RE: The art of connecting with an introvert

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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.

untitledIntroverts 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.

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Kindred Spirits and Divine Connections: The kind of friendships sent from above

I’m in a glass case of emotion!!!!

Friendships are such a wonderful gift! Every time we step away from our front door and out into the unpredictable world, we enter into possibilities to meet new people and establish connections with them. Maybe that person is the new neighbor whom you haven’t had an encounter with yet. Or maybe you’ve been neighbors for awhile, but neither of you has ever introduced yourselves to one another. If you have a job and you work in a setting where you have co-workers, that setting stands as a prospect to get to know someone; the same pertains to your classmates if you are a student. If you’re like me, you may meet people through mutual friends. I could incessantly name all of the ways we meet others in our daily lives. The point is, when we connect with someone, we really don’t know how that person will affect us down the road of association.

Recently, I helped celebrate a good friend’s grand business venture which resulted in her having to relocate to another state, and while I am rejoicing with her about this new chapter in her and her husband’s life, I am finding that I am not handling it so well. I don’t speak Yiddish, but sending her off, wishing her good fortune left me a little verklempt. After I received word about her leaving the city that I love, it left me thinking a lot about the bonds we form with other people, who we choose to cherish, and how those bonds positively or negatively impress upon our spirits.

I call my friend my kindred spirit. We call each other Virgo sisters. The way we clicked when we first met was in all honesty cosmic, for lack of better words. I’m an introvert, so sometimes it is difficult for me to converse with others until I’m comfortable with being around them. My friend and I only hung out a couple of times after the first time we met. Regardless, our level of interaction seemed like we had been best friends or at least had known each other for years. We had not; however, after only knowing her for ten months, I consider her to be one of the few whom I can call a good friend. For me, that is a rarity.

Pictured here with my friend, Cherie (left), on the night of her "Good Luck" party. We even accidentally wore the same colors!"

Pictured here with my friend, Cherie (left), on the night of her “Good Luck” party. We even accidentally wore the same colors!”

I had no idea that she would leave such a positive impression on me when I met her. As a woman, I admire her for her beauty–for her sense of humor. I admire her for her tenacity. I admire her for being a successful entrepreneur (one who’s humble at that). I won’t even begin to talk about the genuine adoration that is so visibly evident between her and her husband; it is truly something to behold.

I never thought to let her know about the impression she has made on me. That is, until she emailed me about her leaving the city. Right then I took the time in my reply to let her know that I would forever cherish our friendship no matter how often we hung out or talked to each other in the past. I just hate that it took for her to tell me that she was leaving for me to let her know that. This post only serves as an extension of my appreciation for the positive energy she exudes and for her demonstrating sophistication. Like I told her, I am grateful for having crossed paths with her.

People come, people go; it’s true. Some people will vibe well with us; others won’t. It is left up to us to sift through the gems worth keeping–to nurture the friendships worth holding on to. Don’t wait until adieu or worse. It may not always mean to make a phone call every single day, week, or month. In some friendships between two, they can go without speaking to each other for periods of time and pick up where they left off as if they had never missed a beat. Where I think we tend to miss the beat is in our understanding of the connection and the way others silently motivate us through their lifestyle. If we ever grasp that understanding, then we should express to that friend that has impacted us so greatly how much we appreciate them for just being them. It is one of the most elevating things we could do for another. As the saying goes, you reap what you sow. And who wouldn’t want to be told “Thank you for just being you” in return?
*k*

“No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever.” –Francois Muriac

Cherie Fields is the operator and manager of Iron Tribe Fitness (located in Huntersville, NC). If you're near the area or know of anyone who is interested in improving their lives,

Cherie Fields is the operator and manager of Iron Tribe Fitness (located in Huntersville, NC). Find out “why she tribes” and join The NC Tribe family for a different approach to a physically-fit lifestyle.

(*shameless plug* Visit Iron Tribe’s Huntersville, NC Facebook page here. *end shameless plug*)

File Under Questions People Ask Me….

When people found out that I was starting a personal blog, I was often confronted with questions of why followed by looks of uncertainty. Naturally, I’m a woman who likes to have my privacy and keep my plans to myself. But if I wanted to generate a following for my blog I was going to have to spread the word anyway. So, I started telling family and friends of mine about my endeavor.

The Why: I have read many blogs over the years and while reading them I would think, I could do this. In the previous year I often had many people, be it friends or those whom I have met through social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, suggest to me that I should start my own blog. The more I heard it, the more I understood that others saw a gift in me that somehow I knew was there but couldn’t really believe or embrace enough for myself. Besides, there are countless blogs out here on the Internet! What could I possibly even write about that hasn’t been written before!
I considered it. I embraced it. And I finally gave way to the thought. I will start my own blog. Yikes.

You got this

The Uncertainty: I first thought about writing a blog about fashion since my fashion sense has been described as “bold but not ostentatious.” But how many blogs have you come across about the latest trends in style or how to steal a look without splurging? I decided I didn’t want to write about clothes and accessories. I decided I didn’t want my blog to focus on anything specific. I didn’t want to limit myself to just one topic. Why would I do so if my brain doesn’t even operate that way? Ah ha! I’ll just write about nothing!

confused-meme

When I first told my family and friends about my up and coming blog, they asked me what it was about to which I replied, “Nothing. It’s a blog about nothing.” They looked at me, confused. Then there was an uncomfortable silence. I went on to explain how I wanted to write about whatever my heart led me to write about. I wanted to blog about my city, which I am in love with. I wanted to blog about the fun experiences in outdoor activities. I wanted to blog about the good and bad relationships or just meeting people from all walks of life. I wanted to blog about all of the tasty foods I will try. I wanted to blog about the funny things that happen to other people (not me, of course!). I wanted to blog about nothing in general, plain and simple. An introvert’s personal online diary . . . for friends and strangers to read. Oh, goodie!

For someone who is a scatter-brain, who has so many random thoughts within minutes of each other, blogging about a specific topic just wasn’t going to work for me. I’m a girl who loves food and clothes. I’m a girl who is a hopeless romantic. I’m a girl who is unconventional. I’m a girl who doesn’t always know what she wants. I’m a girl who has to deal with the universe’s twisted sense of humor. I’m a girl who can’t see what’s up ahead and around the curve. And when I’m done facing life’s unexpected curveballs, I realize that I am just a skinny girl living in a curvy world.

Walk with me through this journey to see where the next curve will lead me. Until then… Peace, love, and plenty of hugs.
*k*

Yes, that is my hand steering the wheel.

Yes, that is my hand steering the wheel.