Anything Goes, Life in General

Life Moments #57 – Introvert: the Struggle is Real

introvert-quote-about-introversion6I always tell my husband that it doesn’t take much for me to agree with him when he’s not being demanding. I am actually quite easy to get along with.

I get impatient with small talk. I am the person who likes a meaningful conversation so if you want to talk weather then you have to find another listener.

I love to host family gatherings, friendly bbqs, and other special events, but I look forward to the end of it when it’s time for everyone to leave.

I enjoy hanging out at gatherings or special events, but my eyes are always looking for the exit.

I like people, but I am not a people person.

I am an introvert.

So, what exactly is an introvert? Many people may confuse being an introvert with being shy. However, in my own experience, I know my limitations. I know I cannot speak in front of a crowd because I don’t want everyone focused on me. I can be with a group in front of a crowd, but not alone. This little thing may be shyness. I also understand that noise gets to me and conversations that never seem to end are draining. An introvert is

a person who tends to shrink from social contacts and to become preoccupied with their own thoughts.

Being an introvert makes bounce back really hard after the smallest excursion with other people. I love going out with friends or having gatherings, as I’ve already mentioned, but afterward, it seems to take a few days before I really feel ‘right’ again. Not right as in you’re right about this or that, but right as in my mind relaxing, my emotions leveling out, and my energy returning.

I am a stay-at-home mom. We have a large family that takes up 90% of my time. It seems crazy because I don’t think I’ve accomplished anything by the end of the day other than run after kids. Some days, it’s one appointment or errand after another. Recently, I babysat my granddaughter for only a short minute (like half an hour) and then I visited with my son for a bit. Afterwards, I came home and I was just exhausted.

I needed time to unwind, to gather my wits, to rejuvenate, but I had to make supper for the kids getting home from school. I didn’t get a chance to get any quiet time before my other children got home so I just felt myself begin to shut down. I was present, but I wasn’t. I mean I was going through the motions and that’s about it.

I am an introvert and most days, I feel overwhelmed. I am generally a nice, easy-going person, but quiet. Many people mistake that as being rude, standoffish or shy as to which I am none of those. I have shy moments, shy moments, and standoffish moment, but that is not the sum of who I am.

As an introvert, my feelings are front and center which may sound funny to some. And to others, well they may want to say that there’s more to life than feelings. Regardless, that’s what it is for me. I sometimes over-react and sometimes under-react. Being an introvert allows me to be insanely aware of my feelings, which sometimes get the better of me.

For instance, remember I said I like to host gatherings. I really do. I get excited, even overzealous through the planning stages. By the time the day arrives, I am a bundle of nerves. I start to feel anxious and exhausted at the same time. However, I put on my happy face and proceed as normally as possible all the while my insides are twisting and turning.

When I have company, only one extra person, and the walls start closing in around me, my insides begin shouting, “Tell them to leave. It’s time for them to leave!” but outwardly, I am gracious and polite while feeling guilty for wanting them – needing them – to leave.

And the phone, I hate talking on the phone! Give me a face-to-face conversation any day, just make it a short one.

Other times, I feel frustrated at myself because I am tired and I don’t want to be rude, but also at others because “can’t they see or sense my discomfort! why are they prolonging it?!?”

And please understand, I like to talk! I like people. But it gets to be very overstimulating very fast. When I need a break, please allow that. I feel frustrated that some people can’t understand that.

I am more relaxed when I’m by myself. I can go days and days without speaking to anyone perfectly fine. This applies to being alone without my children as well. Although, this is a bit harder because my self-discipline tells me I should be with my children pretty much all the time since I am a stay-home mom.

Honestly, it takes great effort for me to enjoy someone else’s company for more than a hot a minute. Not because of who they are or aren’t, but because of what my personality is.

So, the next time you run into someone who doesn’t talk much, but listens awesomely or who appears to be standoffish or rude, just remember….

Not everyone gets joy from being in big crowds, noisy places, or busy moments. There are some people who like to take it slow and easy. Remember, for those who are introverts, just how draining it can be to be at that party or running endless errands. We do these things because we want to, but we also know our limits.

Alone is our thing.

Be kind.

~Shannon

 

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