By ChestnutSlippers
3 years ago

The Ups and Downs of being an Introvert

The Ups and Downs of Being an Introvert.

Do you find yourself losing energy when you are around other people? Do you find days of alone time to be a blessing? Do phone calls and physical contact make you uncomfortable? Do you like living alone, enjoy travelling by yourself, and dislike crowds and parties? If so, then you just might be an introvert! Which, despite what people may tell you, is actually a very wonderful thing! I have decided to share my story of discovering that I was an introvert, in hopes that it will inspire you introverts out there to love and embrace who you are, and to help extroverts understand the hardship some introverts go through, purely to be accepted.

Introversion has pretty much dominated my life, long before I even knew what it was. Going through school was difficult, as people naturally expect you to spend long hours of the day with other people. Break times were not breaks. In fact, they were more mentally exhausting than class. I had good friends, don't get me wrong, but whenever I just wanted to sit alone for 10 minutes to recharge, it just would not be allowed. Teachers would approach after a minute or so with questions, "Are you okay?" "Why are you by yourself?" And almost instantly afterwards, one of my friends would appear, and we would be expected to hang out.

Like I said, back in those days I had no idea what being an Introvert was, and I don't think many others did either. Saying "I just need time away from people" was not understood by teachers, and even less so by other students. I went to the type of school where you would be teased for being a "loner" or "billy no mates" if you were seen alone at break or lunch, or even sat alone in class. Which of course would go around the school, because young people love to make drama out of nothing. The fact I sat alone for 10 minutes would eventually it would get back to my single-parent mother, who was a kind person that worried an awful lot about her 3 children.

I cannot count the amount of times my mother would ask me what was wrong if I didn't feel like playing with my siblings or the neighborhood children after school. I love her to bits, but sadly, she (just like the rest of my world growing up) had no idea what introversion was. No one in my family was the same, and to this very day, they are all extroverted party animals. I was always seen as the quiet one with low self esteem - not really true - and my poor mother believed I was drastically lacking in social skills - again, not necessarily true, I just needed a break from using them every now and then.

I remember one week-long holiday with the family where 8 of us would be together all day, and I would share a room with 2 others at night. I found it difficult to make it through the majority of the day, but once say, 8 o clock hit, I would desperately need some alone time. This however, was impossible. If I went to my room to try and recharge, someone would immediately be sent up after me. The holiday was exhausting, and I found myself spending the entire time completely drained, like a zombie.

Luckily over the past few years (mainly through sharing facebook links) I have managed to make them aware of what introversion actually is. And although it occasionally comes up, my apparent "Lack of social skills" is no where near as big a topic as it used to be. I am highly accepted among my friends, and have actually discovered that a large majority of them either became more introverted as they aged, or were just far better at putting on a show than I was in our youth. Either way, I now embrace my introversion more than I ever have done in the past.

Moving into my own flat worked wonders on my mental and physical health. I lived in quite a noisy house with two brothers, where everything was go-go-go from 7am until midnight. I used to cherish the few hours of an early morning, where I could be alone and read uninterrupted in the nice, quiet atmosphere. However, now I can do that whenever I have time free from work, and it is absolute heaven.

Only 50% of my work involves being around other people. The rest of the time I freelance, which means hours upon hours of blissful alone time. Even on the days I work at the bar, I always get a good few hours to myself both before, and after the shift. And I always get at least one full day off every single week, which I spend completely alone, loving every minute. I've came to enjoy my own company so much, that I couldn't imagine sharing a house with anybody else again. It's just too wonderful. Of course I make time for my friends, but the difference is, we hang out when we want to hang out, and understand if one another isn't feeling up to it that day.

I mentioned before that my entire family is extroverted to the extreme, and this still stands true. I still feel as though I am very, very different from every one of them. However, I no longer see this as a bad thing. Sure, people will say "Why don't you want to come out after work!" and "Why can't you socialize 2 days in a row." etc, but you know what else they will say? "Your artwork is amazing, I wish I could draw like you!" "You're so organized, I wish my room was this tidy!" "You're really good at handling money, I wish I didn't spend every penny over the weekend!"

You see, there are many traits an introvert can develop, due to their calm and collective nature, which extroverts will not only admire, but long for. In the same way you may have found yourself wishing you had the people skills and stamina that they have, there are qualities that they see (and may have always seen) in you, which they wish that they had.

So please hang in there, young introverts, soon will come a day when you are free to be yourselves without being pressured into exhaustion! You will find that your introversion can lead to a great many things; creativity, passion, empathy for others, as well as important life skills. Do not force yourself to stray away from the things that make you, you. Your natural, strengths, if nurtured, could one day lead you to a happy and successful lifestyle.

Extroverts, while you are just as wonderful and admirable in every way, please remember to be supportive and considerate of your introverted friends. Please never put pressure on them to socialize more, in the same way they will never tell you to leave a party, or to go and be alone instead of hanging out with others. Extroverts and introverts can have wonderful connections, so long as they both understand and respect one another.
3 years
Borderline Really good
3 years
3 years
ze2000 I think we all have some degree of it. I get fed up of society quickly, I feel sometimes I don't belong there. I call myself anti-social. Funny enough, I do come across like an open person, but the truth is that is all a façade. I suppose I have forcibly learned because it's a must for some jobs, but it helps me to be very analytical about people's behaviours.
3 years
3 years
ChestnutSlippers I understand completely. I work 8-10 hour bar shifts where we have to be polite, friendly, and efficient. However, once I am done with said shift, I do definitely not want to be around other people, as I need time to recharge and be alone. Those 1-2 days a week I get alone are precious. People who are introverted fall on numerous parts of a vast spectrum. The only thing all of us truly have in common is that we need plenty of alone time, as socializing exhausts us as much as physical activity does. While extroverts have no problem going days at a time in the company of others with little to no alone time. 3-5 days alone would be wonderful for an introvert, but lonely and depressing for an extrovert.
3 years