Per a girlfriend’s request, I was supposed to write about what it’s like to be an introvert. Initially, I shunned the idea and told her I didn’t know what I could possibly say that would be any different from what’s already been said. That was several months ago. And while I had intentions to write about the life of an introvert anyway, I never started on it like I have other entries waiting to be published. That is why I am sharing this post from a fellow blogger instead. I’m not being lazy, I promise. OK, maybe a little. But I enjoyed reading lotusgirl80’s insightful version so much I could not not share it.
Click on the link to read her take on the idiosyncracies introverts have in common:
The art of connecting with an introvert.
I will say that this blogger’s opinion is 110% on point. To further support her basis, I want to exemplify some of the points made in her article.
Number One: Introverts are not the chatty type. Talking for the sake of avoiding the silent barrier that often forms between people we’re attempting to get to know is very tiresome for taciturn introverts like myself. Mental fatigue is the best way I can describe this. We’re internal creatures, so our minds are constantly on all the time. When we meet someone, we may appear to be socially awkward and shy to them. People mistakenly think I’m shy, but I’m really not. It’s just that I’m such an observant person who has to process the information my mind is collecting in a social setting. If that makes me socially awkward, then so be it.
As for being an internal creature, I can know exactly what it is I want to say aloud. Actually saying it aloud is another story. Articulating my thoughts can sometimes be challenging. What I intend to say comes out the wrong way, and so it often results in people being offended or feeling like I’m being too harsh in my judgment. Or what I intend to say sounds strange and unfunny when it was funnier in my head. So failing to articulate my thoughts result in me keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself.
Number Two: I find it amusing how my girlfriends are sweet enough to ask me to spend time with them or go to the big party of the weekend when they know I’m most likely to say no than I am to say yes. I do have my moments when I want to hangout with my girlfriends and have a good time (I rarely invite them out unless I’m absolutely bored and want to go dancing), so I’m not anti-social; not completely anyway. I find that once I’m out somewhere, after so long, I need to leave. I need to leave because when there are too many things happening at once and I’m around too many people it tends to drain my energy. Not physically but mentally. Social settings can be too much of a stimulation to the brain, so an introvert like myself has to remove herself from that setting to recharge the energy she has lost or else she will shut down. I’ve found that two hours is the most I can do. Anything above and it becomes grueling to just try to keep the party going.
Attending big parties or even a gathering with more than four people is a bit too much for me; however, I will admit that sometimes, especially when it comes to gathering with friends, I prefer for it to be with a large group. That way I won’t have to talk as much. The ones who are the gregarious types can have the spotlight and I don’t have to worry myself with trying to entertain a conversation. The downside to gathering with several people at once? The pressure to say something, anything, out of fear of appearing to be the weirdo of the bunch who hasn’t said a word all night. The perils of being an introvert, I tell ya!
Number Three: I can play instruments. I have a creative mind (I write fiction for crying out loud). And I daydream a lot (for an adult). Does that make me a nerd? Not really. I prefer the word eccentric to describe the creative side of me. It sounds cooler.
Number Four: I like receiving tangible gifts as much as the next person. Gifts that are created by the hands and from the heart are the ones I cherish the most, though. I’m a total sucker for handwritten (even typed) letters. Making a meal for me when I don’t expect it warms my heart. I remember when I spent the night over at the same friend’s house, she had made a breakfast sandwich for me. I didn’t expect that from her. I thought I was going to have to go to the kitchen and make my own breakfast or grab some from the McDonald’s on the corner. But she did that for me and I thought it was very sweet of her. (But she’s always doing thoughtful things for me, so that’s nothing new.)
I’m not great at picking out Hallmark cards to give to others, but I love receiving cards. I still have cards from my loved ones and old friends from my high-school days. I will, however, give you a letter. If I need to express my deepest feelings or if I don’t have a tangible gift to give someone for a special occasion, I will give them a letter . . . typed. (My handwriting is too unbearable to read. After all, I am an introvert whose mind is constantly going. My handwriting reflects that.) Oh, and big displays of affection (incessant compliments, too) are a turn-off. That’s why it is not a good idea for the guy to propose to me in a public place or even in front of family members. When in doubt always keep it simple.
Number Five: Whatever you do, don’t you dare ask me too many questions; that’s my job when getting to know you. And please, I beg you, don’t let your questions be too trivial or too vague or too open-ended. When I was somewhat
dating seeing this guy, every time I talked to him or whenever we went out, he would always start the conversation with, “Tell me something good,” and he would always want to know what I did for the day. I dreaded having to talk to him because I knew the question was coming. I found myself trying to think of something to say prior to our causeries and outings just so I would be prepared for his repetitive inquisitions. I don’t like talking about myself; never have. Even if it’s something as simple as talking about how my day went, I just don’t enjoy doing it. I’d rather talk about things that reveal the character of a person: memories of their childhood, their favorite foods, the last movie they watched, et cetera. Mundane things don’t interest me. Talking is my time to escape from the ordinary things of life (remember, I daydream a lot). I’ll answer your questions, but please believe I’m secretly hating you for doing such a cruel thing to me.
Introverts are nothing but aliens compared to our extrovert counterparts. That is to say, we really do alienate ourselves from the world because our inner world is entertaining enough. And speaking of extroverts, I admit I do like being around them the most. Whether I need an extrovert as my mate, I don’t know yet. What’s important is for him to understand that when I say I need a break or for him to not talk to me, I mean just that and I need for him to grant me that request without being offended. The same can be said for friends. Luckily the real friends who have known me for a long time understand that I can’t deal with high-maintenance kind of friendships. A few of them still call me a “stranger” and it’s annoying when they already know that I’m not going to call or text them every week to see how they’re doing. Months go by before they see me or even hear from me most of the time.
So if you know an introvert, try not to make false accusations about their temperament. Understand their characteristics and let them know that you understand them. For understanding their characteristics goes a long way with these types. Demonstrate patience in getting to know your introverted friends or significant other and you will discover how absolutely amazing and exciting they can be as they unveil their many layers. Do this and they will appreciate your commitment to getting to know them in the long-run.