I am an introvert.
But I love people.
Is that weird? Is that even possible? Yeah. I think it is.
With many courses in Psychology under my belt, you can bet that I read a LOT about introverts and extroverts. I used to think it was a simple, linear concept — introverts are shy, extroverts are outgoing. And that one could define her personality by placing a virtual finger somewhere along this horizontal continuum. Now I have a more complex understanding of these personality traits. It is one thing to read and study from journal articles or chapters in a textbook, but it is quite another to truly LIVE … and learn.
In my maturity and wisdom, I understand that introverts tend to recharge best alone, while extroverts recharge best among people. Still a simple definition, yet, not quite linear anymore, in my mind. Now I see that as an introvert, I am refreshed with “alone time.” I feel at peace and am able to ponder my thoughts. I enjoy solitude and am okay with not having to be “social” all the time. (I used to think that was a flaw in me.) I actually feel kind of mentally exhausted at large parties, or when being entertained. I tend to prefer a book over charades. Texting over calling. Cuddling on the couch over a dinner party.
But not always.
There are times when I want to talk — to my boyfriend, or my mom, a friend, or my daughter. Sometimes I tend to keep too many things inside and it’s not good. I give the impression that I am fine, when I may be dying inside. Or that I don’t have an opinion, yet I can certainly think — I’m not stupid. But one might not know this, because I don’t verbally share. Sharing is tough. I don’t have many friends. It’s not that women haven’t tried to get close — invite me for coffee, call me just to chat, want to shop together. I think I give off friendly, compassionate vibes. Like I said, I DO genuinely like people. But I recoil from these invitations. They give me anxiety. They make me go numb. I just don’t have the energy. Ugh …
There’s this quote by Audrey Hepburn. I get it.
I do not want to be alone. The thought kinda terrifies me, and has put me in situations of poor judgement in relationships past. And it paralyzes me to consider being alone in my future. But absolutely I want to be left alone at times. That is, I don’t need to hear thinking out loud. I don’t need to be entertained incessantly.
Hmmm … a seemingly impossible dichotomy. But not really …
Which are you? I’m guessing that you aren’t black and white along this introvert – extrovert continuum either. ❤