On Being Introverted – Lauren

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I am an introvert.  I prefer to see my friends in small groups, one on one. If I can get away with it, I won’t answer the phone.  Ever. I much prefer texts and emails. First of all, I can get all of my thoughts out correctly…  this blog has been cathartic…  but also, I like to not be available.  Like, I will respond when I am ready. 

Self Portrait: 

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Let me be clear, only a few people call me. My closest friends and a few family members.  And I love them all. So it’s not like I am avoiding them because I dread speaking with them. I honestly need time to prepare myself for interaction.  Mom’s calling? *Sigh, I am about to pour juice. Maybe in an hour when I have watched a show, gone to the gym, and eaten dinner I will be mentally prepared.  (I love you mom!) 

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And I get endless comments, “Oh, looked who decided to answer her phone!”  “Well, there you are, I called you yesterday!”  Listen, people.  I am doing my best. In this world where we are all connected all of the time, I still need alone time.  Yes, I like to see what other people are up to and I am an infamous web searcher, Facebook stalked, pinterest browser, and so on, but that’s me going to them, interacting on my own terms.  

Try to force me and I won’t even text you back. That’s when you know.

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Now there are some people who understand me so fully that they don’t give me crap and I honestly am much more likely to want to interact with them.  They are few and far between.  Some people seem to part of my subconscious, not an external force trying to impose themselves on me. And for that, I love you. (All 3, maybe 4 of you).

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For those of you who think I am just cranky and antisocial, let me see if I can explain it to you.  I love my friends!  My coworkers! My family is my world. So I love making plans and being busy. But no matter what the event, no matter how fun it will be, the hours leading up, I am really wondering if I have to go.  Is there an acceptable reason to cancel?  Is that snow too dangerous? I have a cough, I don’t want to infect you…

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And you know what is the funniest part? I have now dated a few intros and a few extros, and I have to tell you, even though I feel dragged into things when dating the extros, when dating an intro we get sucked up into each other’s idiosyncrasies, canceling on our friends all the time because one of us always had a reason, being too in our heads and not interacting healthily.  Talk about communications issues…  So, extroverts for me.  Thanks for dragging me into life, George.  Love you.   

Some advice and funnies:

Myths about Introverts – I thought I would go through and help debunk… or affirm. 

  • Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.
  • Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
  • Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.
  • Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.
  • Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

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  • Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.
  • Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.
  • Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.
  • Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.
  • Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

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Think you might be introverted, but not sure? Here is a quick quiz you can take.   Of course not all of these scenarios are true all the time for either introverts or extroverts.  Sometimes we all want to be social and sometimes we all need alone time.  It’s about what your life trends are. 

So, I’ll leave you with this. I know that most of my images are usually jokes, funny.  I would like to say that, while funny, the above images are 100% accurate. True.  This is how I feel.  Not exaggerated.

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4 thoughts on “On Being Introverted – Lauren

  1. Mary

    I know what you mean. I also tend to want to make plans and then have a difficult time going when the time is upon me. I am almost always happy once I get there…..

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