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.


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.


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.


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.


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 not all the time.

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


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.


Running Scared – From Myself


I’m an introvert. I believe I’ve mentioned that before.  Lots of people I know think I’m an extrovert. Some of the reasons for that is explored in my previous post about being an introvert. (See The Girl Who Wore Hats – From Introvert to Extrovert) But it’s also because I have developed a habit of signing up for things that are not the natural domain of the introvert, often against my inner cravings to just shut myself in the house and watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer DVDs all day.

Recently, however, I think this habit may have gotten out of hand. I have found myself committed to several activities that have me positively running scared. It’s a given that so many minutes of the day find me repeating the phrase “WHAT WAS I THINKING???”

“So, don’t do it, then,” I hear you say. Well, yes, that could be an option if it were not for the fact that I am fastidious in following through on commitments. If I say I will do a thing, I will do it, come hell, high water or cold feet.

Admittedly, these activities are all things I want to do. In my head. The rest of my body is not so sure. They require a certain level of courage for an introvert to participate – courage I can, on occasion, summon or, when that fails, fake it until it happens. Just not when there are several events requiring that level of bravado at around the same time. There’s just not enough courage – fake, dutch or otherwise – to go around.

Sometimes the scariest person in my life is me.

Of course, the point about doing the things that scare you is that when you succeed, you feel FANTASTIC! That is the thought I hold on to. It will be great…. when it is over.

So I will squash down the fear, put on my various hats as they are required, and leap off that scary edge.

And maybe go and watch some Buffy.



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