Personalities are fascinating. You live your life thinking and behaving a certain way, only to realize other people don’t and are therefore obviously complete lunatics. How we process social situations and how we make sense of the world can be traced to the inherent ways in which our brains are wired.
Apparently, people are considered either introverted or extroverted. Of course sometimes we toggle between the two personalities to fit the situation. As Carl Jung* once said:
It wasn’t until middle school when I realized which end of the spectrum I live.
My first big sign: I didn’t like to be around large groups of people. Hell, some days I didn’t like to be around small groups of people. I would much rather sit underneath a tree, stare off into space or read a book. Maybe sit on a park bench and have a meaningful convo with a pair of mourning doves.
I know you’re absolutely stunned by this admission. After all, I’m a writer**. Even worse, I’m a blogger. Not exactly known for being the life of a party. Especially once people at the party find out I’m a blogger.
If you’re extroverted, I honestly think you’re pretty dang awesome. You got it goin’ on, baby! I wish I could be more like you but I find it so mentally exhausting. My husband is more of an extrovert. We’ve been together 16 years and he still struggles to understand me.
This is the definition I found online for an “introvert”
noun a shy, reticent, and typically self-centered person
Whoa. Day-um! My guess is this definition was written by an extrovert. First off, I am not shy. Second, I am the opposite of self-centered. Sure, I might prefer my own company to others, but trust me, I’m always thinking of you in spirit. And third, what the hell does reticent mean? Anyone? I don’t have time to look it up because I’m too busy being self-centered.
So I thought maybe I’d clear a few things up for you extroverted guys. And for you fellow introverts, see if any of the following rings true for you.
- I am not mad. I always seem to have an intense look or frown on my face. This does not mean I’m angry or judging you, it’s the opposite. My brain is constantly racing and observing, trying to make sense of why you extroverted people keep bugging me to go group skydiving or hang out at a packed concert all night. I’m just trying to figure out what makes you tick and how to get you to leave me the hell alone so I can go read a book in silence.
- I hate small talk. Talking with someone about the weather is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I will do it, but I dread it. What excites me is discussing heavy subjects like religion or string theory or why when the bread falls out of the bag you can never cram it back in the same way again. I don’t shy away from controversial subjects, I live for it. Please for the love of god — let’s get down to what we’re really thinking people. You want to have a deep discussion about the theory the universe is one giant hologram? I will talk about that until the cows come home or the bread is properly stuffed back into the bag. To me, small talk is painful and meaningless. I’d rather sit in silence with the person.
- I don’t like big crowds. Any place with more than three people is hell for me. I will go to a concert, I will meet you at that packed restaurant, but I’ll become mentally drained after 30 minutes. But sit me down on a quiet beach with maybe one or two friends and I’m in heaven. I like to focus intently on one person at a time. This is probably why people consider me a good listener. Because I like to listen.
- I am not anti-social. I love people. I like to talk with people. I’m genuinely interested in what people are thinking or feeling, honest. Maybe too much. I think this is why I need downtime after socializing to decompress and organize my thoughts.
- I love the quiet. Some people have this need to fill in every moment of their waking lives with sound, like they need constant stimulation whether it’s a blaring radio or background TV noise or nonstop chatter. I have to sit in silence for large chunks of time. It helps me process things because let’s face it, I love to live in my mind most days. I know this might irritate you extroverted types, but trust me, we need this like you need lots of mental stimulation and excitement.
- I hate being the center of attention. Most of us crave recognition, we all like praise. But something happens if people are suddenly noticing me or talking about me. I get very uncomfortable. I feel like shielding my face with my hands and saying, “LOOK AWAY! I’M HIDEOUS!” I’m not sure why. I would love to say it’s because I’m modest but I’m much too arrogant to believe that’s true. I would rather be on the outskirts, lurking in the shadows of the limelight.
- I am not shy. When we first meet, I might not talk a lot. This is because I’m busy observing, taking things in, analyzing. Once you get to know me over time, you’ll regret letting me talk because I will not shut up. Especially if we start talking about things like which personality types we’re born with.
This is just a list about me, I’m sure other introverted or extroverted people might disagree with the above. Let me know if you’d consider yourself either personality or if you have any other traits you’d like to add in the comments below.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? Take this quick quiz I found by Susan Cain, author of the book Quiet.
148 thoughts on “Confessions of an Introvert”
AMEN! Honestly – yes to all of what you wrote. I love when people upon their second or third time meeting me say, “Wow! You’re not stuck up at all!”
Happy Fancy Coffee Friday from one Introvert happily sitting in her Fortress of Solitude at the office to another.
