That’s just how I roll. I’m an internal gal.
It’d all be so easy if folks could just read my mind. Lots of decisions get worked out in there, the debriefing of my days, the reflections, the brainstorming, the emotions…it’s all in there. Or on the multiple scraps of paper, napkins or notebooks where I put my stuff when I can’t keep it in anymore. It’s how I process my stuff. Some people like to talk things through, detail by detail. Others like to have an ongoing supporter to bounce ideas of off. There are even a few folks who won’t speak a word until they are able to get someone else to cosign their thoughts.
Don’t judge me, I won’t judge you.
There have been plenty of times when I tried to explain my introversion. I would apologize for it, feel bad that I wasn’t a big time social butterfly…especially since people really expected me to be that way. Getting older, however, I realized that there was a way to be true to who I am, and still have friends. The first step was recognizing that being an introvert doesn’t let me off the hook of being a good friend. Last year, I worked with someone who was trying to be my friend. Funny and outgoing, I liked her very much. One day, right when I was about to not answer her phone call, I thought, let me pick up before she stops trying! I was honest with her about bieng introverted and how I feel about talking on the telephone and that I’d love to hang out with her…just not all of the time. She laughed, told me she already knew how I was, and she is now one of my very best friends. There are times when I sit on the telephone having amazing conversations with her for an hour at a time because that is what she needs as a friend, and other times, she’ll text me a funny anecdote instead of calling because that’s what I need as a friend. We have an understanding.
Even though I like being alone, that doesn’t mean I like being lonely.
Being in a long distance relationships, however,
some most of my introvert traits can get in the way. Fortunately, my boyfriend, like my friends, is very understanding. He’s very patient with me, and because he isn’t pushing or judging, I’m trying. I’m really, really trying. And he’s reminding me that communication, externally, with others, is what helps us to get to know each other better, and even an introvert can broaden her horizons if she just picks up the phone.
Are you an introvert or extrovert?.Author Susan Cain explores how introverts can be powerful in a world where being an extrovert is highly valued. Join From Left to Write on January 19 as we discuss Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain. We’ll also be chatting live with Susan Cain at 9PM Eastern on January 26. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.