(Watch this blog on video here)
I can be vibrant and talk a lot sometimes, and I’m not shy,
So a lot of people think I’m an ‘extrovert’.
But I’m not. I’m an ‘introvert’.
When I tell people this, they’re all like…
“Well, if you’re such an introvert, then why do you find it easy to strike up conversations with strangers, and talk to them for sometimes, HOURS?!”
I don’t know… why do I?
Because being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re ‘shy’, it can mean lots of different things…
And there’s different types of us ‘introverts’ too.
I think there’s a lot of confusion about what an introvert really is.
The difference is far more deeper than being so-called ‘shy’ versus crazy outgoing.
Let me hit rewind for a moment…
When I was in high school, I used to be the quiet kid — and probably fit the stereotype…
There was a big change in my behaviour and how I felt between Primary school and Junior school, but as soon as I entered big school, I turned inward, and stopped playing make-believe and building fairy dens in the playground with my friend Sam.
(Well I mean, when your 13 fairy dens aren’t ‘cooool’ anymore, sad times).
I used to be the girl who raised her hand with excitement in Science and English class, I LOVE IT, but then when high school came, my hand didn’t raise anymore.
I used to love taking part in the school talent show, singing and dancing and pretending I was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but then the thought of that made me desperately want a day off and hide in my bedroom.
I used to not give a damn if the wind blew in my fringe and ruffled it up, but then I felt really insecure if I couldn’t run to the bathroom and put it back in it’s place.
I used to play happily with a fresh face, but then I felt the urgent need to paint my eyes in black and grey eyeshadow, with my signature eyeliner flick, and cry my eyes out and want to curl up into a ball if the head teacher told me to scrub it off my face,
Because without it — I couldn’t ‘hide’.
The years between being 13 and 18 were hard, real hard.
(And I do know WHY)…
And back then I was a different type of ‘introvert’.
The kind who felt big lumps of anxiety swell in her stomach everyday,
The kind who never wanted to leave the house unless it was to go and be with the love of my life — Karate,
(Seriously, I was pretty reclusive),
The kind who would have full on panic attacks when surrounded by large groups of people,
The kind who didn’t believe in herself and didn’t think she was enough,
But fast forward to NOW and it’s a wholllle other story.
If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know I’m pretty obsessed with self-development, growth and learning,
And I’ve spent the last 7 years figuring out why I was, the way I painfully ‘was’, and moving on from that old me, who didn’t love me,
And I’ve gotta give myself a high five to myself (and to all those who have helped guide me to this place), because it’s one of the best decisions I made.
So back to what I was saying, there’s a lot of misconceptions about us introverts, and I want to uncover them, because the stereotype just ain’t right…
1. All introverts are shy — and all shy people are introverts
Erm no. No, no, no.
I’m not shy. I enjoy being around people, and most of the time feel at ease…
But sometimes, I just require some alone time. Time to myself in my own space to balance out the energy I expend in social situations (even if it’s a social situation with one person!)
I re-charge through alone time.
I get my best work done alone, even sat in a coffee shop by myself, because that’s what energizes me.
I LOVE me time a lot — and I’ve learnt, I truly WANT it so I can be fun to be around in social situations.
2. Introverts don’t like to be around people
Such a big fat lie.
I love people, and I love being around people who have a great energy.
Ok yeah, I want and enjoy lots of solitude, and I do prefer being around a smaller group of people, and get a great buzz off of one-on-one interactions.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t like humans. 🙂
3. Introverts are more negative people
I don’t think I could be anymore opposite.
(Some get sick of my vibe!!)
Because we like being alone, some people think we’re depressed or see the world through a not so positive lens…
But actually, I don’t connect alone time with being lonely or unhappy (maybe if I was doing it all day everyday, and I actually felt unhappy),
I connect alone time with bliss and a chance to re-charge,
So, like I said, I can be a fun energetic person to be around and be ‘social’ with.
4. Introverts don’t like speaking (or public speaking)
When I don’t shut-up sometimes and actually get a real high off of speaking,
Many of us introverted personalities do enjoy and excel in roles that involve some kind of leadership and speaking publicly…
Bill Gates, Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln just to name drop a few.
I enjoy the process of focusing on and preparing projects,
Thinking them through deeply,
Us introverts really do LIKE PEOPLE and we really do LIKE SOCIALISING and we really aren’t depressed people…
So, here’s my case in defence for introverts,
Love ya zillions,