If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, “What??! You are NOT an introvert!”… you know what I’d do with that extra money? I’d go to the movies every month… solo. lol 😛
Yeeeup. The life of an introvert…. often mistyped!
People always assume I’m a total extrovert when they meet me. Or “kind of” know me.
So here’s the thing. I really am a people lover. I pretty much find every single person on the planet incredibly fascinating and I genuinely want to know their story. I can talk to pretty much anyone and love me some good conversation. If you bring me to a party, I can 100% fend for myself. No need for a human buffer at all times. I’m naturally really friendly, and do love to meet new people.
Seemingly these are all extroverted things, right? But… guess what? Introverts can be those things too.
But still.. people never believe me when I tell them that I’m 12739% INTROVERT.
It’s not until they really get to know me, they realize: she’s for sure an introvert.
Look at these texts between me and one of my BFF’s Michelle… look at the type of “hanging out” we typically do. (Typically- not always!) Homegirl knows me so well.
Like she just knows that’s the kind of shiz I’m going to suggest haha. Coffee shops, walks, hanging at home… totally my thing. (Not that I don’t go “out” with my friends too though. I also enjoy that.)
“Casual couch kick it time” = big in my book. Lmao. No one pajama parties better than me!
I do love to get out and explore though. And need to. “Introverted” activities are certainly NOT the only thing I enjoy. (And by the way- not all introverted activities are indoor!)
The general opinion/thought of what an introvert looks like is someone who is shy, has poor social skills, sits in their rooms 24/7, absolutely shuns the spotlight, and is incredibly awkward. And yes, some introverts do subscribe to some or all of that.
But most don’t.
According to Myers Briggs personality assessment, the main distinction of extroversion and introversion is where you get your energy.
“An extrovert’s source and direction of energy expression is mainly in the external world, while an introvert has a source of energy mainly in their own internal world.”
[[ By the way– if you don’t know your Myers-Briggs personality type, what the heck are you waiting for? That shiz is so fascinating and eye opening! For yourself and understanding other people! There’s even empirical science behind it! ]] <—I’m an INFP by the way. 😉
Extroverts gather their energy from being around other people– but that doesn’t mean they don’t need their space sometimes or often. Introverts gather their energy from being alone in their thoughts, in solitude– but that doesn’t mean they don’t need their people time!
I definitely consider myself a “people person.” I LIVE for my girl’s nights out. I love to talk to my Uber driver… sometimes. I LOVE to talk to strangers who I’ll never see again who are super conversationalists. I crave time with my friends and family. All of that.
HOWEVER. My “social tank” drains fairly quick. And I need a good amount of consistent alone time in order to feel like I’m functioning normally and in order for me to feel happy. This is something I think almost all introverts will more or less identify with. We cannot (and don’t) skimp on alone time.
Actual convo between two of my girlfriends when I went into hiding after wayyyy too much “people time”:
(I was sent this screen shot and I laughed so hard!)
AS AN INTROVERT… (my OWN experience):
I can very much enjoy social events. But sparingly. This year I had one wedding to go to. That was perfect. The year before I had FOUR… all within the same season. That… that was a bit much for me.
Regarding social events, I do much better if I know at least one person well. And then all they have to do is introduce me to whoever and I can naturally just take it from there. What twists my stomach up is walking into a room of people when I know absolutely no one and I have to start making small talk.
Regarding small talk… I hate it. I suck at it. I wish I was better at it but it’s an art I can’t perfect. I just don’t do well with surface level conversation. The deep end is all I know! lol. I think the reason why is because I rarely go out of my way to catch up with acquaintances or to meet “friends of friends of friends” so these types of conversations don’t come naturally to me. Like at all. I’m so awkward it hurts sometimes.