Yep, sadly it usually takes a few times meeting me for people to finally drop that “she’s such a stuck-up snob!” assessment. On top of being extremely introverted, I’m also very emotional and sensitive to other people’s feelings. It’s a wonder I ever leave the house.
Same here. I’ve learned to control it, but it comes at a cost – people think I’m bitchy. 😉 If only they knew how many times I bawl at wimp.com videos…
You’ve just described me exactly! By the way, I’ve been informed of a phenomenon called “Bitchy Resting Face.” Apparently many introverts have it. There’s a link to it in my post here. http://thegreatandpowerfulwife.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/my-introversion-defined/
Bitchy Resting Face! haha! Yeah, I can’t help it if I’m constantly thinking and observing and it makes my face all serious and scrunched up. I’ll check out your link, thanks.
Love this! I too an an introvert but I try very hard to maintain a lifestyle of being relatively sociable and open, while knowing that I will need that time of quiet, alone time to gather my thoughts and recharge. I crave that time! The “I am not mad” one is SO spot on. I can’t help my face…and there’s nothing wrong with being reflective!
If only I could change my grumpy serious face for one in which I’m grinning, eyes wide open. People might leave me alone more.
So what kind of bread are we talking here?
Pumpernickel, of course. I thought that was obvious…?
As I suspected!
Reblogged this on Bossy is the New Black and commented:
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Interesting subject. I know a couple of bloggers who identify themselves as introverts, and the label surprises me. Maybe people feel free to be more “out there” than they are in real life, when operating from the safe anonymity of a blog.
I also suspect most don’t mean that they fit the textbook definition you provided.
Also, I wouldn’t be taking scientific advice from a dude who’s trying to improve his eyesight by sticking spectacles on his forehead. Just sayin’.
So are you introverted, Miss Peg-o-mine? If not, then we really should get together and go skydiving soon. I need to get out more.
No, I wouldn’t say that I’m an introvert. Neither am I an extrovert. Can I just be a middle-of-the-road vert?
You can be whatever vert you want to be.
That’s just what I thought when I saw that picture. I also wouldn’t take psychiatric advice from a dead guy.
This is me in a nutshell! People always think I’m mad at them (sometimes I am mad, but that’s another blog post). And definitely not self-centered or shy. I love how you said, “When we first meet, I might not talk a lot. This is because I’m busy observing, taking things in, analyzing.” Yes! How else am I going figure out what I think and what I want to say?
And it may sometimes be true I am actually mad. I just like to keep people guessing.
I think you are utterly delightful–and I so agree with your defintion of introverted–ever read Susan Cain’s book on the subject–we are really quite special
So are you introverted too? I’ve been meaning to read Quiet and I think it’s time I downloaded it onto my kindle.
yes, I am introverted too–I am a writer aren’t I? Although I guess I should not make such a sweeping statement–but it is almost universal true
get the paper version of the book – why – you will be highlighting quotes and passages like mad 🙂
True, writing is a very solitary activity.
Very well written . I am an introvert too and an relate to your post very much .
Thanks, I’m guessing a lot of bloggers are but I could be wrong.
In seriousness I hear ya. Although my fear of crowds is linked to a bad acid trip in my reckless days at a rock festival 20 years ago, when 60,000 people’s heads started coming off their bodies all snake like ala Beetlejuice – then it puts you off crowds.
I’m rather a wall flower and when faced with loads of people especially if I don’t know them at a birthday I slink away in the background. I’m not the loudest voice and my sense of humour often flies over the head of them. It takes me ages to get to know people.
Part of looking forward to going alone (apart from a few days when a friend joins me) to New York (in two weeks today!) is to have that time to chill on my own and take in the city, read a book outside a cafe, looking up to people-watch, but also see if I have the confidence to chat to random people or not.
I’ll tell you about the small talk bit, I have a new guy started at my work and he has to talk ALL THE TIME He can’t be quiet for a minute, it drives me insane. He changes the topic every sentence and brings up such random stuff. Random can be good but you know it’s not interesting as it’s small talk random, just absolute drivel. He’s not that interested in what you respond with either, it’s just a mechanism to get your opinion however briefly on whatever random thing he says so he can then turn it into a story he wanted to tell about himself all along. I also don’t like it as he calls women “birds” which drives me mad, it’s disrespectful when he says “there is a bird on the phone for you” when he means a customer who is female. His poor girlfriend is continually the butt of his bad jokes and he spouts the same old tripe to our customers on the phone too, talking about his other half and telling them a 20 minute story about her bad cooking when all they wanted was to ring up and order something, they don’t care who his girlfriend is and if her steak was overcooked.
