Introverts Are People Too

Type “introvert meme” into a search engine and you’ll find a million and one results. This is good for those of us of the internal variety not only to realise we’re not in there alone but they provide some handy resources to circulate in an effort to help the extrovert world understand our weirdness.

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There’s a common misconception that introverts are anti-social. We’re not. It’s just that being social can be exhausting for an introvert. Some people (extroverts) are energised by being around lots of people and talking. Introverts get their energy from spending time in their own heads.

introvert-hangover

Does this mean we don’t enjoy being with other people? Of course not. Admittedly, we’re not always good conversationalists. We don’t do small talk. And for those of us with the double whammy of introversion and shyness, maintaining a conversation, especially with someone we don’t know well, can be agony. On the plus side, we make great listeners.

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Introverts can do social. We can even like it. It’s just that we prefer meaningful conversation with one or two people we know well. In a large social gathering, you’re more likely to find us clearing the table or in the kitchen doing the dishes. We like a large gathering if we have the option of moving in and out of social interaction with a job to do.

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Unfortunately, introverts – along with those ubiquitous memes about us – can sometimes be our own worst enemies. A plethora of memes about how we’d rather stay home or how social occasions cause us anxiety can have unintended consequences. Often it means that other people hesitate to invite introverts out for a social date. Let’s face it, an introvert will never be the life of the party (although personally I kill it with the Under 5 crowd) and rarely tops an invitation list. People think we’d prefer not to go, that we’re happiest at home alone.

Okay, yes, we are.

Just notΒ all the time.

Introverts are people too and people need people (cue Barbara Streisand…). We can do alone but we also do lonely.

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So, if you’re not an introvert yourself but you’re lucky enough to be friends with one, don’t forget your homebody friend may be getting too much of a good thing. Ask them out for dinner or a drink or to see a movie. They’ll welcome it. Just don’t bring ten people with you.

This has been a Public Service Announcement.

Actually, given it’s from an introvert, this has been a Privately Expressed Suggestion.

 

50 thoughts on “Introverts Are People Too

  1. Love it, H ! – but I have a point of difference: there are one or two “extroverts” who’re best on their own, too !
    There now; what d’you have to say about that ?!
    [grin]
    I think that this is a most useful PES, for those to whom it may never have occurred, your Option 3.
    Just as well for us that your introversion doesn’t prevent you from blogging – but in fact, blogging is Your. Perfect. Occupation !

    XXOXO

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well, it is true that there are ambiverts – those who enjoy socialising with or talking to lots of people but also need time alone. I willingly concede that point. πŸ™‚
      Blogging feels like an alone time task. And even replying to comments isn’t as bad because you can do it when you feel you have the energy to do it. No one really minds if they wait a day for a response. Do they? (Also, as a shy person, being able to think about and formulate then edit an answer until it’s exactly what you meant to say is something like heaven.)

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Really enjoyed reading this and have never thought much about where I’d stand on this scale. Given the time I like to spend alone (horses don’t count!)I’ m an introvert these days…can this change as you age or is this a permanent quality?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Animals don’t count in a social way. (There’s plenty of memes joking about introverts having friends – dogs count right?)
      My belief is that you are probably genetically predispositioned one way or the other but at various points in your life your needs may change to make you move along the spectrum of introversion/extroversion. I had a friend a few years ago who didn’t believe I was an introvert but she’d only known me in my ‘putting myself out there’ stage. (A stage that took some months of counselling to reach, I might add.) Now I’ve shifted back to pretty extreme introversion again and don’t socialise much at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hope you’re okay about where you’re at although β€˜extreme’ introversion sounds like you might not be. I was taken with your point about an invitation to dinner or a movie – just don’t invite 10 other people…it wouldn’t have occurred to me that a crowd would be wrong but now I know. Take care.

        Liked by 2 people

        • ‘Extreme’ may have been extreme. πŸ˜‰ But for someone who used to be involved in about five extracurricular activities and socialised at least semi-regularly to find myself with only one activity outside work and I could probably count on one hand the number of social engagements I had last year (family dinners don’t count), I think that’s a shift. I’m mostly okay with it but probably not completely okay with it and hence this post really.

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  3. Thank you for explaining this, Heather. I think I might send this to a few people. On second thought, they might not understand and might think I want an invitation to their Super Bowl party. I’ll wait and send it later. I have to do large social things at work, several times a year. Ugh.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This introvert is nodding her head in agreement with all you have said. I LOVE social interaction – in carefully applied dosages … but yes, I will never be the life of the party. Ever.
    The worst are family occasions with my in-laws. Having to speak French (which I do very poorly) and concentrate intently ALL THE TIME is exhausting. After a few days, I just want to cry.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, Joanne. Your description of your in-law family occasions made me feel sick. I can’t even….. I find social events with my in-laws hard enough but yours are on a whole new level. (I’m lucky that my husband’s family is not much into the getting all together thing so I only have to do it once or twice a year – and they live in the same town!) You have my deepest, deepest sympathies. I think I’d be developing a propensity for days-long migraines whenever I went there.

