The quiet ones ;o)

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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?” πŸ˜€ 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. πŸ˜€

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:

β€œthey’d rather find meaning than bliss”

Wow. 😯 Those words could have been hand-picked just for me!

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8 responses »

  1. Yes, I understand. I belong to the same club. Nice links!

    My mom (social introvert) and sister (flaming extrovert) belong to a book club that meets in people’s houses. I (intense introvert) belong to an internet book circle. I can’t bear the before-and-after chit chat that goes on when a group of people get together for a purpose other than chit-chat.

    I love internet communication for the same reason– none of that, “Hello, how are you? What’s new?” crap, along with prolonged descriptions of whatever unseasonable weather happened to occur day. I like to simply get on with it.

  2. Marahm, you made me laugh! I bet quite a large percentage of bloggers are introverts. πŸ™‚

    Susanne, yes, it’s amazing how nice it is just to find out that we are not alone in our ways!

  3. HELLO!!!! πŸ˜€
    So glad I thought of your blog!
    It might be over the net but it still gives me a sense of comfort to know that there are people out there who have similar thoughts, personalities and qualities πŸ™‚

    Thank you for sharing this πŸ™‚

  4. Hi! I’m so glad you liked IntrovertZone and found it useful. I can’t believe I went through four DECADES of life not knowing exactly what an introvert was or that most all of my “different” or “peculiar” traits were simply *normal* traits of an introvert. Well, of course I didn’t have Google when I was young. πŸ˜‰

    I agree – I think the culture in the US and UK favor extroverts and we consider “outgoing” and “extroverted” to be compliments rather than just individual traits like eye color.

  5. Venn, lovely to see you again! I agree, it’s so comforting to know other people understand you!

    cb, thanks for commenting! I actually had a therapist a few years ago who thought I was talking myself down by referring to myself as an introvert. Surely clinical psychologists are supposed to be above these judgments?! I guess I knew I was one and that it should be OK, but I learnt quite a bit more from your blog and it was just what I needed at this point. πŸ˜‰

  6. I like this! As someone who is an introvert and an extrovert, depending on the situation, I too found comfort in realizing I am just a normal person, and many people are exactly the same way. I found it empowering to tell prospective employers that “I am an introvert” when they ask me what my weakness is. Because the truth is that it really is not a weakness, just a difference. Such a perfect answer to that question! I always say ” I think employers would see me being an introvert as a weakness.” And then they say “really, your an introvert?! You don’t seem like it.” And I then walk out wondering what exactly an introvert “seems like.” LOL

    • I think there must be a whole spectrum, not everyone falls neatly into one category or the other. And yes, I guess everyone has ideas about introverts or extroverts, but different people might have quite different ideas what these are!

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