Sorry for the rant! I’m at work now listening to him in one ear and I need the outlet 😀 Get this, he just said do I wanna borrow an Ipad to watch stuff on the plane to New York. I said no, the films will be fine on the plane and I have books. He was aghast that people still read, no joke.
Ooh, too bad you couldn’t move your office far far away from Mr. Chatterbox. What kills me about people like this is they seek out introverts like a moth to a flame. People are ALWAYS talking my ear off and telling me their life stories or just random stuff. I feel like I should just play a recording of my saying “Uh huh” or “Really?” so they’d leave me alone.
And about that bad acid trip. I’ve never taken acid, but I have attended my share of packed crazy rock concerts back in the day. Between the constant clouds of pot smoke, the broken beer bottles flying around, and the belligerent, sweaty, disgusting people all pressed up against each other, yeah, it turned me off of crowds completely. And this was a Wiggles concert.
And you’re reading a book? How dare you! Next thing you’re going to tell me you do other wild-n-crazy things like contemplate.
I had to google Wiggles!
I never saw it that way that they pounce on the introverts, makes sense so they shine brighter.
Ah well, they’ll never know tranquility, we win.
I forgot to tell you to enjoy your New York trip!
Good one! My mom was an introvert and Dad was the opposite. I cannot define myself because I vary between the 2. Terribly mixed up of course. Prefer solitude – then get lonely. Have 2 good friends and then crave crowds. A true identity crisis from minute to minute. 🙂
Interesting you have both traits. Both my parents were very introverted now that I think about it. As for my own kids, my son is very introverted and my daughter is extremely extroverted, she’s social and loves crowds and being the star of the show.
I think I’ve felt lonely before of course. But I still like to be alone from time to time. Before I had kids I lived alone for many years in my 20s and was perfectly content.
Reading “Quiet” by Susan Cain — “ding, ding, ding” go the ‘ahas.’
My experience is that Introverts are people who do not get recharged by others, they get recharged in quiet, with time to process everything around them. I’m not shy – I’m introverted.
I can lead the meeting, do public speaking, be in a crowd and attend a concert – but every single one of those experiences drain me and I ultimately need “space” without anyone in it 🙂
PS Most writers are introverts ~ Here’s to us!
Yes, that’s exactly it. I love to talk with people, I don’t even mind public speaking now. But after it’s over I have to be by myself again to get my mind to calm down, if that makes any sense. I have to be almost in a zen state to process things so I can go back out there.
makes total sense! 🙂 MJ
Here’s my post about being a “situational extrovert” … and how learning my MB type gave me some very definite ahas – including that the person I report to is my 100% polar opposite. No wonder he drives me nuts!
I am an INFP (introversion, intuition, feeling, perception) and extreme right brained, can’t get more different than the rest of the world than that. Top that off with being adhd. I am all the things you said and more. I have never felt better than I do now that we moved to the country. Can only see two neighbors. I like my privacy. Too much to say here, I will write my own blog and invite you. I relate to this blog, thanks for writing it.
I remember back in college taking that test and I also was an INFP. My teacher divided the room into each of the four categories and no lie, in my group was me and one other student, this little skinny geek hiding behind his thick glasses and turtleneck.
My daughter and I were both tested when she started having problems in school and the nun told me she was lazy. I wanted to choke her, but God restrained me. The expert who did the testing told us that my daughter fell into the 5% group (she is ENFP) of all people on earth, I fell into the 1%. 1%. It answered a lot of questions for me and after that I felt special. I didn’t HAVE to fit in. She is the one who also told us we were both extreme right brained, which is not the same as ADHD. My daughter is ADD and her son is ADHD.
None of us are left handed. We should have been. I use my left hand for a lot of things but I write and draw with my right.
Oh–and I’m claustrophobic. I love wide open spaces. I live in the country on about three acres surrounded by farmland and cows. It’s perfect.
I am claustrophobic too! We have 3.3 acres here. Love wide open spaces but I have to have my trees too.
My neighbor that abuts us has cows, chickens, guineas (which I hate), turkeys, our ducks (because our pond dried up during the drought and theirs didn’t). We have chickens., a hundred cats and 4 dogs. Yes people know we have a soft spot for animals so we get “dumped” on. All of our animals except for the last 3 kittens are rescue. Our oldest cat which they would not fix because she is too old has had 3 litters. The first 2 were still born but the last litter she had 3 beautiful babies – how can we possibly give them away? They are half Siamese and alley cat. Anyhoo, we are having her fixed anyway. She cannot stay in the house, she has developed some really bad habits and we are tired of cleaning up after her – when we find her mess, she sometimes hides it. She likes it better out there anyway. She was a house cat before she started all that.
