Monday, September 9, 2013
News To Me
One of my most favorite things is discovering something new about myself. This little bit of previously unknown personal trivia is like an unexpected present. It can be something simple: liking a food you were sure you wouldn't. Or it can be much bigger and deeper. Something about your personality you were unaware of.
I read 23 Signs You're Secretly An Introvert on Huffington Post a few days ago and sat there nodding my head nearly the whole way through. I'm sure I looked like one of those bobbing dogs on a dashboard. It honestly blew my mind. Now I am not one to normally put a lot of stock in those articles that have SIGNS YOU'RE XXX in the title, but this one hit the mark. I have always, and I mean always thought of myself as an extrovert. If you were to ask me, that is how I would describe my personality.
I casually mentioned this to Warren and he laughed. Laughed because I had always identified myself as an extrovert. According to him I am a textbook introvert. But as he said, "It's not big deal, I am an introvert too."
I spent a good deal of time thinking about this, as it was really and truly having an affect on my perception of myself. Wasn't I always outgoing? Confident and never shy? I have never had a problem meeting people or mingling at a party. I'm downright boisterous at times.
But then there were the 23 signs. Plus a few others I recognized on my own. Like the fact that I prefer to dine in small groups at the time when a restaurant is likely to be the quietest. Or how about that I am always lugging about a book to fill any spare time instead of talking to people.
Some of the signs that brought this realization about were:
I don't do small talk. They called it cumbersome. I find it unnecessary and annoying.
I often feel alone in a crowd. So true. That's why I have the aforementioned book on hand.
Networking feels phony. Totally. Why do I need to connect with people to further myself?
You're intense and prefer deep conversations. Not all the time, but those are my favorite.
You're easily distracted so you need a environment with less stimuli. So true! I need calmness and simplicity to work.
Downtime doesn't feel unproductive. This is true and false for me. When I really and truly need it then I can take it. But everyday laziness I just cannot bear.
Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than mingling with those people. I did a lot of public speaking in high school and was very good at it. But just talking to people I don't know is weird.
In public places you sit at an end or corner chair instead of the middle. Always always always. I don't want to be surrounded by people!
I shut down after I have been active for too long. I have a expiration time every day. I need to be in my house in the quiet or my brain just fizzles out.
You screen all your calls. Oh yeah. Totally guilty. Not that I don't want to talk. I just have to mentally prepare myself to talk. Give me a half hour and I'll call you back.
You notice details that others don't. I do like to really look at my surroundings.
You have a constant inner monologue. Yeah and I wish I could get it to shut up sometimes.
You alternate between phases or work, solitude, and social activity. I do get in a groove sometimes where I really want to hang out with people but it never lasts very long. Most of the time I would rather be home reading a book.
Example- This evening I took the kids to soccer practice. While Cash practiced and Stella dominated the playground, I took up residence on a grassy piece of Earth with my giant glass of water, iphone, and knitting. I played music softly to focus my mind and knitted on a scarf for Stella. My feet were bare and I wiggled them in the grass as often as I could. There were people here and there that I knew and I would speak to them if they spoke to me, but I am pretty sure every single thing in my setup and body language shouted that I wanted to be left alone. Sometimes I feel bad for being like that, but honestly small talk with acquaintances drains my energy. It leaves me feeling anxious and tired. I'm much happier to say hello or nothing at all and resume whatever I was doing.
So this new bit of knowledge about myself is taking some time to sink in. I'm not really sure what I will do with it in the long run. But for now I'm going to use it as reason to not be hard on myself for being a homebody and keeping my inner circle very small.
But if you see me knitting barefoot on the ground at soccer practice, feel free to say hi!