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  5. Been there, done that… As an extreme introvert I get all sides of it. Introverts also love to be the official photographer so we can be part of the party while having an excuse when the socialness of a group of people becomes too much (excuse me, I need get a picture of our hostess…)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think this is an excellent reminder to all, and especially those of us who are extroverts, to be sensitive. When our kids were young I took a course on exactly this issue as one of our offspring is very opposite to me in this regard. Such helpful learning.
    The interesting thing is that as I age I am enjoying more alone time and I have less patience for chit chat. Maybe the extrovert is turning over an introvert leaf.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Sue. It’s good to hear from an extrovert. (I suspect many bloggers are introverts. We get to hang out with people from behind the safety of a computer screen. πŸ™‚ ) Good on you for going the extra step to understand an introverted child and cater to their needs. It would have made their life much easier.
      Yes, there seems to be a bit of a theme coming through that people feel as they’ve aged they’ve come to enjoy more alone time. It’s interesting. I wonder why?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well to be honest even as an extrovert all that socializing is tiring. When I was younger it really did give me energy and it still is a natural thing to do. Yet I find I feel spent after being in a large group. Maybe I need more naps…or alone time. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Heather! Want to go out for dinner and drinks? Maybe we could meet up in Hawaii on a Friday night when we’re both free. Somewhere quiet. Just the two of us. πŸ˜‰

    I feel I may be one of those ambiverts. While I love being around people and engaging socially, I also look forward to time alone with my thoughts…sometimes at home, sometimes on the bike trail. I still have the shyness gene, but only in certain situations. When I’m with an unknown person or two, by myself, I tend to be talkative. But there are occasions when I’m with a friend who’s doing all the talking (life of the party) and I stand in the shadows, not saying much. I will never be the life of the party, but I’m happy to be part of the group and engaging in conversation. I’ve been working on myself to be more of an extrovert, but it’s difficult because I’m not fully wired that way. And, in the midst of a Wisconsin winter, I’d rather stay home and hibernate in the warmth, with the cats.

    Glad to see you posting, Ms. Introvert. Thanks for PES. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • I would so take you up on that! Now, if we can just find a wealthy benefactor to facilitate that…. Or maybe we could start a GoFundMe?

      I would imagine even extreme extroverts would have a tendency to bunker down in a Wisconsin winter. Personally, I’d welcome the excuse. πŸ˜‰

      The thing to remember with the difference between introversion and extroversion is where does your energy come from? If you’re feeling a bit blah, do you organise to meet up with some friends to feel better or do you curl up in bed and watch a movie by yourself? Are you on a high after a fun party or are you mentally and physically exhausted? It’s fascinating stuff.

      Thanks for your last comment. You know, it hadn’t occurred to me that maybe my decision to stop putting myself out there had flowed into my blogging. I’d always put it down to being busy but when I think about it, there was an element of ‘I don’t have the emotional resources to even put my thoughts out there electronically’. But I have been feeling like I’ve had too much of a good thing and feel ready to stick my head out the door again. πŸ™‚

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      • GoFundMe…yes! Where do we sign up?

        I’m not usually exhausted, mentally or physically, after a fun party…unless I stay up too late. Then I turn into a pumpkin.

        Stick your head out and step over the threshold. You have fans waiting… πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  8. So true Heather!!! When I first found out what introverted means, I almost cried. So, there’s an actual name for me and it’s ok, and there are … other actual people who feel the same way????
    Trent’s comment about being the “official photographer” made me smile. It’s a role I’ve taken on recently and it’s so much nicer than being the “unofficial waitress and clearer of dishes.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Even if all those memes are having a tendency to stereotype introverts, those of us who are introverts sure appreciate knowing it’s not just us. So glad you found that out too, Su. I’d discussed with a friend my idea for this post and then I went home and literally typed into google “introvert memes”. When I found that last one in my post, it was like “YES! THIS is what I want to explain!” The internet may have its problems but there are so many gems out there too.
      Ha. Unfortunately, I’ll never be able to take that position (see previous post) so I’m destined always for the kitchen. Yesterday, I attended a friend’s 2nd birthday party and I spent all of it in the kitchen. His parents, understanding my aversion to socialising, asked me to be barista so I was making coffees for two hours. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this post and I think a lot of people will be able to relate to it. I’m a bit of a mixture. I do love company but I prefer one on one. I do enjoy small talk but I like to sit back within a crowd, still I prefer a deep and meaningful conversation. Hmm, I guess that perhaps makes me an introvert. Thanks for a great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A few people have brought that up. Perhaps, like needing less sleep, we need less social interaction as we age. (Oh my. I’ve just had a vision of having to be put in a nursing home in my old age. All those ‘all in’ meals and activities. Yikes.)
      If I didn’t have to work, I’d be pretty close to hermit living already. I’m thinking of installing an outhouse next to my shed so I don’t have to come back to the house ever. πŸ˜€

