As many of you already know, I consider myself extremely socially awkward. I have a difficult time with small talk and carrying on conversations with new people and I know I often times come across as rude or snotty. I've tried over the years to "correct" myself and I've done OK but I still consider myself very awkward.
There's a lot behind it, especially when it comes to conversing with people. I don't want to bother or annoy anyone with questions or comments. I generally just wait for people to come to me.
Today Ilaina (AKA Ixy) over at Illusion made post about introverted people, based off an article that she read that can be found here. It was like the article and the things she said were written for me! I never classified myself as an introvert or extrovert because I didn't really have the knowledge of either. Like I said, I considered myself socially awkward. The thing is, once I read Ixy's post and then went back to read the article I realized that I DO know how to act in social situations. In fact, I'm actually really good at putting on a show for people when I need to, like for work. So it's not so much that I'm awkward, I'm just more so...an introvert!
In the article, the author Carl King posts 10 myths about introverted people:
1) Introverts don't like to talk
Carl's take: Introverts don't like to talk without purpose and they won't shut up once you get them talking about something they like.
When I read this it was like a lightbulb went off in my head! Yes! In fact, when people comment about how "quiet" I am, I often respond with, "I just don't have anything to say". That's really it! To me this comes across as really selfish and self centered, but it brings me back to one of my original thoughts, I simply don't want to bother people with what I have to say, unless it's WORTH saying. If I'm with my friends however, I can talk to them for days about anything and everything. And if you ask me a question about something I'm interested in or want to share with you...forget about it. I think it's safe to say this is why I blog!
2) Introverts are shy
Carl's take: Introverts need a reason to interact
Again - this goes hand in hand with #1. I need a reason to say something to you, and 99% of the time, I'm going to let you approach me. Like I said, I don't want to bother or annoy someone so I'm more apt to stay away.
3) Introverts are rude
Carl's take: They just prefer people to be real and honest
I like to think of my blog as a direct reflection of me (although I might be more frank here than in person). I don't believe ANYONE is sunshine daisies 100% of the time and I'm definitely not going to pretend to be. As I've gotten older I've gotten better about censoring myself, but I do think sometimes things I say or the way I react about things get me into more trouble or make me seem like a really harsh, soulless person. I spend a lot of time having to think for a minute before I say something, especially in a heated conversation and that can wear on a person quick.
4) Introverts don't like people
Carl's take: Not true, they are extremely loyal and devoted to their few close friends.
This is true. I can count my friends on one hand and I consider them very close to me. I would do ANYTHING for my friends, although as I've gotten older I've been a little more hesitant to be so give, give, give. I also work in customer service and have ever since I started working, so I can't totally hate people but I will admit, I generally have EXTREMELY low patience for people. I often tend to think the worst of people before I see the good.
5) Introverts don’t like to go out in public
Carl’s take: Nah! They just don’t like to be out in public for a long time and tend to avoid complications involved in public activities.
This was something that really hit me, something clicked. I enjoy spending time going out and doing things by myself, and when I’m with a friend or multiple friends I do get tired and almost cranky if I’ve been out with them for too long. It’s nothing against them or the activity, I’m always enjoying myself, but sometimes it’s just difficult to keep going. To keep talking, listening, laughing, figuring out what’s going on etc. I also find this is less extreme if I’m with one person as opposed to a group. I would always rather spend time with one other person. Carl states that because introverts take less time to take in an experience they don’t need to be participating in it as long as others and will need to go home to recharge and process it all. I couldn’t agree more.
6) Introverts always like to be alone
Carl’s take: They are comfortable with themselves and value time with their own thoughts. They can get lonely without having someone to share things with and crave an authentic connection with ONE PERSON at a time.
Right? Did I not just say that?? One person. And I am extremely comfortable being with myself. I’m not a lonely person, but if I didn’t have my friends I very much would be. That doesn’t mean however I need to be with them ALL the time.
7) Introverts are weird
Carl’s take: They are individualists. They think for themselves and don’t follow popularity and trend.
I tend to agree and disagree with this on my end. I do have very strong opinions that may or may not be the popular opinion but I don’t think I’m “weird” or “eccentric” or anything like that. I think this is where I don’t really fall into the introvert mold.
8) Introverts are aloof nerds
Carl’s take: Introverts pay close attention to their thoughts and emotions, and it’s not that they can’t pay attention to what’s going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is more stimulating to them.
I laughed at this particular myth because there have been times where someone is talking to me and as soon as they stop I literally say, “I’m sorry all I heard was *queue Charlie Brown teacher voice*” I mean, at least I’m honest about it, right?? I really do pride myself as being a good listener and there are a lot of times where I kind of tune someone in and out but sometimes they just get totally tuned out. It’s usually because it’s something that I’m tired of hearing about from that person, or I generally have no interest/nothing to say about it. Again, I see where that comes across as selfish and self absorbed.
9) Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun
Carl’s take: Introverts relax at home or in nature. If there is too much talking and noise, they shut down. There is hardcore science to back this up.
We all know that I’m a big biker/hiker. I enjoy exercising alone and although I enjoy doing the other two with a companion, I have no problem doing it alone either. When I’m looking to relax, I’m absolutely looking to be alone surrounded by quiet or sounds that I choose. Hence, why I get so INFURIATED when I come home from work to have kids playing right outside my living room window. Referring back to the shutting down with too much talking and noise, also true. I totally zone out in really crowded, busy, noisy places. It’s simply because I’m taking it all in, looking at people and things, listening to conversations and music. I need to process.
10) Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts
Carl’s Take: Introverts cannot fix themselves and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race.
AMEN! I don’t WANT to be an introvert. I have a couple of VERY introverted friends, and their great people but gosh, it must be exhausting for them. Heck it’s exhausting for me to be around them! I do however appreciate this article because it makes me feel not so alone, it makes me feel less “socially awkward” and it gives ME a better understanding of my thoughts and actions. Now I just wish I could print it out and share it with everyone I know, because I won’t lie…even though I don’t consider myself weird, I think people are questionable of me and my actions sometimes and I think this would help.
So, what do YOU think? Do you consider yourself an Introvert or an Extrovert? What are things you find difficult with dealing with someone who is Introverted or Extroverted?
Thanks for the inspiration Ixy!