Thursday, August 19, 2010

Be kind to your introvert.

I was reminded last week of just how much of an introvert I really am. In my younger days, when I cared to much about what people thought of me, it was hard for me to admit that I was an introvert. I guess I didn't want to be labeled as shy, or a person that didn't know how to have fun and socialize, not that I think introverts are those things but it seems to me that the rest of the world does. So I spent many years failing at being an extrovert until I grew tired and came out of the closet and decided to openly except my introverted personality. For the most part I believe that I am a well-adjusted introvert. I adapt well to the challenges that come with being an introvert but every once in awhile I feel myself becoming overwhelmed. Last week, for example, I came to a head with my introverted side. The kids and I had the joy and privilege of spending three straight weeks with our beloved family members. Even though I love these people dearly and would not take back a second that I spent with them, by the end of the third week I began to feel a bit strange. The best way I can describe it is it feels as though the walls are about to cave in and all I want to do is dive into an air pocket where I know I will be safe. Just for fun I did a little research on the subject this week and I came up with some fascinating facts. So for all my fellow introverts out there this is for you...and for my extroverted friends maybe this will help you understand us...maybe.

1. Did you know that introverts only make up 25% of the population? Although a minority they make up 60% of the gifted population!
2. On average for every hour of socialization an introvert needs two hours of alone time to recharge.
3.Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand But, Extroverts have little to no grasp of introversion. They can not begin to comprehend why someone would want to be alone.
4. Introverts can find small talk easy but tiring – and sometimes boring. They'd rather have meaningful conversations about the depths of human souls and minds.
5. Introverts' personality traits include increased blood flow in the frontal lobes, anterior thalamus, and other regions associated with remembering events, making plans, and problem-solving. An introvert's brain is literally wired differently than an extrovert's!

- I found these facts in a wonderful article published in the Atlantic Magazine, written by Jon Rauch called "Caring for your introvert"

Even though I have full heartily excepted my introvert status I thought just for fun I would post this list entitled "all the things I don't like about being an introvert." Because trust me there are some...

1.I dislike having people assume I won't be comfortable doing something...they are probably right but it's not nice to assume.
2.I don’t like it when I know I’m not being my normal charming self because I am mentally exhausted (probably from being charming).
3.I don’t like having to explain introversion to people as if it’s a “condition”.
4.It bothers me when people tease me for being “in my shell” or even worse when they comment on when I decide to come out.
5.I sometimes don’t like that I think about and analyze things way to much. I have trouble sleeping a lot because I can't shut down my thoughts! Sometimes this trait is good but it can be frustrating.
6.I dislike it when people confuse introversion with being shy, stuck up, conceited or uncaring. I think I’ve been all of the above listed things before, but not because I’m an introvert!
7.It ticks me off when people think I should be saying something when there is nothing for me to say. If I had something of importance to say, I’d pipe up! Otherwise, it’s better to let everyone else run their mouths.
8.It bothers me when I am perfectly happy doing “nothing”,and someone suggests that I do something more fun. What might that be–heading to the nearest club with the loudest music?. Personally I would take sitting and staring at a flower any day.

-posted july 28th by livingintroverted


gerry said...

I know where you got this, both parents are introverts and both can totally relate to your excellent blog on this subject.

Jennifer Lynch said...

Sooooo true! I totally relate. That's why it's hard for an introvert to have kids - they are constantly on you and wanting to be with you. Yes, it's amazingly wonderful, but for us, it's exhausting! Thanks for this great post. It helped me understand more why I do love my children but I still need some alone time. I just need to keep reminding myself that before I know it, my boys will be teenagers who will barely talk to me and not want a hug. It's incredibly hard to imagine now, but I know it's coming. :)