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.