Reblogged this on Glenda Thomas, Life Coach and commented:
Personality typing is the first thing I do when coaching clients.
Awesome! Wonderfully written! 🙂
thanks, it took a lot out of me to share this with you all because I had to be even more self-centered than usual.
Yep yep, I’m an introvert, I’ve said this on my blog too. A lot of online people are surprised when some of us “reveal” ourselves as introverts because we might not seem that way at all on our blogs, but I too need lots of time alone to recharge, and I’m awkward in many social situations. Also, l’ve always had people think I’m stuck-up or snobbish which is so annoying because usually it’s just that I’m feeling awkward and don’t know what to say, but people think I’m looking down at them – of course sometimes it could be that I actually am looking down at them, but usually not 🙂
True, sometimes I could actually be mad and looking down on them, but I’d say 99% of the time, I’m really not. People need to realize I’m not being a snob. I’m just busy overthinking everything and everyone else. It’s just how my brain works.
That definition was definitely written by an extrovert!
I second everything on your list. All of it. I’m not shy and I do love people. Most of all, I really, really don’t like small talk. If a computer could be programmed in two minutes to have the conversation, I would rather save that time and do something more meaningful (and quiet).
Yes, it’s the small talk that kills me. I’m getting much better at it now (I have to, it’s part of my job!) I challenge myself all the time now. I make a point to talk to strangers almost every day, I’ll mention the weather of course, or something equally mundane. And I find I do enjoy the back-and-forth more now because I just love to talk to people in general. But I’m more inclined to get excited when I can talk about more interesting subjects. When I connect with someone else in a meaningful way, that is what I love.
Yes! Another introvert here, surrounded by extroverts IRL. My bestie does not get it AT ALL and thinks there’s something “wrong” with me when I tell her I just want to be alone to re-charge. Whatever. Let her go out into the masses every day – I’ll be waiting here with a cuppa and my kindle…
I agree, I’ll just sit and sip my java. I really do admire extroverts and their ability to have energy to keep going like that.
I’ve done several posts on being a Highly Sensitive Person. That’s an actual designation–I won’t call it a diagnosis. Most HSPs (well, if it can be turned into an acronym, maybe it is a diagnosis) are introverts, but not all of them. I don’t understand how that’s possible, but they say it is. (I suppose if “they” are saying things about us, it is a diagnosis). Shizzle.
Yes, I am a Highly Sensitive Person, I remember reading about this. What I find amazing is people aren’t highly sensitive or even not sensitive at all. So funny how I just assume because I feel certain things, others must too. I am a very emotional person and this can be a curse in this world.
I agree. The worst is when people make fun of you for being sensitive. ACK! That’s why we want to be alone!
Oh I know, this world does not take kindly to sensitive types. My son is like me and I honestly feel bad he’ll have to deal with it too.
This is why I gravitate towards you and Deborah. You two make me feel like I’m not alone.
Growing up, I thought I was strange. I didn’t know it was okay to be selective. Or, that my desire for quiet introspection was normal. I was often labeled “conceited” or “stuck-up.” Guess my resting face must have been pretty bad. So, I spent a better part of high school hiding in the library tucked away with a book.
I was just telling my husband, Mr. Charisma, that in a dream world, there would be no TV, no noise. Just me, my laptop, my books, coffee, and wine. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.
Wow, you nailed how I feel! Yes! My entire high school experience I was thought of as stuck-up and anti-social. I didn’t enjoy parties, the crowds and loud music would overpower my senses. I took on a lot of other’s emotions too and it was overwhelming for me.
So I was (and still am) a bit of a loner in a way. But I wasn’t a recluse. I had my small group of close friends, I read a lot of books, I spent lots of time alone in the library well into my college years. And I LOVED it. My ideal day would be just sitting by a river under a tree with my dog or reading a book with a cup of tea. It’s the simple things that recharge me the most.
That. I want to live like that. Only replace the coffee with wine.
I couldn’t say it better myself! Oh, and I get so frustrated when a friend introduces me and says “This is Anna, she’s a little shy”
Ooh, yeah. There are certainly shy people out there, but I’m not one of them.
Thanks for letting me know that my marriage is doomed, Darla. John is an introvert and it is difficult to get him to meet new folks. Or get together with old friends. Or feel that an invitation from us is not akin to one from the Queen. (A comment was once made on one of John’s performance evaluations that he didn’t smile enough.) It drives me crazy. I love him, but I also need music. He needs silence. I fear retirement.
