Are You an Introvert?

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When I tell people I’m an introvert they think I’m joking.

I am a fairly confident person. I make speeches in front of hundreds of people and stand in front of a class each day to teach. I run meetings and am not afraid to offer my opinion, even if it might be unpopular. I was briefly the lead singer in a band. I put myself out there in blogs and on Twitter. Above all, I really like people. I love my friends, I love meeting new ones and I love hanging out.

I just don’t love hanging out for too long.

I enjoy company, but after a while I usually want to leave.

In fact, I NEED to leave.

If I remain when I feel this way, I begin to find it hard to concentrate on what other people are saying or to hold up my end of the conversation. I lose focus.

If leaving is not possible or would seem inappropriate, I start to feel trapped.

All I want to by this stage is take time out to be quiet and to collect my thoughts, which is a fairly lame sounding excuse if I was to offer it up as my reason for leaving early. I think it would offend people.

To avoid offence I stay, but it feels like an endurance race and my stress levels rise. I find little ways to escape briefly, like going to the bathroom or checking something on my phone.

I used to worry about this because it didn’t seem normal to feel such a need to be alone. I thought I was weird when I’d turn down invitations to go out with friends on a Friday night because I was l looking forward to my solitude.

But it turns out it’s not so weird at all.

Introverts make up around 25% of the population. We become energised through solitude, where we have time and mental space to think and process. We like being around others, but it drains our energy so we don’t enjoy it for such extended periods. We recharge when we are alone. Studies have shown that our brain is wired that way. We require less external stimuli, perhaps that’s why after a lot of social stimuli, I feel overloaded.

Extroverts on the other hand do not thrive in solitude, they need to interact just as I need to be alone. Their energy fades in their own company and expands when around other people.

There is a continuum of course, and while I do have extrovert qualities, I’m definitely more of an introvert.

I feel a lot better now that I know that. Instead of feeling guilty for wanting to leave early, or turning down an invitation on a Friday night, I realise that it is just how I’m wired. I need my time out to recharge.

If you have an introvert in your life, or think you are one yourself, I recommend these two great articles:

Caring for your introvert (I love this title!)

The top 5 things every extrovert should know about introverts

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17 thoughts on “Are You an Introvert?

  1. What a delightful posting my friend, and do enjoy the weekend recharging your batteries as the new week beckons, and there are many new and exciting adventures yet to be revealed…

    Be well my friend…

    Androgoth

  2. Hey Miss C. What timing. I just read “The Introverts Guide to Success in Business and Leadership” by Lisa Petrilli (http://www.lisapetrilli.com/the-introverts-guide/). She defines introvert as in the “I” in Myers-Briggs. Not only it is relevant to me, it applies to most techies in IT, so a useful reminder of what makes us tick, how to manage us, why we need time out, and why we sometimes need to be more extroverted. It’s all along the same lines of the links you’ve posted.

  3. Hi Fellow Introvert.:) I am happy that you mentioned how much you love people. I do too. I actually find people fascinating and have many close friends. Most people think of introverts as hermits.;)
    I also find it interesting that you are a teacher. How do you think school systems work with or against introverts? Do you teach in a public school or private? This is an area I want to explore.
    Cheers to solitude and energy!
    Thanks for the link to my blog too!

    • Hi Brennagee,
      Your blog in this topic is really interesting, so I was happy to link to it. In fact it wasn’t until I read that article that I started to wonder how the school system caters for introverts. I teach in an Australian public primary school and I do think we cater for introverts in some ways, but it’s almost purely accidental. We also have many ways of doing things that introverts must hate. I’m going to think about it some more and write a post – its quite a big subject.

      • I would love to read your post about introversion in schools. I am working on one too. I live in the U.S. so it would be interesting to see how education is presented in Australia. Best of luck!

  4. Good Day to you, Corisel!
    I too am an introvert. Though I don’t think I could could be the center of attention as you do in a class, or be a lead singer. I have finally been able to get myself to talk online trough my blog, yours, others, and Twitter.
    Have a most beautiful day!
    Hugs, xx

    • Interesting. I suspect blogging might attract introverts. It helps us explore our inner worlds and connect with others who are interested in the same. I’m glad it’s helped you find your voice.

  5. Pingback: All peopled-out « Snagglewordz

  6. So enjoyed this post Corisel. 🙂 It’s been very reassuring to read about ‘introverts’ this week! Now know that I am normal in line with (at least) 25% of the population. 😉 Happy recharging to you.

  7. Someday I must write a post about my ability to leave a social event. It’s a bit of a joke with my friends, but I believe it’s because, like you, I have enough interaction and must go. I just get up, take my bag, say goodbye, and I’m gone!

  8. Pingback: Leaving Early | World (and Lunar) Domination

  9. Pingback: This is what it’s like…. | oneregard

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