Ever felt like a dead battery in the company of others? I do, If you do too you may be an introvert. Did you know, Introverts make up around 25 to 40 percent of the population too. It’s also a misconception that introverts are shy and socially anxious, again it’s individual but for me, shyness was something I struggled with during my childhood and early adulthood.
Some Classic Signs
You find small talk difficult. Introverts hate small talk and having to partake can cause us to become anxious.
You take energy from being alone and are drained by social gatherings or too much human interaction.
You’d rather stay home than socialise.
Other characteristics are deep thinking, we are natural empaths and are usually creative.
I am an introvert, my energy is zapped and drained by extroverts or groups of people. (worst case scenario… group of extroverts) I need to have time alone to ‘recharge’ and if I don’t get that time I begin to feel like I might spontaneously combust. I’ll often slope off to the bedroom, lie on the bed and just be alone.
Don’t get me wrong, I can function in society perfectly well, I struggle a little with supermarkets when I’m alone with an overwhelming feeling of needing to leave but that’s only if I let it get the better of me. The supermarket anxiety has improved since having my daughter as she has taken the focus away from me which gave me the distraction I so needed. Having a child sitting up front of the trolley having a tantrum is a whole new kind of distraction. She’s too big for the seat now of course but having her with me helps so much. Lilymay did cause me to blush on one occasion in Sainsbury’s when she was around age 7. Randomly she decided to kick her shoe off and It was done with such force it hit the ceiling with a loud thud and landed in the opposite aisle. Talk about cringe. Luckily no-one was injured. The joys of being a parent.
Introversion or shyness
Shyness isn’t necessarily related to introversion, it can be but goes hand in hand with me. I’ve overcome my shyness to a certain extent, I think for the majority it’s generally something we grow out of but I was so painfully shy as a child. I Literally had to be poked in the back by my parent/s to answer anyone who spoke to me.
We become braver as we go through life and I will literally strike up a conversation with anyone nowadays but, certainly for me, it’s not been an easy journey to become who I am today. In a separate issue, I am also cursed with blushing and occasionally the blush was so intense my eyes would water. Not a good look at secondary school and a good reason to be picked on so it seemed.
For my secondary years I attended a private school for girls where I got along just fine and although I didn’t make friends easily I did have a couple of sidekicks who stuck with me throughout. For my final year I was moved to a regular mixed comprehensive school, pretty awful to say the least. I found it terribly hard to fit in joining a new school so late on and well, I didn’t really fit in at all.
I was teased for coming from an all-girls school and just generally picked on. Some of the girls in my tutor cottoned on to my blushing and would shout out my name and then laugh at me as my cheeks flamed up. This was a fun thing to do (for them) apparently but at my expense. Needless to say, I loathe bullying of any shape or form and am forever watchful over my daughter as she continues her own school journey.
Unfortunately blushing is a trait amongst the women in my family, my mother, sister, niece and also my daughter. We are all cursed with it but for me, it’s so much easier these days. I still have the odd one in the most silliest of circumstances but the distraction technique seems to work quite well for me to control it in some way.
Living with Introversion
I love being around my family but If I spend long periods of time around Dan and/or Lilymay I start feeling that I need to be alone for a short time. It’s not that I don’t like their company, just that I need that recharge time and then I’m fine.
I enjoy my own company I’m never bored and quite happy doing my own thing. In fact, I’m perfectly happy being at home. We live very rurally, we do have neighbours but we don’t see much of them, I prefer this to living around lots of people.
I have lived around people before whereby whenever I left the house there would be someone around and I’d feel obliged to engage with them when really all I want to do is go about my business without having to talk to other people every time I want to nip to the shop.
As I mentioned earlier introversion has a spectrum and although I have some classic signs, realistically I’m somewhere in the middle, I used to absolutely love socialising and nights out with the girls, usually two or three friends; but if there were more than that I really didn’t enjoy myself much and felt completely drained by the end of the night.
Over the years I have accepted the way I am, I make sure I get my alone time even if it’s just ten minutes, it allows me to process high levels of stimulation which I am sensitive to and then I can return, recharged and ready to start again.
Are you an introvert or somewhere on the spectrum?