According to the quiz, I am an extrovert. So I will gladly do all the talking in any group situation. Small or large talking. And you know what? People expect it of me. Seriously. Whenever I’ve been in a meeting or at a party and feeling under the weather, I get requests for stories…
So you guys need us guys too.
yes, of course we need you extroverts! I truly try to be more extroverted. I don’t always like quiet, I love to listen to music.
apparently, the extroverts are the huge majority in this country. I think in general, our society continually rewards extroverts and tends to underestimate introverts. I just wish people would be a bit more understanding and not judgmental of us if we don’t like to do certain things and aren’t social butterflies. I can totally see why we can drive extroverted people nuts sometimes, but the feeling’s mutual. hehe
I hope my intended humor came out in the comment!
I think you’re right about us getting all the attention. And I honestly think that’s a bad thing. It is what has changed us from a country of people who read things in depth and think about them into people who synthesize everything into bullet points. (Serious about that one. )
Oh yeah, of course your humor came out! I know you too well, Elyse!
I guess I was just thinking aloud and typing out my general thoughts in my comment to you. (plus I’ve been really sick these past few weeks so I apologize if I don’t make sense…)
This post really made me second guess whether I was introverted or extroverted. I have always kind of thought I was a mixture of both, but now I am starting to think that I am more introverted. I am currently a psychology major, so anything about personality fascinates me. Plus, I broke out in laughter a few times. I really enjoyed reading this. I will definitely be back to read more.
Well, I’m happy you enjoyed it. (I was a psych major too….)
As a fellow introvert, I completely identify with everything you said here. Mind you, I don’t think too many people think I’m stuck up, but I tend to get labeled “shy” a lot (which is not entirely untrue). And I hear you on the small talk thing. I can take a couple of minutes’ worth, but then I’m like, “Are we going to move on to something interesting now? Because otherwise I’m going to tune you out.” (I don’t actually say that, but that’s what I’m thinking. Loudly.)
Crowds are the bane of my existence. I’ve been working at a convenience store all summer, and holiday weekends were a nightmare. Too. Many. People. I would almost literally run out the door as soon as my shift was over because my stress levels were getting dangerously high and I was afraid I’d wind up throwing something at the next idiot who blocked my cart or asked me a dumb question. (And people always think I’m so nice!)
Anyway, glad to know I’m not the only one. 🙂
There is nothing more draining to me than having to interact with loads of people all day long. I will do it of course (it’s my job) and sometimes I even enjoy it, but afterward I need to sit in silence for a chunk of time so I can get my sanity back.
“I always seem to have an intense look or frown on my face.” (add, “no eye contact” for me!)
That’s how I am at the grocery store… but it’s because I AM RUDE…
“I don’t have time to shoot the breeze!!! I have T-minus 1 hour to complete my mission before these 3 peanuts go nuts! Obviously you don’t have kids or it’s been years since they were little. BYE!!
I’m also introverted but a people pleaser… you know… the type that host a party that is not her party. I hate when people seem lonely so here I come Mrs. “I HATE SMALL-TALK” coming to talk to you at a party where small-talk is the name of the game.
I find I put myself into “introvert hell” A LOT!!
Y’know, it does strike me as funny that I don’t enjoy small talk, yet people seem to gravitate to me all the time and tell me their life story.
Maybe they’re just a fellow introvert trying to insure your enjoyment at a party by doing the one thing you don’t enjoy!!
That was a comprehensive account of introverts. Of course I fancy myself as an introvert and going by the account of that vote-meter I am nothing special. The strapping majority goads me to infer it may be a relative term after all!
I’m not surprised the majority of my readers are introverted because I’m sure a lot of them are bloggers/writers like me. I think the extroverted people would rather go to a packed concert than blog. (I could be wrong I suppose)
Yup. You pretty much nailed me. I suck at small talk and would rather sit and talk about meaningful stuff with one or two people than go clubbing. Lately I’ve been watching videos of Darryl Anka channeling Bashar. His view on things like the concept of linear time, just blow my mind. That’s the sort of stuff I like to talk about.
OOh! I’ll have to look him up! Yes, anything about time or death or life or quantum physics I will talk about all day long. I’m reading several books right now about life after death and near death experiences. Of course, I’ve been reading about this stuff since I was a kid, but I can never learn enough. It all fascinates me.
By the way, I’m going to be taking courses to get my Reiki Master level this month! woot woot!
Reiki Master!! Woo hoo to you! I think you’ll like Bashar. Too many nuggets to list.
Yep, a close friend of mine and I will be opening up our own practice next year, renting space together. I’m beyond excited to start this new chapter in my life.
