I am proud to announce that at almost … years old (Oscar Wilde did say « One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age »), and after delving into some reading, and some always needed soul searching, I can proclaim myself an “INTROVERT”. An amazing sense of lightness comes with realizing it, and saying it.
We unanimously live in a society that thrives on a fast-paced, competitive and stressful tempo. One relevant and important aspect of our hectic lifestyle I’d like to broach on is “social pressure” or the conformity expected of us to follow or maintain a certain pace in our daily lives. My consistent reactions to these demands are what made me look into the introvert vs. extrovert personalities. The spectrum of these two types of characters is too broad to get into details, so I will stick to the above mentioned aspect that pertains to a lot of people who like me, do not have the slightest FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) traits in them.
Misconceptions and myths about introverts are many: introverts DO have plenty of friends, ARE sociable, but do not enjoy small talk, and prefer environments that are quieter and more low-key. If I may, I will use myself as an example. For instance, I enjoy attending events such as art galleries exhibitions, but I do not like “opening nights”. I had to explain to my closest friends who when over the years (in my low times) wanted me to join them to such occasions, that I couldn’t “deal” with the pressure of these outings. The reasons were not related to anxiety like being out in public or in a crowded place (which are two more misconceptions about introverts). I simply realized that I enjoy these places much more when they are quieter, and when I do not have to do the small talk I am so bad at. Having said that, I love people, I cherish my friends, and I DO attend opening nights occasionally. I enjoy going out but I appreciate it more when it’s in small groups. Introverts may not be comfortable in crowded spaces, but they love experiencing new places, people, and things.
Another important point I noticed in myself when I made the comparison between me and my more extroverted friends, is the need I have to take some alone time between my daily routine requirements. If I have a hectic day that requires me to do too many things in a row, I feel the necessity to come home and “recharge”: introverts get their energy from within, be it themselves, their families, their homes.
It was extremely liberating for me to accept that there was nothing “wrong” with not being able to maintain a hectic lifestyle without stopping to pause, recharge and continue.
I am sure that many Generation X (GenX) men or women get to an age where trying desperately to “be” like others or fitting a certain social criteria becomes irrelevant. Our priorities change, maturity and confidence kick in big time, hence, the way we see ourselves also changes. Accepting oneself becomes a smooth and natural evidence.
If you happen to be an introvert in need of tips dealing with this aspect of your personality go to www.psychologytoday and check out the article “7 success tips for introverts” like understanding your variety of introversion, what particularly overstimulates you…
I know I have found mine.
One step at a time…