*DISCLAIMER*: I wrote this on my phone with the dictation function because I was too lazy to type It all. There is little to no punctuation and my capitalization may be all over the place. I may or may not come back and fix it. Carry on lol
I know recently the whole introvert versus extrovert thing has been all the rage. I usually try not to get caught up in such things but this has kind of caught my interest because I am an introvert. I think it mostly caught my interest because it’s helping me understand who I am and how I function, how I think, and how I feel a lot of the time. Granted, not everyone who is an introvert is an extreme Introvert and not everyone who is an extrovert is an extreme extrovert. But I think the basic characteristics, depending on your personality and character, can be true. I recently read this Book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. It was very interesting for me, especially because I’ve been told many times to speak up or that I don’t speak enough or even constantly being asked what’s wrong because I’m being silent. The book may sound self-explanatory and for the most part it is. But it was still nice to read, as it took a look at introversion in a way that I’ve never seen before. My mother’s best friend actually recommended that I read it and I’m glad I did. I think one of the main takeaways from the book for me was that I don’t necessarily have to be loud to accomplish my goals. I’m using loud very loosely here, I’m kind of known for liking quiet more than noise. To me silence can be beautiful. I think we often take silence for granted, I think it’s great if I can be with someone and we can be comfortable with each other in silence. I’m definitely not one of those people who feels there always needs to be some type of noise. I didn’t realize until I read the book that in some ways maybe subconsciously I thought that I couldn’t reach my goals or that I wouldn’t be able to succeed or accomplish something unless I became louder. But this book and my cousin actually help me realize that this is not the case.there are many people who have done big things and little things, who have lived very fruitful lives and have been introverts, maybe even extreme ones. There are also those people who are introverts but are able to be pseudo extroverts. The book also talked about how society tends to make introversion seem like such a weakness and extroversion should of be/ is the ideal or what should be the goal. But if I’m honest, I never wish I was an extrovert or at least not really. Of course, there’ve been times where I wish I was a little more outgoing or a little more charming or charismatic maybe, but for the most part I’m happy with the way I am. I think the problem was I didn’t really know how to make the way I am assist me in contributing to society. This is especially difficult in office settings or corporate settings where it’s important to “stand up and stand out” or sell yourself. I don’t like doing any of that. I don’t necessarily want to stand out, not that I want to conform but I don’t necessarily want to put myself out there either. In my last position, one of the supervisors mention to a coworker and I that one way we could potentially further our careers there was to do just that: stand out and be noticed. But in talking with my cousin, I realized I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to do my job, and I wanted to do it well, but I don’t necessarily need to be noticed. So, it’s just interesting. I’m sure I’m oversimplifying the book, But I just recently finished it and I’m kind of just brain dumping some things that I remember. I thought it was a good read especially given everything out there about introversion/extroversion right now. It pointed out that,as I mentioned, there may be situations where you kind of have to “fake it till you make it” as far as being an introvert in an extrovert situation. However, in those times, if you need to recharge then take steps to ensure that you’re able to…whether at home or on a break (one man would even take breaks in the restroom). It also reminded me that there are strengths in introversion that can be used to positively affect one’s life. I can certainly say that I can see how some attributes of introversion work well within my personality and how I interact with others. I’ve always been someone who thinks a lot, maybe too much. There’s usually a lot going on inside my mind. I like to think things through before I act or before I speak, And when I don’t, even if In anger or in error, I usually regret it later.
“Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.”
I had an interesting experience tonight when I had dinner with my friend and two of her friends. It was a nice evening, good food, good and funny conversation, and facials. I always enjoy hanging out with my friends, but adding two new people can be nerve-racking for me. sometimes just the thought of trying to potentially make conversation makes me nervous or, given what I mentioned above, causes me to feel a little misunderstood. Fortunately, my friend is aware that I’m an introvert and how new situations/people can make me feel. For example, instead of asking me if I was okay because I wasn’t talking much, she asked if it was fine that we were going to stay later after dinner. She said she noticed that I got a little quiet and when I said that happens sometimes, she knew it. That actually made me feel a little more at ease, that she was aware of what was going on with me and was nice enough to ask how I felt about staying. not to say that I expect people to ask me these things all the time, but it was nice that she understood where I was coming from. Similarly, at the end of the night, she mentioned that she knew I had been trying throughout the evening. That was just funny to me because I really had been trying. I would try to contribute to the conversation in some small way, in an effort, a very serious effort, not to remain silent the entire night. The facial ended up being one of my favorite parts of the evening, aside from the facial itself being wonderful… Because it made my skin supersoft, the mask also went over my lips so I couldn’t speak 😁
I don’t know that I would go so far as to say that I feel misunderstood most the time. I don’t think that’s true. At least in my personal life I don’t. I’m blessed to have friends especially within my close circle who, for the most part,know who I am and don’t try to change me. Those who are closest to me, know that most the time I won’t do something that I really don’t want to do (because stubborn ) but there are also times when they help me realize that what can at times be my extreme introversion, can hold me back.in those moments, they encourage me and push me to step outside of my comfort zone. And I appreciate that. But tonight reminded me that I’m also grateful for friends who recognize that such things can still be difficult for me, [attempt to] understand where I’m coming from, and still allow me to, essentially, be me.