This is SO me, right down to the grumpy face. I read an interesting definition of introversion / extroversion once that made a lot of sense to me. Apparently introverts are energized by silence and alone-time and drained by company (even when they enjoy it). Extroverts are energized by social activity, and become drained if they have to spend too much time alone.
Sorry if someone already said this … you have a lot of comments here, and I am way too self-absorbed to read them all… Phphbbbttttt.
I like your definition. I agree, it’s just that certain social situations affect us differently than extroverts.
It’s pretty clear that most people that are writer’s and most writer’s are introverted. I think it would be interesting to find an actual extrovert that turned out to be a writer and I’m not talking about the Jenner twins that had someone write a book for them. I’m talking like a real live extrovert that wrote a book.
ha! Yes, I agree. Not many writers who are extroverted, unless someone else wrote the book for them.
I keep waiting for my book to be written so I can tell people false details about it, cause I haven’t even read it.
If you’ll allow me, I am so plastering my walls with posters of these bullet points. And I’m making a t-shirt to wear to the next mind-numbing, life-draining party I attend. I shrivel up with small talk, so maybe this t-shirt will ward off those extroverts who seek me out. Or, just my luck, the t-shirt will be a conversation starter. Ugh! Darn those extroverts!
Ah, yes, but we gotta love ’em just the same. We live in an extroverted world so we have to make sacrifices I guess. Sigh….
I could have written this. Well, I mean, not as well as you, but the content. I am exactly the same way! Big party in the office today to celebrate my boss’ retirement? I put in 10 minutes and then hid in my office eating cake. Large crowds and events exhaust me! Being the center of attention? Dread it. I have a baby shower tomorrow, for me, and I’m equal parts grateful and trepidation. All those people, there to see ME. To talk to me and touch my belly (of course). I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it. Does that make me horrible that I would rather NOT have a bunch of my friends and family celebrate me? Maybe. But mostly it makes me an extreme introvert. I can fake it for a while, but tomorrow night I’ll be sitting in my chair, coma-like. My ideal weekend plans? None.
Oh, and also . . . people thought I was a super snob in high school. Even though I was just painfully shy and introverted.
Really? Get out! really? See, I wouldn’t have guessed this about you. I so wish I could be with you hiding in the office eating cake. Enjoy the baby shower anyway, make everyone wait on you, you deserve it (and lots of peace and quiet after)
You just described me to a tee. Scary but since this is who I am and to make it even worse, no sleep for the wicked if’ happens 🙂
I’m feeling better knowing somebody out there can relate to this.
They are polar opposites so my definition is introverts are extremely shy and extroverts will talk to anyone who will listen or not listen and talk anyway. Anyone in between is neither one nor the other.
I agree, I’d guess the majority is inbetween the two extremes. I can be extroverted if I have to be, I just need down time to get my sanity back.
And I’m as extroverted as they come but am exhausted after certain kinds of gatherings. I can’t handle walking into situations where there are a lot of cliques either. And I love my new writerly solitude!!! What?? Life is so much easier without drama.
Yep. Love people, hate get-togethers. Being chatty and social is exhausting. Nice list!
I can be chatty, but only for small chunks of time. (unless I’m talking to my husband, poor guy)
Reblogged this on paper and keyboard and commented:
Hahaha..Oh the perils of preferring to talk less!
I think I’m an introvert who likes drama–good at public speaking and being in charge of groups. Maybe that’s part of my bipolar-ness. Extroverted when I’m manic and introverted otherwise. I know it confuses people. Too bad. *Bitchy Resting Face*
Yeah, tough luck people! Bitchy resting face wins. I took a public speaking class last year (and almost had a panic attack) but actually ended up doing very well at speaking, got an A. Should have been an A+ but oh well. *Bitchy Resting Face*
Darla … I can identify with many of the traits you mentioned. I think I’m an introverted-extrovert. I love people, but I’m also quite comfortable in my own company. I am a good listener. I seem quiet because I am observing. But, I love swapping stories and experiences, too. 😉
True, I also very much enjoy conversation and meeting new people. I can be very outgoing, I just need the chance to recharge again.
Have you read the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain? Worth the effort (and a good excuse not to talk to anyone for awhile.) Here’s my review: http://lisaspiralreads.wordpress.com/?s=quiet
Ooh, I can’t wait to read your review. I am going to read it for sure now.
Reblogged this on Your Amateur Genius! 😉 and commented:
This x100,000,00! I can relate so well to this, and I think it is a perfect description of what it’s like to be an introvert. This post really seems to hit the nail on the head here!
thanks for the reblog!
You just described me! Dayum
Knowing there are others out there like me is always very reassuring.
I am moody and mostly both
I can also say I’m extremely moody. I’ve learned to be more extroverted as I get older and that’s a good thing.
