In the second post of my Behind The Scenes series, I thought I'd talk about what being an introvert means for me. I'm no psychologist and don't own or claim to know the correct definition of the term, but it is a big part of my personality, and hopefully some of you might relate to these!
I recharge my energy by spending time alone.
From what I gather, this is the deciding factor. Extroverts recharge by spending time with others, while introverts do so by having time to themselves. This is definitely true with me - if I spend too many evenings in a row in social gatherings (as fun as they are), I start to feel stressed and frazzled. Even if I am working and spending the majority of hours by myself during the day, the relaxing time in the evening is somehow so necessary for me. I know that FOMO (= Fear Of Missing Out. One of the very few current words I'm up to date with.) is a thing for a lot of people, and for me too on occasion, but most of the time my need for space and time to myself takes priority over spreading myself too thin.
It suits our marriage that we are both introverts.
E and I didn't start living together until right before we got married. Not for any religious or moral reason - our circumstances just made it happen that way. But I was never worried about the adjustment. We had both lived alone for years beforehand, so I knew that he was also used to having his own space, and also knew that he is much like me in terms of needing time by himself. In fact, he is probably even more of an introvert than I am! As we are both self-employed and spend a good amount of time working from home, it means we share our time and space more than couples with office jobs. And even though that may seem like it could be a problem (trust me, our flat isn't exactly huge), it actually works out perfectly for us. We leave each other alone when we're working, we have lunch together (or sometimes we eat at the same table but are busy doing things whilst we eat), and we have a good balance of doing things together in the evenings with chilling out by ourselves for a while.
Being self-employed/freelance is good for people like me.
Speaking of being self-employed (I'm not a freelance writer/blogger, my work is completely unrelated), this is also a lifestyle that suits me. My work does involve communicating with people and I go out to work everyday, so it's not that I spend all day every day alone - that, I probably would not like - but it's also not a job that requires me to be chatty with coworkers and be sociable on a daily basis, which I think I would find quite tiring.
There are, of course, aspects of my work that I would probably do better in if I was more of an extrovert and could push myself to network more and to sell myself better, but it's all a work in progress!
Introvert does not equal shy or anti-social.
I think that this is a common misconception, that introvert = shy. If you met me, you would certainly know that I'm not shy - I love to meet new people, to chat about all kinds of things, and to communicate and engage with different personalities. I've enjoyed every event that I've attended as a blogger, even those at which I knew no one there to begin with!
And I really love to see friends, to talk endlessly on the phone, and pipe in with my opinions and stories within a group conversation. I'm not a total wallflower at parties (not that I frequent huge parties of any kind...), but I don't particularly enjoy large crowds of people and would prefer an intimate dinner with a few friends any day. Basically, don't mistake me for a hermit. I'm maybe more hermit than some, but that's ok with me.
I have both introvert and extrovert friends.
I really do. My best friends include those who I consider as having the same introvert qualities as me, as well as those who I consider extroverted (whether that is their own opinion or not!). It means different things to everyone, so I'm just going off my own definition, but it really has not mattered to me whether people close to me are similar to me in this regard or not. In fact, it's a great thing to be close to people who are different to you, in all sorts of ways - it teaches you a lot, and makes you learn how to accept and understand others' needs and wants.
I often hear that people who enjoy expressing themselves on the internet (read = behind a screen) often have introverted tendencies - a bit ironic, as I'm pretty sure being a blogger has bulked up my social calendar. In any case, I'm sure that's just a generalisation. Or is it?
You can read my Behind The Scenes series here.