Let’s talk about nights out. I love em! Here and there. But oh, rarely am I the last one standing. Don’t get me wrong, I can have a damn good time but I’ll most likely be one of the first to leave… or somewhere in the middle. And 50% of the time I’ll ghost. I’ll ghost because goodbyes, for whatever reason, are always awkward for me. Even with my best friends! Is what it is! I actually want to do an article on the appropriate times to “ghost” because sometimes I think it’s the more polite thing to do. (Sometimes, not always! Gotta read the sitch correctly.)
Too much people time. If I have prolonged people time, even with those I love… I start to get grumpy. I start to get this inherit need that holy shit I MUST get somewhere alone. Doesn’t mean I don’t like who I’m with. That’s not it at all. I just always need some breaks to download my thoughts and analyze. Oh but once I am truly “people-d out” and have hit my max… you bet your ass I will be retreating to the comfort of my bedroom for at LEAST a day or two to reenergize. That’s a necessity.
My reenergizing alone time feels like….
When it comes to hanging out though, I do tend to prefer one on ones or small groups to big gatherings. If you invite me to a big social gathering where I really don’t know half the people– I’m saying no and there’s no convincing me otherwise. Miiight say yes if everyone’s letting loose and getting their drink on. MIGHT. That’s easier.
One on ones are my thing. I love those. Introverts are often very protective of the time they spend with people and who it’s with because, like I said, their social tank drains quicker than that of an extroverts. (We often wish it didn’t though, but can’t fight your nature!)
MY INTROVERT STRATEGY:
If I have a social thing to go to, be it a birthday thing or networking thing, I literally have to prepare my mind for it. Like I will purposely be LESS social on days leading up to it so I won’t drain out quick during the actual social event. And after all the socializing… retreat retreat! haha. I always have fun at these things though! So long as my social tank is full and I have a block of time to recharge after.
When it comes to the spotlight– I really don’t like it. Perhaps there are times I can fake it when need be but it’s not something I go chasing. For instance- I used to have a fashion blog and having to take pictures all the time really made me uncomfortable. I just could not get used to it as much as I tried and truly, I only enjoyed the writing aspect of the whole thing. Hence why I now run a publication with other writers and not a person-centered blog. For me, just can’t do it.
That said, I am the BEST backup dancer for my friends in Karaoke, but will never want to be star of the show. I love sharing my writing online, love connecting with readers over social media, but most things I write about I’m actually very reserved about in person. Shy about even. I don’t think I’m shy in general, I’m actually pretty outgoing… but an “all eyes on me” thing –when I don’t have the comfort of the computer screen– is just no bueno for me. Even on my birthday!
Look at this one year when Michelle was trying to plan something for my birthday (it was on a Friday ps):
By the way… I mean it when I say like to be social and I do love nights out. But I also lurrrrve me a night in. And people, those nights in… are not sad. They are absolutely glorious.
So cut us introverts some slack yo. 🙂 We like one on ones way better (usually.) We’re not going to be able to last as long in suuuper social situations like an extrovert might. And unless your introvert says it’s cool- don’t ever surprise us!!! Not even just a “dropping by.” No no no. Warn us on that shit. Please. I know there are extroverts who hate surprises too. I pretty much have a minor heart-attack with surprises…
Oh and keep in mind: us introverts are going to tend to figure things out on our OWN before we ever talk out loud or include people in on things. We are very “in our heads” kind of people. So don’t be surprised if there’s big news or something major happens and we don’t let anyone in on it right away. We will (or won’t!) on our own time.
But if anything, please drop the whole “introverts are social outcasts” stigma because that’s really only a small percentage of us! And PS: I know plenty of extroverts who have horrible social skills. Y’all aren’t allllll charming, okay? 😉 Getcho definitions RIGHT people! No need to generalize.
And take the Myers-Briggs! You won’t regret it.
Last thing I want to say: most of the people closest to me in life are extroverts. Just works out that way. There is no superior “type”…. and I sincerely believe we’re all weirdos at heart! Get to really know anyone and you’ll agree.
Thoughts on this? Anything you want to add? What type do you identify as? (Ambiverts are a thing too.)