*side note* (I feel like the phrase ‘My Introversion’ sounds like a disease…)
Being an introvert is great (for me anyway). I love my alone time, I love recharging by myself and I love having deep meaningful conversations with people (as opposed to just small talk).
However, some of the time I feel like people misjudge or misinterpret what being an introvert actually means. So I wanted to actually think about what was important to me; what I wish other people knew about my introversion.
- I’m Not Being Rude, I’m Just Really Bad at Small Talk
Okay, so It’s Monday morning, you walk into work and the inevitable question of ‘how was your weekend?’ comes your way. For extroverts, this could be the perfect start to their day, small talk (!) – how exciting! For me it’s the complete opposite. It doesn’t have to be the weekend question, it could be, ‘how’s work going?’, ‘what did you have for lunch today?’, ‘hasn’t the weather been nice recently?’ etc. Whatever constitutes as small talk can be slightly painful for introverts.
I don’t want to talk about meaningless subjects that will be forgotten about right away, I want to talk about the things that really matter, a person’s life goals, their likes, dislikes, topical debates; subjects that actually make you think. This doesn’t mean that I will only talk in these situations, but it does mean that I will thrive and really cherish those conversations.
Basically, if you want a good conversation with me then please don’t talk to me about the weather!
2. Please Don’t Ask Me for My Ideas on the Spot
As an introvert, I love to think. I love to offer my best ideas too. So for this to happen, I need time. As we live in an extroverted society, there can be a misconception that if someone doesn’t speak up then they have nothing to say. I usually have loads to say but it’s all going on in my mind (my mind is a very busy place). Please spare a thought for the introverts who don’t want to give a half-hearted idea on the spot, but want to contribute something that they’ve put a lot of thought into and now really care about. This thinking time could be an hour, a day, a week or even longer. So please do bear with.
3. I Do ‘Have a Life’, I Just Like to Do ‘Life’ Things in Moderation.
Something I love to do is plan, I love to plan my days so that I’m not overwhelming myself with too many extrovert activities and end up finding myself ‘burnt out’ by the end of the week. I find that a lot of the time, people expect evenings to be filled with social activities and not spent at home. See for me, that’s what I love doing. If I could, I would organise all my time so that I would be busy during the day and at home being an introvert during the evening. I like to space out extrovert activities so that I’m not left with an introvert hangover (yes that is a thing) at the end of the day.
4. It’s Okay For Me to be Quiet
I think I’m probably one of the few people who doesn’t find ‘awkward’ silences awkward. I can often sit in silence and not say anything for a while and I’m absolutely fine about it. Again, being in an extroverted society, I’ve found that if, for example, you’re a bit quiet for the afternoon, then people can assume that something is wrong or you’re upset. When I’m quiet it can mean so many different things. It can mean that I’m observing a situation, wanting to listen or most probably- thinking.
5. I’m a Very Good Listener
I love to hear what people have to say; I love to listen to people’s ideas or stories. I’m really not a fan of people interrupting each other – what if someone has been interrupted before they managed to say their best idea? In a weird way, listening can also be quite relaxing, I used to love it at school when I was being taught something new and I could just sit and listen, knowing that I didn’t have to also think up a response at the same time (like I would in a normal conversation).
6. I’m Okay Doing Things by Myself, I Love it & It’s Not Strange
When I want to recharge as an introvert, I don’t always need to do this at home, watching TV. I just need to be by myself or with someone who I’m really comfortable around and understands my introversion. This means that I don’t find it weird to go to a museum, the cinema or shopping by myself. To be honest, sometimes it’s easier as I’m not having to wait for someone or trying to keep up with them.
7. Sometimes I Need Time to Settle Into a New Environment
Something that I love is feeling settled and comfortable. I like environments where I know what’s what and who’s who. If I’m taken out of this, then it can initially be scary and take a while to adjust. For example, my bedroom, it’s a place that I’ve made my own, it’s a place where I feel safe. If I suddenly had to change rooms then it would take me a while to adjust and make the room ‘mine’ again.
8. If I Open up to You, It Means I Trust You a Lot
I love to hear about other people, their life stories, worries and problems. But when it comes to talking about similar topics, I’ll graze over them or not speak about them at all. As an introvert, it can take me a while to trust and feel like I’m able to talk to someone about very personal things. So if I do talk to you about these sort of things then you’re one of the lucky ones!
I hope that gives you a smaller insight into the workings of my introvert life. You may find similarities between what I’ve just mentioned and yourself or someone that you know, chances are, it probably means you’re/they’re a bit of an introvert too!