On Being an Introvert 

It has taken me a long time to realise that I am not shy. I am an introvert.

When I was younger, like primary school age, I was really gregarious and chatty and I made friends really easily, especially when we were on holiday and things. In my teen years I got quieter and quieter and I just thought it was due to low self-esteem, I was ‘just shy’. Now I am more confident in myself, I realise there may have been an element of shyness, but overall, it was that I am just an introvert.

I have found lately that certain people just really do my head in and it was what prompted me to write the post. In theory I should get along with them; we have things in common and seem generally similar. Yes, I understand I’m not going to get along with everyone, but as a rule, I’m discovering these people are extroverts. The need to fill silence. The need to constantly talk can really do my head in. Having said that, my best friend is an extrovert but she doesn’t fill the silence with idle chatter and isn’t a ‘likes the sound of her own voice’ kind of person, which is obviously why we get along. I think the balance is right with us. She likes to be the centre of attention at a party. I couldn’t think of anything worse. Perfect.

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So for any extroverts out there, or equally other introverts, here are some things I have learnt along the way about how you should be friends with an introvert:

  1. If we hung out yesterday, we don’t want to do it again today.
    • No offense, but we need time to recharge after being with people. Even when we’ve really enjoyed ourselves and had fun, it can be really draining.
  2. If you call on the phone, it better be a major emergency.
    • We hate talking on the phone. I’m almost certain texting was invented by introverts who wanted to avoid phone calls.
  3. We like to listen because we’re good at it.
    • We pretty much have the superpower of listening but part of that process is processing. Silence is ok so don’t feel like you have to constantly talk. Superficial ‘small talk’ is the worst.
  4. Don’t text us and ask us to be ready to hang out in 5 minutes.
    • Obviously sometimes things happen spontaneously but for me especially, probably going along with my OCD, is that spontaneity should be the exception, not the rule. We need a lot more than 5 minutes to mentally prepare ourselves to be with people.
  5. ‘Tired’ can be code for ‘we don’t want to be around people anymore.’
    • If we say we want to leave the outing because we’re tired, it might not mean we’re literally tired. We might just be ‘tired’ of being surrounded by people.

I know for people that don’t ‘get’ this, it will sound like I’m a proper anti-social misery. Not at all. It just needs to be planned and prepared ahead of time to get the maximum enjoyment out of it.

Anything else you would add to the list?

Linking up to Share with Me & the Mad Mid Week Blog Hop

Rebecca x

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14 Comments

  1. 8th July 2015 / 7:56 am

    Brilliant post. All of your points apply to me so I must be a fellow introvert! Definitely don’t call me on the phone – texting is just fine thank you! Hax

  2. 8th July 2015 / 10:45 am

    Yep, I’ve always been an introvert & would agree with most of this. #sharewithme

  3. 8th July 2015 / 5:15 pm

    Agree so much. And i was so happy for the internet, (and still am) because it is much easier to find like-minded people but with the advent of social media, it is again a chatty, crowded world.

  4. 8th July 2015 / 6:47 pm

    It is like you took the words right out of my mouth :) from a fellow introvert!

  5. nikkifrankhamilton
    8th July 2015 / 7:52 pm

    I agree with all the above! Too many people exhaust me, even if I’m not talking, the activity, their voices, commotion, it tires me out, quickly. I love people, but being alone is my preference. I also need to plan, if there is an event coming up I can work towards getting in the mood, if it is a spontaneous thing I need to be able to walk away when I’m done.

  6. 8th July 2015 / 8:11 pm

    It’s so weird — people always say I’m an extrovert.

    I’m the one talking when no-one else does… I’m the one who will smile at strangers or boldly go up to people at parties and introduce myself… I’m the one who chats to lonely looking mums at the playgroup, so they don’t feel quite so shy.

    But despite all of that, I’d still call myself an introvert!! 😉 I LOVE my own company — find talking on the phone or at parties EXHAUSTING. And I’m the one who generally says goodbye first and goes to bed early. Maybe I’m a middlovert? 😉 #ShareWithMe

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

  7. 8th July 2015 / 8:45 pm

    I’m an introvert and can totally relate. Planning in advance and preparing for it is key—spontaneity is not for me! #sharewithme

  8. 8th July 2015 / 11:00 pm

    Ooh you’ve got me all confused now – I don’t know if I’m an extrovert or an introvert! I totally hate when my phone rings and never answer it – but once I get chatting on the phone I really enjoy it. I do listen, but then I have to say something. I love spontaneity. And I never want the party to end. But i am REALLY shy! At playgroups I hope other mums won’t talk to me, and I’m so nervous to start a conversation. I just want to play with my boy. Maybe I’ve a split-personality! I’m glad you wrote this post though, I can totally relate with you. Sabrina xx
    #MMWBH

  9. 9th July 2015 / 12:24 am

    Yep, introvert here too. I was less so in my teens and early twenties but the older I get the more I value my ‘me time’! Great list! #sharewithme

  10. 9th July 2015 / 10:11 am

    I’m an introvert too and much prefer to have a few close friends than large groups of friends. I just struggle to make conversations in group situations and seem to ‘fade away’ into the background. I’ve had to work hard on this, as going to mum and baby coffee mornings takes me way out of my comfort zone!

  11. 9th July 2015 / 1:56 pm

    OMG this is so me! I really need a day off after a day with friends! I cant do everyday socializing and I think I might have alienated some of the moms from my son’s school because of this. I can socialized and I would love to just not everyday! #sharewithme

  12. 10th July 2015 / 12:09 am

    All very true, and I think a lot of bloggers will empathise as fellow introverts – it’s a classic introvert trait to prefer to communicate in writing rather than verbally.

    One thing extroverts sometimes struggle to understand is that what we need is the polar opposite of what they need. They derive energy from interaction with others, talking through problems to get from A to B, brainstorming, talking. We derive energy from looking inwardly, thinking before speaking, reflection, inner monologue. There’s no right or wrong, only shades of different.

    Funnily enough, most of my best friends are fairly extroverted (and, in terms of other personality/behavioural traits, are also the opposite to me) – but those relationships work because they understand that I am different and they work with me rather than trying to drag me along after them. They fill the pauses in conversation that give me time to think, they’re happy to throw ideas around and not ask me to contribute until I’ve processed all the information and formed my own idea – in short, they allow me to be me rather than trying to make me the same as them.

  13. 13th July 2015 / 2:35 am

    It’s curious to hear from an introvert person’s side of view. I am the biggest, loudest socialite you ever met but funny enough don’t call me on the phone. I find talking on the phone weird and prefer to be text for everything. It’s backwards but maybe one can be both introvert and extrovert. Not sure. Great post and food for thought darling. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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