I’ve read that the simple definition of introvert versus extrovert is this: if you are exhausted by social interaction – you’re an introvert. If you are energized by social interaction – you’re an extrovert.
Having said that, some people believe I’m an extrovert. Some people believe I’m an introvert. I believe I’ll have another drink.
True. I would say I’m energized by social interaction on a smaller scale and not for long lengths of time. If it goes beyond a certain point, I have to retreat.
Maybe it’s a writer thing because most of what you said could have been me speaking. I suppose, if you don’t live inside your own head a lot you wouldn’t have anything to write about.
Yup, such is the curse of being a writer — how else can you come up with enough drivel to write about unless you’re always thinking and analyzing?
One of the things I love most about my wife is that, like me, she is comfortable sitting quietly and just listening to the wind, or getting in front of a crowd. Some of the things you mentioned about preferring a small gathering of friends as opposed to a crowd — I totally get that. I can take being in a crowd for about 20 to 30 minutes before getting edgy and a little impatient. I love people, but on a one-on-one situation where I can really get to know them. Then again, I really enjoy speaking in front of people and making them laugh. Holy crap… I’m a freak…
Anyway, regardless of my freakishness, I really enjoyed this post and found myself nodding (my head, not off) many times. The fact that you’re a great listener is the sign of a thoughtful person who values people — always a great combination.
Oh yes, you are most definitely a freak — a kind, intelligent, hilarious one. That’s good your wife can also enjoy sitting quietly. My husband has his introverted moments too and I suspect he’s really a combo of both.
You’re very sweet, Darla. How lucky we are to have each found the right “combo” in our lives. I suspect the four of us would have a great time together being quiet.
Ah, I can’t even imagine, it’s been so long since I had kids. Quiet?? What’s that?
Haha! We have four teens who are at that stage where they rarely speak other than to ask “What’s for dinner?” or “Have you seen my..?” To which I answer “Your [jockstrap/favorite jeans are in the oven.”
About 3 years ago, I heard my husband say, “People really are different, aren’t they?” Keep in mind that 1. He was almost 50 years old, and 2. He was working on his 2nd Master’s Degree, this one in Marriage and Family Therapy, and 3. He is a definite introvert. Since it was obviously a rhetorical question, my response was “Took you almost 50 years to figure that out, huh?” Also a rhetorical question.
I don’t know whether to be surprised or totally UNsurprised that the majority of your blog-reading poll-takers are introverts. I am a decided extrovert. And while the world around us tends to focus on/laud/worship extroverts, truly I envy an introvert’s ability to go really deep in relationships. I find it hard not to stay on the surface level. That’s not to say I don’t want to talk deep subjects – au contraire!
Anyway, happy Monday, Darla. Thanks for the awesome insights!
Well, as for your husband, better late than never, right? ha!
I’m not surprised about the poll at all, either. I don’t figure that many extroverted people have time to blog or write as they’re too busy actually doing things in life (and I envy that — how do you do it?)
Even thought I am a spambot with no feelings, I really enjoyed this post. But seriously, I am glad there are others out there who hate crowds, love silence, despise small talk, etc. and are proud of it. I used to think I was a misanthrope, but I’d say introvert is more like it (I hope?). What’s in a label, anyhow?
For me, I’d say I’m not a misanthrope at all, I truly love people and interacting with them…just on a smaller scale and for shorter chunks of time.
I’m definitely an introvert but people who know me don’t think that. I could spend a week somewhere and never say a word. I don’t like small talk either because that’s the best way for me to put my foot in my mouth. I am married to an introvert who is often asked why he is so angry. It makes him angry.
Interesting, because I once spent two solid weeks without uttering a word to another human being (I did talk to the cat a few times) It was when I was 21 and back in college living out near Seattle, I had no family around and all the roommates went home for break. I have to admit it was awesome. but I couldn’t sustain silence that long now because I love to talk too.
For the record, DP, you are the LEAST self-centered person I’ve ever met! The frown face thing cracked me up; some of my friends call it the “b*tch face.”
I think this topic goes hand in hand with the cell phone/social media thing; I’ve been theorizing that extroverts are the ones who can have a conversation, and FB, Tweet and text all at the same time. I can’t handle that level of stimulation – like you said, I have to focus on one person at a time – THE PERSON I’M WITH!
JD!!! You’re here! How I’ve missed you so! And thanks for saying I’m not self-centered, because it’s all about me, right?
And yes, I cannot keep up with the tweeting and facebookin’ and crap. It’s too much for me to even keep up with blogging for god’s sake.
