Last weekend I randomly came across a blog called Introvert Zone. It was one of those that I got so hooked reading I ended up going through the whole archive. What can I say… it was just like music to my ears.
Here are a few of the things the writers say about themselves as introverts that stood out to me personally:
- There is a conflict between enjoying people’s company and needing a certain amount of solitude just to recharge.
- Facial muscles get exhausted from too much socialising!!
- Disliking small talk. That’s why I love the blog world… we can dive straight into the substantive conversations!
- Thinking a lot all the time; processing a lot more stuff than other people which is probably what leads to over-stimulation and exhaustion.
- Preferring written communication; needing time to think before speaking (see this post and this one) – WOW, I didn’t know others were like this too. It is very difficult being like this when you work with someone who needs to talk to think, and responds to your lengthy emails with “shall we have a chat about this?” 😀 To be honest, I hate being crap at speaking spontaneously about a detailed matter or thinking on my feet. I always feel as if somehow communicating in writing is a cop-out. Now I’m really questioning that negative judgment, although obviously to fit in with other people’s way of working, compromises are needed.
- Having fewer but deeper friendships. (“Friendship with an introvert is an honor“; “we love our special person fiercely“) Yes! I don’t make or break meaningful connections easily and this is another thing that I suddenly realised I don’t need to feel bad about. Yes, it makes you more vulnerable to loss… but on the other hand, people who don’t mind their own company can cope better with the time it takes to make new special friends. It’s all good.
- Not very open to quick familiarity from others; more like a cat than a golden retriever. I’m actually quite happy with familiarity and openness, but I don’t much like people conversationally steamrolling me and not listening. 😀
I think what made me feel so good reading all this is that it opened my mind to notice more – and question – the negative judgments that are embedded in our cultures (US & UK that is, maybe others too) about some of the qualities that might just be a part of my nature. Much of the blog takes a defensive tone. We live in cultures where pressure is put on us, because these characteristics are not widely understood, liked, or considered normal. Maybe this needs to change. Every personality type has its own issues but some of these things are not even issues, seriously! I threw off some more of those pressures as I read it, and instantly felt so much better.
I also found this article, which says:
“they’d rather find meaning than bliss”
Wow. 😯 Those words could have been hand-picked just for me!