When did you first realize that you’re an introvert? I knew I was one ever since I was in school. I would choose books and pets over a friend’s birthday party any day! Whenever I had to speak up in front of the class, it made me nervous and anxious. I was socially awkward and hated it. I was convinced that there was something wrong with me.
But I was wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert in an extroverted world. Being different is OKAY. Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace my introversion.
“I am the kind of person who likes to be by himself. To put a finer point on it, I’m the type of person who doesn’t find it painful to be alone. I find spending an hour or two every day running alone, not speaking to anyone, as well as four or five hours alone at my desk, to be neither difficult nor boring. I’ve had this tendency ever since I was young, when, given a choice, I much preferred reading books on my own or concentrating on listening to music over being with someone else. I could always think of things to do by myself.”— Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
There are many people who misunderstand introverts. So, here are my honest confessions as an introvert. I hope it will help you better understand your introverted friends.
1. Small Talk Is Distasteful.
Yes, there are many people out there who don’t like engaging in small talk. But we introverts find it especially distasteful. How’s the weather, what my neighbor’s been up to, and what’s on sale– these topics are not for us.
We talk as little as possible and only speak when we can contribute meaningfully to a conversation. I believe that a few real conversations are better than a thousand meaningless conversations. Agree?
2. Being Alone Makes Me Happy.
Being alone replenishes my energy. Alone time is essential for me to navigate my thoughts, process feelings, and emotions. Hence, I need some alone time every day to unwind and enrich my inner world. I spend alone time checking my phone, reading books, cooking, walking in the woods. Honestly speaking, activities like socializing and partying, which most of the world seems to thrive on, drain me out and overwhelm me.
3. I Love My People But They Can Drain Me Out.
As much as I hate to admit this, but I am just being honest. I love my people from the bottom of my heart but I need my space from them too. I have learned to put up a confident attitude, smile and ask questions and seem interested about other people’s life especially at party or meetings. But here’s the thing– they are all acquired habits and leaves me exhausting.
Socializing even with close friends drains me out. Because I am not quiet on the inside. Just like stress is an internal reaction to a stimulus (external or internal), for me, there is an internal reaction to our natural sensitivity when socializing with people. This causes certain stress that drains my energy. Quietening my mind changes my reactions.
4. I Am Prone To Anxiety.
An introverted mind is a cherished place full of deep thoughts about the world and humanity. But that’s just a part of it. We are also the biggest overthinkers, spending unnecessary time and mental space on the smallest of things. We replay things in our minds over and over again to an extent it causes anxiety and exhaustion. We overthink minor problems, arguments with our loved ones, and everything else under the sun. Needless to say that it affects our mental health gravely.
5. I Suck At Expressing My Emotions.
It’s so sad that people I care for deeply don’t always know that. It’s on me. I’m not able to show on the outside how I feel on the inside. I confess that I have a fear of having my thoughts and feelings ignored or disregarded. Sometimes, I assume people already know how I feel so I don’t put in the effort to express myself.