Huh. This is actually a lightbulb moment for me. This is me. I’ve always been told I’m more extroverted but this describes me perfectly. The “draining” also tends to be related to how many people I’m meeting at once. My husband, on the other hand, tends to thrive in these environments but used to be less socially ept. We were always told that he was the introvert and I was the extrovert but he likes being around people. They don’t wear him out at all. Over the years, he’s become very social but this makes total sense. My older daughter is a complete extrovert and I’m just not getting enough sit by myself in a dark corner time.
I am very introverted, but I love extroverts and tend to hang out with highly social people. I admire their spirit and energy and just like being around it. And the best thing is, they can go on being in the spotlight and I am content to just watch them shine.
I think that fits into the awful myth that to be introverted is to be neurotic, socially inept, overly self-conscious, or whatever negative trait you can think of. Introversion is none of those things.
I can go to parties and enjoy myself. I can hang out with people at a bar. I can eat lunch with folks at work (and actually do so almost every day). It’s just that I have to balance those things out with serious alone time.
I’m only awkward when I’m forced to do something I don’t want to do. So I don’t do those things. The same goes for just about anyone, though.
Myths I’d like to dispel.
- Doesn’t mean you don’t ever like to make a fool of yourself in public. I’m the classic class-clown character. I love making people laugh. Laughter is my social lubricant and makes me less self-conscious.
- Doesn’t mean you are quiet and shy. I am quiet most times, but if my energy is torqued just right, I can be just as loud as I wanna. And shyness is something I have outgrown, for the most part (while my introversion has just grown deeper). I’m leaning more towards “don’t give a rat’s ass” in my life. That’s much more of an introverted quality than being concerned about how others perceive you, IMHO.
- Means you can be just as stupid or superficial as anyone else. It’s just that it’s easier to hide these things when you are introverted.
- Introverts are neither more immature or more self-actualized than their extroverted counterparts. Extroverts can be awfully annoying, but so can introverts. With their inward snobbery and judgment. Extroverts have much to learn from introverts, and vice versa. We both need each other in this world.
ok, it sums me up perfectly. Happy?
No, I don’t want to go to lunch with you, or to the mall, or roller skating/walking/visiting your mother! Go. Away!!! (slams door).
I spend 18 hours a day alone (well, with my cat, and he thinks I’m a real dullard), engrossed in my own activities, so deep in a rut it’s up to my waist. I don’t mind! Really! I’m either busy busy busy or kicking back and relaxing. When my husband comes home from work, we don’t spend more than 2 hours together, including talking. My friend (note singular) can’t understand what I do all by myself all day and is constantly inviting herself over (my door’s always open to HER, she’s like a sister I never had), and now she has a new man and is angling to bring him over (possibly for dinner). I keep telling her we will all meet at a restaurant some evening. But my husband works looooong hours, 6 days a week, and he isn’t up to entertaining a stranger at our home just because there’s a stranger who my friend wants entertained. We just don’t get a lot of visitors or entertain, we just aren’t the type to play cards or have dinner parties or … I don’t know what couples do, swap partners, lol? My mother says “get out! do something! go somewhere!” and I DO, I DO, MOM. I can SO leave the house and even drive out of the city. But being a disgruntled loner, I don’t have a jolly crew of bosom buddies to do stuff WITH, so I either go it alone or put it off until someone insists. I am also perfectly content to stay inside and live my life without a lot of small talk with people. People tire me. Very few of them share my interests (I watched every season of “Lost” and never met one other fan in my limited circle). People complain about things to me. They ask me favors. They talk about reality shows or just vent about work. I hate answering the phone because it’s seldom good, there’s someone with a problem or wanting a ride on the other end. I’m good. I’m helpful. Patience is my middle name! I’m not grumpy, I can go places with people and talk to them. But after a while, it seems to build up and I can’t wait to leave and go home and ‘stew in my own juice’ as I was accused of. … One thing that always puzzled me was, say, meetings or gatherings of other moms. Girl Scouts or religious ed, or PTA, dance lessons, school doings. Every one of them seemed to know each other and stood around yak yak yakking about whatever while I stood there alone outside the secret circle. Speaking up, butting in, wasn’t my style and didn’t do any good anyway. How do they do that? They can’t possibly be all related or live on the same block! … So, maybe it’s something with me. Maybe I have a mild case of Aspergers. Maybe it’s my closed-in-ness that turns them off. I like some people, I usually have a good time once I go out to a wedding or a party, but I don’t need someone around me every day. Even when I was a mom of a young kid, our door was always open and lots of kids were in and out, but they made me kind of nervous and it was a relief when it was time for them to go home. I can only say the feeling inside me was “what is it they’re going to want? can I follow through and make them happy? are they comparing me to their own mothers? am I lacking?”
