What I have learned about human nature is we LOVE to make categories. For example, people who like olives and people who don't. You are either one or the other. I personally am an olive lover (stay tuned for more talk about the Olive Theory in a future blog post).
A certain sect of categories I want to talk about is whether a person identifies themselves as an extrovert, introvert or ambivert (which I'm not yet convinced is real and really is just for people who have commitment problems). Specifically, I want to talk about the category I identify with, introverts.
in·tro·vert /’intrə,vərt/ noun a shy, reticent person
Now I'll be honest, I had to look up what reticent means; and for those of you who also didn't know the definition, it means not revealing one's thoughts or feelings readily.
So I'm guessing right now you are one of three people:
The first person is saying "none of this sounds remotely familiar. Hello Number One, you are an extrovert, so please go socialize (after you finish reading my blog).
The second person is saying "I have known I am an introvert since I was invited to my first sleepover and called my parents at 8 pm and told them I had enough fun and was ready to come home". Hello Number Two, you are in the right place!
The third person is saying "this is kind of relatable, but how can I be sure I'm an introvert?" Well Number Three, don't worry, I've got your back. Below are some basic questions and let's say if you answer yes to half of them, you might want to consider that you might be an introvert (don't be afraid newbie).
- While you were in school, did you hate doing group projects?
- Have you, on more than one occasion, had an entire conversation with your dog?
- Do you get a feeling of sweet relief when someone has to cancel plans with you?
- Do you hate small talk at parties? But love deep intellectual conversations/debates?
- Have you ever made a pro and con list about a decision?
- Have you ever been described at one time in your life as: quiet, shy or reserved?
Now if any of this is sounds familiar to you, congratulations! You are an introvert.
Don't be alarmed, being an introvert is an amazing gift. If you are at all like me, you are perfectly content spending time by yourself. Great! You'll never be lonely. Perhaps you're slow to express what you think or feel. Excellent! When you do decide to open up, people usually take you extremely seriously. Perhaps, you have a constant internal monologue going throughout the day? Even better! You'll never be bored!
All jokes aside, being an introvert doesn't mean you hate people or being around them...all the time. It just means you do need a break sometimes, time to focus on yourself and recharge. Embrace it, you have some amazing gifts special only to you.
Go out into the world and conquer it, or stay home and work on your blog in bed (like I'm currently doing). Either way, you are successful. Remember, you don't need anything but your belief in yourself.
If you are new to identifying yourself as an introvert or you are an extrovert who wants to learn about this other way of life, pick up a copy of the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. This book does a great job of explaining how Western Culture really undervalues introverts and their abilities. For those of you who don't have time for reading (it's okay, we still love you), watch Susan Cain's TED Talk here. Then please comment on this post or message me and tell me your favorite thing about being an introvert!