being sociable, but I SO love my own company and I need time on my own to recharge. Nice to know there’s someone else in the blogosphere who understands! #AllAboutYou

  3. Great post. As a fellow introvert, people often mistake “introvert” for “shy” or “anti-social”. It’s much more about how we think and process information, and where we derive energy from. We like to think before we speak, we’re often uncomfortable when put on the spot, we like to see agendas in advance so we have time to organise our thoughts, and we tend to prefer to do things in writing. Which is why so many of us are bloggers!

    Too often extroverts, who like to reach conclusions by throwing ideas around with others, think that the introvert sitting quietly in the corner has nothing to contribute or isn’t paying attention. Some extroverts think that actively brainstorming and batting ideas around makes them superior. I like to remind them that many of the world’s greatest thinkers are/were introverts: Einstein, Stephen Hawking and so on.

    The sad thing is that there’s no better or worse about being an introvert or an extrovert – they’re just labels that describe our preferences. The best and most wise people in life are those who recognise the strengths of people who are of an opposite type to them, rather than considering them as weaknesses. (Yes, I’ve done all the psychological profiling tests …)

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