About My Inner Introvert

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I once read these 10 Myths About Introverts and felt extremely validated by all the points on the list.

Most people around me don’t like to believe I’m an introvert. According to my husband the former psychologist, I’m a functional extrovert, which I think is a very apt description of how I’ve gotten by in extremely social situations all my life so far. But as I get older, it seems harder to summon up the extrovert persona on demand.

Last week I helped out in a wedding that spanned events across two days, then headed off on a business trip involving three plane trips and two full-day meetings over three days. It was a very fruitful week on the whole, which involved spending a lot of time with people in a professional context with my game face on. But – and I can’t help but feel that this makes me sound weak – it takes a lot out of me to be that functioning, extroverted person on days on end, all while coping with a marked lack of sleep and less than a full state of health.

I guess where I’m going with this is: this is not a world that accommodates introverts readily, and I’ve done my part to meet it halfway. Even though reaching out to people often takes a real inner effort on my part, I keep trying. But sometimes I just need to be cut a break – and on those occasions it’s good to have friends who will reach out to me instead.

(This post is not a reflection of my day today, which was filled with nice friends whom I am very fond of, even though they are extroverts 🙂

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2 Comments

  1. triciaseow - July 16, 2012

    Having read the list, I’m starting to doubt whether I’m as out-and-out an extrovert as I thought. I think I still am an extrovert. I like people in general and I like being out and about and interacting with people. But certainly I’m not someone who doesn’t like to be at home, who doesn’t have an identity outside of my social interactions, or who doesn’t feel happy in my own head. Perhaps more of a sliding scale?

    Anyhow, that’s not the point of your post. I’m trying to process how hard it might be for some people to make small talk and how this might sometimes penalise them. I know a few introverts and now I am wondering how I can not wear them out.

    • Ms Brightside - July 16, 2012

      It’s definitely not all or nothing. When I was a teenager I scored as a borderline extrovert on the Myers-Briggs test, and 10 years later I scored as a borderline introvert. I’m definitely not as introverted as many people I know. But I don’t exactly thrive in extremely social situations, which is something I’m only just learning to accept in myself.

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