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      • Probably we should be making sure we have more interaction in retirement to ward off dementia. I know someone who cut herself off completely when she retired and she soon developed dementia. Those old age home TV ads give me the creeps though. I don’t want to be doing all that when I’m in my dotage.
        Mr ET tells me if he had a loo in his shed I would never see him again. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  10. A good post, and summation of being an extrovert. I don’t mind being with people but it doesn’t take long when I wish to be back in my own chair by myself. They say and sing; ‘people who need people’, but I have people, and that is myself. This sometimes gets taken for being depressed but that is way of the mark. Serious, yes, and alone but not lonely. How can one be lonely when there are so many things to ponder about? Of course, blogging and writing is the perfect solution interacting with people without sitting next to them.
    Fortunately I have the best partner who tends to be totally at ease with people and her boisterous laughter I treasure like nothing else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gerard, you’re so lucky to have a partner like that. I’m married to an equally introverted man. I also have three introverted (to varying degrees) sons. We have to do the quiz in The Age over dinner so there’s a pre-planned source of conversation. I have a couple of extroverted friends and they’re enormously fun to go out with. They do all the talking and I just tag along for the spectacle.

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  11. My youngest is an introvert. I tell others the best way to deal with her is to offer her an invitation with the option to decline. More often than not she will accept if she knows there’s no pressure.

    Good stuff. Thanks!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bryan, that’s perfect. That is exactly what an introvert needs. My favourite meme I found was the last one in my post because it sums it up perfectly. We do want to be asked, we just need an out in case we just can’t do it on this occasion. But often we will actually say yes if you give us the chance.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post H. And great comments too. My worst nightmare is being in an old people’s home or on a cruise ship where you are forced to play silly games and be treated like a five year old! I am totally an introvert which is why I have no friends – when I worked I did of course socialise occasionally with the people I worked with and I functioned with the presentations and stuff I had to do as part of my job, but it was all pretty much an acting role. I did have one very close friend and several acquaintances until I moved. Again. Occasionally I would like to have someone who could call me up and say let’s meet for coffee or go for a walk, trouble being how do you meet such a person? Joining groups is a scary thought, but possibly the only way. And sometimes I do find myself having a conversation with the supermarket cashier…

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    • Jude, I’m not even really sure what to say here except I hear you and feel your difficulties. I’ve been lucky enough to live in the same town since I was four. Even though places I’ve made friends (and the friends who’ve gone with them) have come and gone in my life, I’ve never had to start from scratch.
      What I will say is that I’ve found friends in recent years through interests and the groups I’ve joined as a result of that. So I have new singing friends and running friends. Maybe that’s an option? Is there a photography club near you? Or a gardening club? Sometimes It’s easier if there’s a topic of conversation ready-made. Having said that, I’m a shocker for joining groups too so I get why that wouldn’t necessarily be an attractive option. I have a friend trying to encourage me to join a running group but I just can’t do it yet. So I belong to hers on Facebook. Only on Facebook because they live at the other end of the country. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • I could have joined a photography group in the last place I lived in, but these kind of things worry me as some people can be very competitive and/or have big egos. Gardening might be better and I have looked for volunteering jobs, but nothing near enough has come up so far. On the whole I am happy with my own company, just nice to have a good friend (female) to set the world to rights occasionally.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I always appreciate a good “For Introverts” post, thank you. I am pretty much all peopled out from the last month and I think quilts and books and pets are the cure πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

  14. As an introvert, I so agree with this post, Heather. I’ve always liked to busy myself in a crowd and don’t even mind putting things away into the trash at a party if it means avoiding small talk. I’m not one to be organising parties though I don’t mind company…never put my hand up for it and don’t think it would be right up my alley. Sometimes I don’t mind small talk if it means I can put forward pre-rehearsed lines. Meaningful conversation is reserved for people I trust.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Introverts Are People Too β€” Master of Something I’m Yet To Discover – Pursuit of Inspiration

  16. Love this thread post, I too have learned I am an introvert. I do enjoy social time, especially family gatherings, I am not good at striking up a conversation, but will ramble on if its something I know of or connect with.

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