I’m jumping back into one of my favorite ongoing series on the blog: “Confessions of an Introvert.” It’s a new year, but I’m still discovering new facets of my “introverted-ness”, and I’m sure some of my fellow introverts are doing the same. (By the way, have you read part 1 and part 2 yet?)
Even if you’re not an introvert, I hope you’ll find the following confessions funny and interesting…and maybe even a little enlightening. 🙂
As always, I hope whatever your personality type is, that you love and enjoy being who you are to the fullest.
Confessions of an Introvert
1 | I shut down around overpowering personalities.
While some people tend to want to compete with big personalities or overcompensate if they feel they are lacking, I tend to just shut down completely in the company of more outgoing temperaments. Don’t get it twisted: I love people who are loud and animated and the life of the party…sometimes. I’m often envious of them.
But I don’t jive with all personalities, and sometimes the large ones make me feel a little inadequate and intimidated—or just plain annoyed. I’m not an over-talker by any means, and I usually avoid being the center of attention. Big personalities quickly overshadow mine and leave me feeling more exhausted than other personality types. Rather than compete, I become even quieter than normal.
2 | Even though being introverted and being shy are not the same thing, I am both.
I looked up the definition of the word introvert and was surprised to find that one of the synonyms listed was shy. They are not the same thing.
One more time for the people in the back: introversion and shyness are not the same.
Hear me out.
To be introverted means that you prefer quiet time to yourself. You need to recharge your batteries often from being around other people. You’re thoughtful, perceptive…and often get a lil’ too caught up in your own head.
To be shy means that you are nervous around other people, particularly in larger settings. You feel awkward and uncomfortable around people and situations with which you are unfamiliar.
These are not the same things. However, I am both at the same time.
3 | Sometimes I suck at keeping up with close friends.
No matter how much I love you or how close of friends we are…I’ve probably ignored your call or text at least once. 😉 I’m sorry (I really am), but trust me when I say that this has nothing to do with you.
I love my best friends, but sometimes I just can’t people. Some days, I just don’t feel like being social. And that’s okay.
But I’ve come to realize over the years that neglecting relationships is not okay. Even if the people around you say they’re fine with you ignoring phone calls or ditching dinner dates, these aren’t ways that you show people how much you care.
Relationships aren’t nurtured and grown over missed coffee dates and one-word replies through text.
I know this now, and I try to do better.
4 | I am fluent in silence.
Often, my mom and I will be going some place together—a girl’s shopping day or out for lunch—and we will spend the whole car ride in complete silence. Sometimes for up to an hour or more! We actually have a wonderful relationship (think along the lines of the relationship between Lorelai and Rory), but she just “gets” my need for silence and peace every now and then. She accepts that and doesn’t try to disturb the quiet with random chatter about things that don’t matter.
She just lets me be me.
(It also doesn’t hurt that she considers herself to be an “extroverted introvert”—she can handle a lil’ quiet time!
5 | I love to listen.
If we’re having a conversation, and I’m not contributing a lot, please don’t think it’s because I’m bored or rude or because I don’t like you. Chances are, I’m just listening because…I’m actually fascinated and don’t want to interrupt you.
Yeah, there are probably a lot of thoughts I’m having in the moment about what you’re saying, but they can wait. I need time to listen and gather my thoughts together before I say something out loud.
I’d rather just hear more of your words. I’m trying to understand how your mind works and anticipate what you’ll say next.
Some people listen just to reply; introverts listen to understand and to be inspired by others.
Some people listen just to reply; introverts listen to understand & be inspired by others. Click To Tweet
6 | Being introverted has often led me to feel unaccepted among my peers.
In a world that seems to be specifically designed for extroverts, it was hard growing up and always feeling different, feeling excluded, and feeling like I was on the outside looking in. I felt like I was in the group without being “in” the group, if you know what I mean.
I find it hard to open up to people automatically; it takes time before I am relaxed and secure around others. For this reason, I don’t always connect right away with my peers and found it difficult to make friends growing up.
But over the last few years, I’ve begun to realize my strengths as an introvert. I know now that I make a valuable friend. I bring something different to the table just like extroverts offer something unique in their personalities.
Instead of my quirks making me weird, they make me interesting.
My shyness and social anxiety is not disabling but rather something to acknowledge and move past. It is not a stumbling block but a stepping stone.
My social anxiety is not a stumbling block but a stepping stone. Click To Tweet
Everyone is a work in progress, after all.
7 | Eavesdropping is one of my favorite pastimes.
What can I say? One of the perks of being introverted is that people often forget you’re around…which makes it easier to listen in on conversations. 😉
Whether it’s a friend’s phone call or a couple’s tiff in the corner table at Starbucks, I’ve got all the dirty details. Buuuut, you don’t have to worry about me spilling your secret. Like I mentioned in the first part of my “Confessions of an Introvert” series, I’m ya girl if you need someone to keep a secret on the DL.
Also, pretty sure this is the closest I’ll ever get to becoming a spy.
8 | If you don’t ask, I won’t tell.
Even though it often takes me awhile to open up to other people, that doesn’t mean I dislike answering questions about myself. It may take you awhile to get to know me, but I do want to be known.
However, I’m not great at offering up information voluntarily. I usually wait until someone asks me a question before I consider talking about myself. To be perfectly honest, I’m not even sure why I do this. I think it’s because I don’t want to accidentally go in the complete opposite direction and talk too much about myself.
But don’t think it’s because I’m just afraid of hogging a conversation. It’s actually just out of selfish habit and assuming that other people will do all the work for me and make me open up to them. This is something that I’m continuing to work on.
If you’re a fellow introvert, the next time you’re having a conversation with someone, try telling them a little about you before they have a chance to ask. And then, just let the conversation flow.
9 | I don’t have an inner child. I have an inner old person.
Like I’ve mentioned before, I like to think as a little kid I was 4 going on 40.
When I was 9, my hobbies included reading, knitting, and watching the Golden Girls. I also dabbled in a little bit of cross stitch here and there. Go figure. Betty White ain’t got nothin’ on me.
When my friends wanted to go on the scarier amusement park rides, I considered the dangers and how likely it was that one of us would end up in the emergency room.
And now, as a twenty-something, I don’t like staying out too late because I get relationally exhausted and start missing my bed, haha. I like to be in bed by 10, with my favorite snack (french fries) and my favorite trashy reality show on t.v. (the Real Housewives or Teen Mom…don’t judge me.)
10 | My extroverted friends are the source of a lot of my inspiration.
Even though I love my fellow introverts (heeeyyy, ya’ll) my friends who are extroverted have motivated me to not care so much about every little thing. They inspire me to be more lighthearted and to not overthink so much.
I admire the way they interact with others and how they aren’t always afraid of embarrassing themselves or saying the wrong thing. If they do, they just move on. I want to be more like that.
I think each personality type can learn a lot from each other. Any good friendship between an extrovert and an introvert can be cultivated by a lot of give and take.
A friendship between an extrovert & an introvert can be cultivated by a lot of give & take. Click To Tweet
And I think each person is better for it.
If you’re an introvert, could you relate to any of my confessions? Do you have any of your own? Are you an extrovert? Did anything I say surprise you or answer any questions you have about introverts? I would love to know your thoughts!
I have a feeling we’re going to be friends.