I confess that I am an introvert, as defined by Urban Dictionary:
“A person who is energized by spending time alone. Often found in their homes, libraries, quiet parks that not many people know about, or other secluded places, introverts like to think and be alone.”
That sums me up to a “T”. You will find me mostly at my home and I really love to spend a lot of time by myself. A library trip for me gives me a good boost of dopamine, I’m a bit shy, and I love how quiet nature is.
Of course, not all introverts hibernate, keeping society at a distance. I like to think that there is a scale for introversion. On a scale from 1-10, I probably rank about 9.5.
Not all introverts are shy either. Some are, but quite a few can go up to just about anyone and strike a conversation if they desire. For me, it really depends on the who and why. If I’m interested in someone, I’ll find something to gab about, but I’m not going to just talk for the sake of talking. I’m not afraid of silence.
If you’re an introvert, you may struggle at times, feeling like you don’t measure up. Our society tends to praise extroverts. I’ve found myself feeling this way over the years, especially when I find it challenging to make new friends.
I also found myself using introversion as a copout for getting out and trying new things.
I wanted to meet new people, but there were also so many new things I wanted to experience in life, like adventures. However, I kept feeling this intense anxiety pop up just thinking about some of them.
So, was I using a label to keep me in my comfortable spot? Was I deceiving myself?
Don’t get me wrong. If you know me, you’ll know that I’m a little shy at first. I can be quiet, reserved, even standoffish. I’d rather listen than do a lot of talking. I can do get-togethers, but I’ll certainly not be the life of the party and I may be the first one to leave.
I need my time and space away from everyone to recharge my batteries and contemplate the deeper meaning of life.
I’m great with all of that, but at the same time, there is a part of me that wants to tap into some extroverted characteristics and overcome this anxiety that pops up when I want to do something out of my comfort zone.
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A few years back, I set out on a journey to really get out there and follow my passions and experience all sorts of new things whether I felt fear of not.
I’d also set out to be a master communicator in person because I tend to communicate best with writing and that doesn’t always go over well when you’re with people face to face.
I wonder how many other introverts that are out there struggling with anxiety or fear and maybe using their introversion to keep them in their safety zone.
It’s like you want to experience new things, get out there and mingle, and pursue your passions. However, the fear keeps you sitting at home night after night.
If so, you’re not alone.
In fact, there are plenty of introverts in the world that struggle with feeling balanced when it comes to socialization. My best advice is to accept that you’re introverted and create a social plan that works uniquely for you.
Today, you can even socialize online quite easily. Everyone is different, so what works for me may not be what you need.
To help you feel less alone, the following are some things that I’ve been through as I’ve been trying to find that delicate balance of staying home alone and mixing it up with friends or family.
I believe we need introverts. We balance out society. We are the deep thinkers. The feelers. Oftentimes extremely empathic, people come to us to vent their feelings and get some comfort.
I think we should all get to know ourselves and our social wiring better. For example, when my brain gets too stimulated, I tend to feel very anxious inside and my first inclination is to bolt. No offense to what’s going on; it’s physiological.
But, who’s to say that introverts can’t re-train the brain to be alright with more stimulation?
And what about balance? Sure, I love to read a book while lounging on the beach, but I also love to see some live music with a bunch of people and maybe even dance a jig or two. I’ve learned it doesn’t have to be one or the other, but both/and.
I think that’s what we can all aim for, more balance.
If you’re an introvert, I think that’s wonderful. If you’re an extrovert, I think that’s wonderful too. Life is not better if you’re one or the other. Both are equally amazing! We’re all different and we all have different goals and purposes in this life, so keep an open mind for the greater good of humanity.
What are some of your positive or not-so-positive confessions as an introvert? What about as an extrovert? How do you find balance in your social life?