Wow. Sad, huh? But that’s this introvert. I enjoyed talking to you, let’s do it again someday, but I really really have to go now. Bye!
I get and respect introverts, even though I see alone time as almost a luxury. Myself, from a large extended family, it was always very difficult not to be involved, in some way, with the group- so it feels a bit unnatural to be alone.
When I find alone time, and presently I have some, I value it and try to use it constructively-because I am sure it will be fleeting.
Introverts seem less needy to me than extroverts, they might not get bored with themselves as easily as extroverts, and maybe they do not need others to entertain them.
Extroverts seem to be more fun, but it also takes plenty of effort to keep the social boat afloat. I might be a wannabe introvert.
Your whole post made me laugh, salinqmind.
I know what you mean by “everyone seems to know each other”. It’s like this at my yoga studio. I swear, almost everyone in my class seems to know each other. After studying things for awhile, I realized that it’s a social circle built around this one particular dude. A nice feller, apparently well-known in the arts community here. Since a lot of people who do yoga are “artsy” and the arts community isn’t huge, it makes sense that they would know him and each other.
I’m the quietest and probably the weirdest person in the class. No one ever talks to me! But the most popular guy in the class and I are always stationed in the back of the room, being the clumsiest characters in the bunch. One day, after a year+ of being in the same class, I just decided to talk to him. It didn’t make sense not to anymore, I guess. It felt like we’d been through a lot together, like being in the slowest reading group in grammar school. So I reached out and we struck up a brief, friendly conversation. The next week he invited me to a showing of his artwork. I went to it just to see if he was any good (I guess so? Post-modern art goes right over my little head, I’m afraid).
Now I’m a part of the “gang”. Well, not really. I don’t talk to those other heiffers, but the guy and I do exchange small talk and give each other the thumbs up. And now I realize that “everyone” doesn’t know each other. It just seemed that way when I felt like an outsider.
I think it’s perfectly possible for introverts to have a bunch of friends but it’s harder. I’ve suddenly found myself with a wealth of friends, but involved going out a lot (fortunately it was going out to someplace quiet). And most of those friends are of the ‘we hang out in the same places’ sort. But not all of them! I now have friends who I could call and go to their home with a few minutes notice!
It’s weird feeling.
OMG, I feel so at home with you people. Can we all just sit in separate rooms together and read, watch TV or think about stuff?
Does anyone else think it’s odd that the OP asked both extroverts ad introverts to share things, and this thread is almost exclusively introverts. Maybe the extroverts are all out socializing…
Do you introverts feel like you find your inner extrovert when you’re online?
I was thinking that maybe introverts don’t really befuddle extroverts that much. They either get us and respect us, like florez does. Or they get us just fine, because someone who’s quiet and boring isn’t really that hard to figure out.
I do. The medium lends itself subdued extroversion. If you don’t want to talk about something, you can either just lurk or not read at all, and no one will nag you by asking “What’s wrong? Cat got your tongue?” You can post something and then come back an hour later and read the responses; there’s no pressure to respond right away (unless the thread is really contentious). I really hate when someone interrupts me when I’m speaking, which happens often in real life because I speak slowly. But there is none of that on the internet. Those things make it easier to be sociable. The internet blurs the line between “extrovert” and “introvert”, IMHO.
For me (somewhat introverted), it’s not quite that. More that it’s easier to disengage when communicating online. If you were to reply to this post by asking me a question, you’d think nothing of it if it took me hours to respond.
If we were face to face, it would be weird if it took me more than a couple of seconds. I don’t feel trapped in online venues the way I would in real life.
I don’t even understand why you would want too.
Um. Isn’t that pretty much what we’re already doing?
only people looking to get in a not-so-subtle dig.
The extroverts have all gotten into a taxi and gone off to the kareoke club, leaving me behind, yes.
In the real world I am an anonymous invisible introvert who is nearly mute, online I am an anonymous invisible extrovert who can’t hardly STF up.
(PS - my mom said I never needed entertaining or much attention from day one. I was perfectly happy playing with my toys or drawing pictures for hours at a stretch. There’s that for us intros.)
It wasn’t a dig at all. One would think that extroverts would be jumping here being all, well, extroverted. I just thought it was kind of interesting. Hence the part of my post that you left out. It was meant as a single thought. Maybe “introvert” is not so meaningful a term for on-line interactions.
it would be easier if you would just come out and make a direct point instead of wrapping things in weasel words like “I find it odd” or “one would think.”
I didn’t read the post that way at all.
I didn’t either.