What does it feel like to be an introvert?

A Glimpse Inside the Mind of an Introvert

“What does it feel like to be an introvert?”

Dear extrovert,

I’m glad you asked. I applaud your healthy curiosity and willingness to learn more about the quiet people around you. While I can’t speak for all introverts, I can give you a glimpse of what being an introvert is like for me.

Allow me to take you inside my head for a quick look at what it’s like to be an introvert.

What's it feel like to be an introvert? Have you ever asked that question or wonder what goes on in introverts' minds? If yes, you need to read this.

1. Thoughts

Let’s start with the thoughts. In my head, there’s a sea of them. I think about…

  • Future plans
  • Creative ideas and possibilities
  • What people around me are thinking and feeling
  • Whether I’m living life to the fullest
  • How I can fulfill my potential
  • My failures and social shortcomings
  • Music and songs
  • Whatever other people are talking about

That’s not an exhaustive list – just a sample.

What I want you to know is that when I’m not saying much and I look disengaged and detached, I’m actually participating in my mind. I prefer to work out my ideas by mentally rehearsing and reflecting on them, rather than talking about them with other people.

'When I'm not saying much and I look disengaged and detached, I'm actually participating in my mind.'Click To Tweet

2. Energy

In a silent room with a book or computer or in a wild trout stream with a few friends, I feel at home. These settings provide me with a comfortable amount of stimulation, and they give me time to think. They’re somewhat private, so they boost my energy by allowing me to…

  • Learn about subjects that interest me
  • Imagine and create
  • Talk with close friends, listen to them, and hang out without saying much at all
  • Appreciate and enjoy nature

In contrast, bright lights, crowds of unfamiliar people, and small talk over-stimulate and drain me. I’d rather not attend or visit…

  • Block parties
  • New Year’s celebrations
  • Fireworks displays
  • Fairs
  • Amusement parks

For the most part, they stress me out.

'In a silent room with a book or computer or in a wild trout stream with a few friends, I'm at home.'Click To Tweet

3. Action

I like to prepare and “test the waters” before I dive in. I’m by nature a cautious person who prefers to observe before participating. Before I join a game or group, I almost always…

  1. Acclimate – I get used to the environment and try to figure out group dynamics and social expectations.
  2. Organize my thoughts – I figure out what I’m really thinking and feeling. Sometimes there’s so much going on in my head it’s hard to tell.
  3. Create a game plan – I mentally hash out who I’ll talk to and what I’ll say.
  4. Then, make a move – Finally, I push myself out into the world and start connecting with others.

In my first few years of teaching, I didn’t say much to any of the other teachers. I hadn’t observed long enough to figure out who was safe and trustworthy.

Eight years later, I’m starting to let my guard down a bit more and show my co-workers more of the real me, but there are still things I keep to myself.

The bottom line is that it can take me a long time to really warm up to new people.

'It can take a long time for an introvert to develop trust with people.'Click To Tweet

That’s what it’s like to be an introvert from my point of view.

Fellow introverts, what does being an introvert feel like for you?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.