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Friday, September 04, 2015

The Social Introvert


I tell folks all the time that I don't like people. But it's not completely true. I actually really love, care and am compassionate about people. I enjoy good people and good conversation. The catch? It's specific to those in my inner circle and those I meet/interact with day-to-day who I can discern their sincere intentions towards me. So I engage with different people often and regularly, and have the ability to build relationships easily. 

I say all this to say that I actually come across as outgoing and extroverted. I'm far from both.  What I'm realizing that I am is socially introverted. And yes, I know that sounds all kinds of wrong. But follow me for a second.

I get excited about meeting up with a group of friends for a super bowl party, but I'll probably bring a book along too. True story.

I can go out to dinner and trivia with my coworkers and have a blast, but I'll need to counteract that with plenty of down time for days after. Especially since I see them throughout the day.
I have great conversations with people throughout the day, but I'm observing and reading them as we continue to interact time after time. Over time I start to feed into that person's needs unconsciously. I don't do this on purpose and I'm sure it sounds odd but it's something I've noticed about myself and what makes me likable to others. Again, it's not intentional. 

I don't mind being surrounded by people so long as the attention isn't on me.

I'm usually an open book and pretty talkative once someone else has broken the ice, and as I said before, I can discern their intentions and sincerity.

Is what I'm saying clear as mud now?! I'm pretty sociable is what I'm getting at, and if I'm at an event where we're meeting for the first time you won't recognize that I'm an introvert unless I tell you.  This just happened to me at an event I went to with the hubs. The parents of the team he coaches threw all the coaches in the organization an end of season cookout. I was excited to go and ended up being separated from the hubs the entire time to hang out with woman I'd never formally met before. I had a great time! Introversion came up while we were talking and, as usual, I got the "I never would have guessed that" line. FYI, I'd brought a book to the event too. Because introvert.

So yeah, I really do like most people. I just need time to re energize after too much engagement, intense interactions, lengthy conversations, etc.  You can bet your bottom dollar that I crave time to myself to refill because everything I've mentioned above drains every bit of energy out of me. Books calm me. And going out alone for a drive, dinner, a bookstore or movie excites me. It's completely uplifting to me, y'all!

You get it now:
Social. + Introvert. = Me.

What are the ways in which you're describing yourself as you age, grow and learn the true nature of your ways?! 


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9 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jen, I think many people that I know can as well!

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  2. Right there with you. One on one - I'm loud. With a large group, I instantly become the quiet one. And I'm fine with that. I think us writers all tend to be socially introverted. We're always thinking and taking it all in. At least thati's how I am!

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  3. I get the same comment often too. I can be very friendly and warm (and I think this is a lot based on the culture I was raised in), but too much time around people and I start to feel kind of haggard. I definitely know what you're saying!

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  4. I'm mostly outgoing as long as I know the people I'm around also. I have to get a feel for you to determine how I have to approach you.

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  5. Nicole, I think I mentioned recently about cutting social media and so forth (and so on...). Well this is exactly why. I love my downtime, I love people, I'm loud, but can't speak out in large crowds. We are so much alike. Thanks for sharing. I think I may blog about this as well.

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  6. I can so relate. I always have to recharge after being around crowds of people. Sometimes I don't even feel like being bothered talking to people lol. It's nothing personal though sometimes I just don't feel like it unless I really have to. I have my introverted moments and extroverted moments. It's kinda hard to explain.

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  7. I sooooo get this! I absolutely need no people time after engaging with people. It actually drains me greatly. I've been told that people that can feel other peoples emotions (including wants/needs), feel these so intensely that it literally drains our own energy. Of course, some people are greater energy suckers than others. lol At my age, this has been one of my greatest life lessons. In that, I'm super okay with being by myself to enjoy activities and re-charge. :)

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  8. Once I learned my Myers Briggs type (INFJ) it totally clarified my introverted ways. I too LOVE people but need alone time to avoid feeling drained. My brain needs to reset so I totally relate to what you described. Great post!

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