All the time, people misinterpret what it means to be introverted. To me, it does not mean that we don’t like people. In fact, I love being around people, having fun, and joking around as much as the next person. I’m not shy or withdrawn — what I am is an introvert.
Simply put, what introverted means is I recharge my battery by being alone. An extrovert, on the other hand, recharges theirs by being around people.
So, when I need to be alone after a big party, please don’t take offense. After being at work all day, if I don’t jump at the chance to go out all evening, please don’t feel hurt. When I choose not to be part of a committee or gathering, I hope you aren’t bothered, because I’m doing what I need to do to take care of me. Spending downtime alone makes sure that when I am out in the world, I’m the best I can possibly be. Because I’ve recharged, like an introvert must do.
Are you more of an introvert? Here are six little signs that you might be.
1. You have your credit card number, expiration date, and CRV memorized — to online shop, of course! Online shopping is a big thing now. Huge! And it’s the introvert’s BFF. It’s time to do my Christmas shopping? No sweat! It’s someone’s birthday, you say? Just be sure to give me enough notice for shipping time. Why would I go out into the jungle that is the mall when someone will bring all this crap right to my door? I do 90 percent of my shopping on a computer. I’ve even found a company crazy enough to deliver my groceries right to me.
2. You can only truly enjoy an activity if you know the end time. It’s not that introverts don’t love being with people. I look forward to spending time with people as much as the next person, but I have to know the end time so I know when I will get to be alone and recharge again. That’s all. It’s nothing against the person I’m hanging out with, because I’m enjoying it, for sure. But it’s draining my “introvert” battery, and afterwards I will likely need to chill for a bit.
As a mom, I will never be able to be the parent who says, “Send your child for a sleepover and pick them up whenever!” I can’t even send my girls for a sleepover without knowing the end time. Is that the planner in me, or is it the introvert? It’s probably a little bit of both.
So, tell me the start time, but please also tell me the end time, even if it’s just your best approximation. Then I can let loose and enjoy the “in between” time — the time I spend with you.
3. You use the drive through…for everything. Coffee shop? Drive through. Banking? Drive through. When I get gas? I pay at the pump. Prolonged small talk is the bane of my existence. As an introvert, I prefer meaningful conversations with people I know and care about. That kind of conversation I love. Don’t get me wrong, I can make small talk, but it tires me out to do a lot of it.
To illustrate the extent of my dislike of small talk, let me tell you about what happened the other day when I went to a new hairdresser. She didn’t make small talk, but instead pampered me and gave me lots of quiet time to relax and enjoy the experience. And… she gave me a terrible hair cut. Guess what? I’m thinking about going back. Yep. I enjoyed my quiet crappy haircut experience. At least she got the color right, and I figure hair grows back, right?
4. You don’t mind rainy days. What the heck? Don’t mind them? I love them!! There is no pressure on a rainy day to do anything but sit curled up on your couch with a blanket and a good book. As soon as the sun pops out, so does the guilt that niggles at me, reminding me that I should be outside enjoying this glorious day. Or digging around in the garden or mowing the lawn. Yes, I will likely bend to the guilt, so it’s nice to have a rainy day thrown in every now and then.
5. You have to make a conscious effort to get everyone out of the house on a semi-regular basis. I’m kind of like kinetic motion. Once I get going, I will continue on in that direction, but it may take some kind of force to actually start that motion and get me out of the house. Once I’m out, I will enjoy every moment, but I will burn up lots of energy doing so and will have to come back to the house and recharge. At our house, we are mostly of the introverted variety, and we have one little extrovert who somehow slipped in. She’s good for us because she gets us moving and out of our comfort zone (and our house) on a regular basis.
6. You prefer texting over actually calling someone (by like 1,000 percent). I’m pretty sure that in a previous generation, we introverts were the great letter writers of the world, but now that technology has exploded, we text or send personal messages on social media. Don’t expect a phone call, I’m busy typing — and that’s the introvert in me.
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Read this: 21 Undeniable Signs That You’re an Introvert
Learn more: The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World, by Jenn Granneman