I was at a restaurant once, seated at a table by myself and reading a book. One of the waitresses walked by and said, “Smile!” Now what would she have thought if she’d seen me sitting there all alone with a big stupid smile on my face? Besides, I’d already smiled several weeks before.
I’m an introvert. I’m also an HSP, and I think you are, too:
Ooh, Charles, I checked out that site and that is me in a nutshell! (emphasis on the nut part)
I’m in public relations. And an introvert. People just don’t get that. But it actually makes me really good at my job because my small talk is all about deflecting attention from me and onto the other people. And I like to store up everything that people need and match solutions to them like puzzle pieces – I love to be able to FB message someone (’cause I’m sure not going to CALL them) and say “hey, are you still looking for _______? Because __________ just added that service.”
I’m grateful that my husband is also super introverted. We live separate lives in the same house, giving a quick hug as we pass each other in the hallway on our way to separate hobbies. And three times a week we go out to dinner so we can talk for a couple hours. Some people think that’s really weird. Introverts understand.
I totally get you.
You so get me, Darla. I agree with every single point. Some people are energized by being in large crowds, but it just exhausts me. When I was a kid, I can’t tell you how many times I was told to stop being so shy, and “get out there any mingle.” I’m not shy. It’s just that mingling is a fate worse than death. Mingling = small talk.
Let’s go to the beach together and just sit in silence. Okay?
PS — I read Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, also. When I put the book down, I was so happy to realize that there are people out there like me. She has a pretty good TED talk.
When I was a kid, I was picked on a lot mainly because I was a very quiet child (well in school anyway, maybe not so much at home).
I’m mostly introverted, but I work in a very extroverted place and sort of need to be extroverted in order to make the $$$ required to live. It’s okay. As long as I can recharge every evening for at least 12 hours in perfect silence, all is well. 🙂
I have the same issue, my job requires me to be extroverted all day. Which I can pull off, but only if I can come home and be alone for a few hours to get my wits about me again.
Yes. Can’t exactly sell art by being mute and keeping to myself. 🙂
Yes – being an introvert has its own share of challenges. And guess what – extroverts suffer too. Because I am an extrovert and I appear more friendly to others, it is misunderstood as flirting and it often leads to some awkward situations.
Talking a lot can be fun but some people find it too exhaustive to listen to all the minute details of stuff I did over the weekend. I know I might sound horrendous but I just love giving away details. lol
I’ve known plenty of extroverts in my time and I have to say you’re right, we all suffer. It’s just us introverts are forced to suffer in a quiet room all alone.
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This introvert enjoyed your post and it sent shivers creeping along my shoulders as I had written a post about introverts a few days ago. But back to your post, I believe when I hit old age, (70+) I will flip over to the extrovert side and become an outrageous granny.
I think I’m getting more extroverted every year, good point. Now that I’m hitting my mid-40s I really don’t give a crap about what people think anymore so I’m free to be more wild and crazy with my opinions.
My dear friend Darla. You are too popular for me to read through all your 1,000 comments, so I apologize if someone else has addressed this first! 🙂 But I must take issue with the proclamation that you are not a writer. Even if you tried to hide it via the asterisks, I noticed! And you are a writer. For sure. Without a doubt. You are one of the best writers I’ve read here on WordPress, and I’ve thought that since we “met.” I believe in you. So there.
Coming from you, that’s a huge compliment! Thanks, Melissa! Soooo good to “see” you. Hope all is well out west!
this is such a coincidence , I wrote a post on an almost similar concept and just came across yours as I was going through my home page! strange world.
I’ve got a suspicion there are many more introverted people out there than I thought, maybe we should all try to be more extroverted so people will be aware of our introversion.
i agree 🙂
Introverted solidarity! It was awful combined with my refusal to wear my glasses. People would wave to me, and I couldn’t see them, so they thought that meant I was snobby. Then I got contacts, and it was ok to be introvert.
Hmm…good point. I wear these god-awful ugly glasses now so maybe I should make the switch to contacts….
I think you hit the nail on the head for me. Want to come over and discuss why my car always attracts more leaves this time of year than anyone else’s?
Great post. I am almost exactly the same (with the exception that somehow large crowds actually energize me, as long as I can be anonymous and in observation mode).
And I will echo what several others have said: if you haven’t read Susan Cain’s book Quiet, you really must. I read it a few years ago and it became one of my favorite books. It helps put a framework on the many thoughts and struggles I’ve had with introversion over the years.
Thanks for sharing!
Really enjoyed this post! 🙂
I can relate to most of what you’ve written because i consider myself an introvert. love the way you’ve putten it into words 🙂
check out my blog sometime soon