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12/3/09

Being Introverted

Growing up, I thought something was wrong with me - why don't I enjoy going to parties or concerts? Everyone else seems to. I must be antisocial or stuck-up (that was a big label in high school.). Why was being at the beach, alone or with one really really good friend, or being alone in my room listening to music and drawing, my idea of a perfect day?

Guess what? There's nothing wrong with me. I am an introvert.

Since the world is geared towards the extroverted, those of us who are not can often feel like outsiders, alien, even defective in some way.

Generally extroverts do not - cannot - understand why on earth you would want to stay home - alone (oh the horror!) when you could be OUT THERE - with PEOPLE - ALL THE TIME! WHO WOULDN'T WANT THAT?! IT'S FUN! YOU'RE MISSING OUT ON IT! COME ON! LET'S GO MEET NEW PEOPLE AND EXPERIENCE NEW THINGS RIGHT NOW! THERE'S A PARTY/CONCERT/GET-TOGETHER SOMEWHERE RIGHT NOW AND WE NEED TO GO GET IN THE MIDDLE OF IT! (yes, sometimes it is like all caps for us "innies" when you talk; not like a bad thing, I'm just sayin')

One of the issues of saying you're an introvert is that people expect you to act like the Unibomber or live in a hermitage. They're surprised you show up in public places, let alone speak to other people. I've had people tell me I was not introverted because I opened my mouth in a social situation.

My Myers-Briggs type is INFJ. Apparently, this particular type can be mistaken for an extrovert; in fact, when among a [small] group of people I trust, I can be the life of the party. I love my friends and family. I enjoy hearing what's going on in their lives, being with them.
Then I need to go home and be alone for a long, long time. Maybe even days. Do not call me, I will not answer the phone.

That is what defines an introvert/extrovert. Do you need to be alone [introvert] to recharge or do you need to be with people [extrovert]?

Here are some questions from the book The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney (off the blog The Adventurous Writer via the blog Penelope Truck, Brazen Careerist): http://theadventurouswriter.com/blog/quipstipsachievinggoals/mind-soul/a-test-for-introverted-personality-traits/

I answered yes to 27 out of the 29 questions. (Oh my gosh #'s 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 17, 22 - 27!)
I've ruined [at least] one friendship because of #22. (totally my fault, should have left the day before)

Here's a hilarious article on introverts.

Holidays are especially anxiety causing for extroverts worried about their introverted friends:
"Oh no, will you be alone?!"
[nope, the cats are there]

"But you just can't spend the holidays by yourself!"
[oh really? watch me]

"Come over to our house, our entire extended family of 300 will be there, they'd ALL love to see you!"
[can't think of anything more horrifying]

"We'll stop by for a few hours, how's that? We'll bring the kids."
[oh dear god please don't]

One of my favorite Thanksgiving's in recent years was getting some fabulous turkey tetrazzini at Whole Foods and watching a Doris Day marathon on TCM.

Did I mention I was alone? Complete bliss!

If you're not an introvert - you just wouldn't understand.

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