Introverts – have you found your place?

goldfish jumping out of the water
goldfish jumping out of the water

In my opinion, institutions in general appear to “celebrate” extroverts from school to corporate companies. Extroverts thrive off the energy from others whereas introverts gain energy from taking time out to gather their thoughts. 

Extroverts tend to think far more than they speak.  In the working environment, I mull over responses in my mind, by the time I am ready to bring it to the table, a colleague beats me to it!

I struggled at secondary school for a number of reasons, my introverted nature did not help matters at all. I preferred speaking to peers one on one and avoided being in large groups. There was a main bus stop where the cool pupils “hung out” and another bus stop further down in a quiet spot – guess which one I used?

As a teenager, I did not understand the concept of introvert and extrovert.  I do recall wondering why I was different, why I preferred to read a book in the corner while my sister played with my cousins, why I did not like sudden loud noises or anything rowdy and why I was happy having only one or two friends. At one stage I attempted to be outgoing like a friend of mine. She was the life and soul of the party and people gravitated towards her. Let me tell you that it lasted for less than a week!

What I do find interesting is my children are extroverts, especially my daughter.  She loves being the centre of attention and is friendly with many children at school, even those in other year groups. While I find their dramatics tiring, I am rather pleased they are more “out there” than I was as a child.

Just to throw this in – while I am introverted, I am also sociable and can come across as outgoing depending on the setting.  When I am with you, I am truly with you. I engage and take a genuine interest in people. In fact I am intrigued by others and enjoy “people watching.”

I also take time out to recharge on a daily basis – see below for how;

1. I go to lunch alone whether I go for a walk (one has to keep trim) or I find a meeting room and bring my lunch and a magazine.

2. I spend the last hour at night alone to collect my thoughts and just be me. My husband likes to go to bed at a reasonable time while I am a night owl – jackpot!

3. At weekends, during the day I take myself off to my room or any room just for a short while. 

4. I avoid making or receiving telephone calls on week day evenings unless it is an emergency or pre-arranged. I am more than happy to text at anytime as this does not require me engaging in a conversation.

I hope you find these tips useful. I look forward to hearing your views.

Are you an introvert? 

How does this fit in with work, home life and other activities?

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28 thoughts on “Introverts – have you found your place?”

  1. I think many of us can waver between intro/extro. My sister is very much an introvert, yet on our trip in Wales, she repeatedly engaged with the random person. It was great and led to many wonderful conversations we might not have had otherwise. I most certainly prefer alone time so I can write, read, think, ponder…but given comfortable circumstances, I can become the person making others laugh in a social setting.

    isn’t it fun to be a combo of people?

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    1. I think we can all dip in and out of being an introvert and extrovert but major heavily in one trait. Like your sister I can engage with people easily. Not so keen on large group settings though.

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  2. My own definition of an introvert: someone who is most alone in a crowd. I don’t like social occasions involving more than five people but may attend them depending on what kind of mood I’m in. (I predict you would find me aloof if we were to meet in real life.) I too am sensitive to noise, which exacerbates my insomnia. Finally, I gain energy from solving problems, even small ones.

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  3. Hi Phoenicia. Interesting post. But in the 2nd graph,don’t you mean Introverts think more than speak? I am an extrovert thru and thru and do a lot of talking. 🙂 I like to think I do a fair amount of thinking as well, but I’m sure that my introverted friends think more than they talk. Cheers!

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  4. I think back in the day, or even today for that matter, educators did not know about introverts and extroverts. We were called shy, while the extroverts were given the golden crown of “go getters”. They did not understand the benefits, and hardships that each has. This misperception is carried with us for the rest of our lives.

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  5. I endured personality testing on 3 separate occasions through former jobs when it was ‘trendy’ to use Myers Briggs and on each occasion scored as an “extreme introvert”. Like you I’ve learned how to manage my particular needs, especially taking the time to recharge. Ironically much of my career has been in the highly extroverted field of sales which required extensive travel,training groups, and public speaking. But I never had a problem with it as long as I managed my time and energy.

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  6. Hi Phoenicia,
    I liked your description of how you were introverted as a child and as an adult, and how your daughter is different from you. I liked your suggestions for how to find time to be alone every so often.

    Rin

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    1. Thank you Dr.Rin – I can easily put it into words now but would have struggled as a teenager. I am discovering parts of myself every day which helps me to understand why I react the way I do, why I communicate with others the way I do.

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  7. I connected with a lot in this post. I often need to mull things over before responding (I had to learn to explain this when I worked in a situation where most of my dealings were on the telephone and people couldn’t read my facial expressions to know I was listening and thinking about it) and although introverted I can be sociable and outgoing. I like that there is more stuff out there now about introverts and we can be more accepting of ourselves. We need to understand how we work best and find ways to cope when we need to step out of our comfort zone.

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  8. I definitely relate to this, especially with how it pertained to speaking in class as a kid. I remember my parents were so angry when my teacher, during the parent teacher conference, accused me of hoarding all my ideas for my papers since I was so quiet in class. As if I didn’t want to share. My parents couldn’t believe she had never heard of a kid who was an introvert. I’m glad that these days there seems to be more understanding. Or at least things are moving in that direction.

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    1. How insensitive of your teacher.

      I too am pleased there is now more awareness about introverts. I spent the majority of my childhood feeling like the strange one.

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  9. I’m with you Phoenicia. I waited at the quiet end of my school bus stop as well. One of the things I do is get up an hour before anyone else in my house and spend that time drinking coffee and reading. That’s often the time I read and comment on blogs.

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  10. Thanks for sharing your experience, Phoenicia. I go between being an introvert and an extrovert. When I am around other introvert like my kids and husband, I tend to be more of an extrovert. When I am around someone who is more of an extrovert than me, I tend to be more of an introvert. It works for me. I like to be alone to gather my thoughts but also like the feedback of others to really understand something when I am stuck.

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  11. Ways I took time out:
    No radio or other distractions while I was driving
    Getting up real early in the morning and just enjoying the quiet while preparing for the day
    Getting to work at least an hour before the office opened to prepare my day’s agenda and tackle any outstanding issues.

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