I’m the first to admit that I’m the textbook definition of an introvert. I find large group situations overwhelming (particularly if I don’t know the people), take a while to reveal my true (aka. silly) self to people and need lots of time to myself to recharge.
However, I don’t fit into the perception that many people have of introverts. I’m not particularly shy or meek—I’m perfectly capable of striking up a conversation with someone I know and standing up for myself. While I don’t feel comfortable being the centre of the attention, I’ve spoken at events with hundreds of people.
The thing is, there’s an entire spectrum of introversion and extroversion and the majority of people fall somewhere in the middle. However, if you relate to these 5 things, chances are, you’re closer to an introvert!
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my friends. I never regret catching up with them for brunch or drinks. But let’s be honest—many of us make plans when we’re feeling energetic and ambitious, but when that day finally arrives, all we want to do is put our trackies on, order food and watch Netflix. Especially in winter. That said, nobody wants to be the flaky person who cancels. So, when someone else cancels, we act all like “awww, no that’s such a shame! Next time!” when really, we’re doing this.
The solution? Next time, just invite the girls over to watch Mean Girls for the 10,000th time. Leaving the house is overrated.
Often, when introverts are told we’re ‘quiet’, it’s actually just because we’re thinking carefully about what to say next. In my case, I’ve been guilty of saying the worst possible thing when I think without talking (like the time I told a guy I liked his new highlights but he was actually just going grey). So, I try to choose my words carefully. Introverts tend to be quite considerate and introspective (ie. we’re thinkers) and this often translates into us listening more than we talk. Which is definitely a good thing—although it can mean it’s difficult to get a word in around extroverts when we do actually have something to say.
I always feel like I need a whole day to recover from big social events. A big part of this is the fact that introverts often feel like we need to put our bubbly, extrovert faces on when we’re around lots of other people—which is, quite frankly, exhausting! So, if I’ve been to a wedding/family gathering/party, you better believe I’m going to be in hibernation for at least the day after.
I lived by myself for around five years and people would always ask me with concern “Don’t you ever get bored or lonely?” And the answer to that is “Hell no!” Of course, I often had friends or my partner at the time over. But the truth is, I genuinely enjoyed hanging out by myself and getting to play by my own rules. If I had housemates, I’d always feel like I was obligated to hang out with them when really, I just wanted to chill on my own. Plus, there’s plenty of ways to stay occupied!
As terrible as the phone phishing scams going around at the moment are, I kind of love the fact that it gives me an excuse to never answer my phone to unknown numbers—ever. Many introverts also have a touch of social anxiety, so we will avoid talking on the phone at all costs. It’s fine when we know we’ve got a call coming up and can prepare for it. But there’s just something about being caught off guard that makes us want to throw our phones into the ocean. It’s 2018, guys— that’s what text, Slack or email is for!