I remember the stress of having to speak in front of people at school or panic that would come over me when I was asked to read out loud. I hated going to sleepovers as a child as I was much more happy sleeping in my own home. I was never good at small talk and probably came off much more awkward and cold to people who just couldn't get a read of me as they first met me. All in all, was very much an introvert growing up (I also had no idea this was a thing until I got to my 20's) and that's never changed. For a long time, I thought that it would mean I wouldn't be good at being a business owner. Truthfully, all these things just never translated into fitting into traditional roles in today's world.
I spend a lot of years trying to fit into a premade box of what I felt I needed to be, be more personable, better at small talk, smile more, pushed myself to talk in front of people, and engage more. Every time I did, it felt like I had a horrible social hangover. Needing to be alone more to offset this overwhelming feeling. You see, people like me physically feel drained from having to socialize with others. We prefer to spend time alone, within our own thoughts and ideas, where it's quiet and calm. I love spending my days pouring myself into creating. It could be within photography, or editing, or writing. Days where I merely lose track of time because I'm so far deep into my own world. It probably looks pretty boring to those on the other side. It's always been my happy place to be in my own thoughts and creating.
As my dad said; We are wolves, we don't need others approvals, and we do not need others to occupy us as we are more than content to spend time with ourselves and nature or whatever we want to do.
I think people will usually fall into being either an introvert or extrovert. It's not often you have extroverts pretending to be an introvert, but I promise you that many introverts feel like they should try a little harder to connect with people, be better friends, become more comfortable in crowds, try to understand small talk, and just that once, pick up the phone when they see it ringing. Push themselves into being a little less introverted.
I've spent a great deal of time trying to understand myself better. Instead of trying to re-wire who I was and one day decided to stop and took the time to understand myself more. I used that as my guide to creating a life that made sense to me. A life that felt right. A life that didn't feel like it drained me.
This is a little note for those of you like me, who would rather create than talk. The ones who have to recharge by being alone. You probably spend a lot of time driving with no destination in mind, and probably wonder why you even have a phone. You look for friends not by the conversation you can have with them, but how comfortable it feels to sit with them in silence.
"Our desire for solitude is more than just preference; it's crucial to our health and happiness." - Michaela Chung
If it's one piece of advice I can give; It's that as long as you are true to who you are, and build a life around that, you'll find happiness with it all. Have it be relationships, business, art, and ideas. You are at the heart of it all. You don't have to fit into any premade box society has made for us. Instead, build a life that lines up perfectly with who you are on the inside.
Take two minutes to make a list of all the things that make you happy, the things you love spending your time doing. Then make a list of things you currently do every day. Compare and adjust accordingly.
If you're interested in getting to know yourself a little better I highly taking the Myers Briggs Personality test as it will give you a freakishly accurate description of you are, how your thought process goes, why you see things a certain way. It goes much farther than just being an introvert, or extrovert and will provide you with such a look into who you are, how you think, and why you are the way you are.
If you've taken it, what did you get? Did you feel like it was a good representation of who you are?
For this I got INTJ and just for fun, here's a list of traits. They are spot on for me.
- Have quiet energy
- Listen more than talk
- Think quietly inside their heads
- Think, then act
- Feel comfortable being alone
- Prefer to work "behind the scenes."
- Have good powers of concentration
- Prefer to focus on one thing at a time
- Are self-contained and reserved
- Focus on the big picture & Possibilities
- Admire creative ideas
- Notice anything new or different
- Are inventive - see "what could be"
- Think about future implications
- Trust their gut instincts
- Prefer to learn new skills
- Like to figure things out for themselves
- Work in bursts of energy
- Make decisions objectively
- Appear cool and reserved
- Are convinced by rational arguments
- Are honest and direct
- Value honesty and Fairness
- Take few things personally
- Are good at seeing flaws
- Are motivated by achievement
- Argue or debate issues for fun
- Like to have things settled
- Take responsibility seriously
- Pay attention to time, usually prompt
- Prefer to finish projects
- Work first, play later
- Seek closure
- See the need for most rules
- Like to make & stick with plans
- Find comfort in schedules
I'd love to know, are you more of an introvert or extrovert?