Being an Introvert

Yesterday I posted something on Instagram about being an introvert and I was quite surprised by how many people also considered themselves one. What was also interesting is that all of them are some of my favorite instagram friends. Funny how we humans unknowingly stick together like a magnet and paper clips.

I’m reading Amy Schumer’s book. Oddly, I don’t really even know who she is because I don’t watch TV but her book keeps popping up in my social media and in magazines I pick up so I thought I’d buy it. Nothing like reading a biography of someone you don’t even know of, huh?  But from reading about her I like her very much, it was comforting to read words that could have been taken from my mind.

One of her first chapters is “I AM AN INTROVERT”. Amy talks about how she needs to be alone often. That people sap energy from her and being alone recharges that.

Lightbulb moment for me.

When I was a kid I always felt different. I wasn’t like other kids, or if I looked like I fit in I didn’t really feel like it. I didn’t like sleepovers much because I always wanted to go home in the middle of the night. It wasn’t being homesick for my Mum, I just wanted to be alone. When you’re ten this is confusing. When you’re in your twenties and you’re still feeling the same you feel like a weirdo and then when you get to your forties you finally see it for what it is.

You just need alone time to recharge. I can’t do this when I’m surrounded by people.

Being an introvert doesn’t mean I’m sad or angry or depressed, I just need to be by myself. I hate it when people turn up unannounced, when they catch me off guard in my quiet time alone while I’m refilling my energy stores. I am the ultimate planner, mainly so I can plan when I know I’d love to see people, not when I’m just needing time out.

I know someone reading this is probably thinking “but she has four kids, does she just abandon them?”. Strangely enough I don’t include them in this. I always love having them around and although they sap me like any parent from time to time, I don’t feel the need to escape from them. Time by myself can be had very happily at home with my four munchkins around.

When people refer to other people as ‘antisocial’, it infers something negative. Like they are people haters or can’t cope with society. Not always so.

I’m definitely not shy or lacking in people skills and to some I may even seem a little extroverted at first.  I don’t dislike social occasions in the slightest and I have some really fabulous friends that I love spending time with. But I am without question an introvert.

I’m not antisocial, I can be extremely social and I have been social my whole life. Just not all the time.  Actually probably not even half of the time. Or even a third. There’s a fine balance and when my life gets too hectic with social things I start to withdraw. It always happens at Christmas. Add to that the non drinking thing and now Rob and I take the kids far, far away over the holiday period so nobody can find us. Who ever said I was antisocial!

I think there is also confusion over what introvert and extrovert means. Put simply it means an extrovert needs people around to thrive and charge their batteries. They feed off it like the sun. An introvert is the opposite. It doesn’t mean you’re some kind of freak who hates humans, but you need solace to do what extroverts gain from interaction.

After I posted this on Instagram yesterday, my gorgeous friend in London posted me this.

Lightbulb moment number two! That could be written about my head. This is why I always thought I was so different as a kid. I was always so caught up in the process. I couldn’t concentrate on single tasks for lengthy periods of time because my brain was in severe planning and thinking mode and at times it drove me insane. I used to look at other kids when we were all playing the same game and wonder how they were still interested. Probably explains why I’m so crap at Monopoly.

As an adult I think being an introvert has become more extreme, mainly because I give a shit less about what people think. In a nutshell. I don’t care if I’m not included in the school parents association ladder of importance, I couldn’t think of anything worse. I love that other people aren’t like me because we need them because people like me can’t do things like that all the time.

I don’t care if I don’t fit in with certain groups of people and I don’t care if I’m not invited to something. Essentially this stems from the fact it then gives me ample time to myself, not because I don’t care about people, but when I was a young adult being included was important just as being like everyone else was. So I went out of my comfort zone and away from time for myself to recharge, so I could fit in.

It’s probably why I wouldn’t return to my twenties if you paid me a million bucks. It was an uncomfortable and miserable time.

Amy’s book points out that being an introvert is not a character flaw. She also questions how introverts ever coped before the internet. This made me howl with laughter because it’s so on point. I love social media, particularly Instagram, because I can slip in and out when it suits me. It’s not like being stuck at one of Rob’s work functions for example where I have to be “on” for hours on end pretending I’m a social little butterfly when really I just wish I was at home reading.

By myself.





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