“What does it feel like to be an introvert?”
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.
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.
[clickToTweet tweet=”‘When I’m not saying much and I look disengaged and detached, I’m actually participating in my mind.'” quote=”‘When I’m not saying much and I look disengaged and detached, I’m actually participating in my mind.'” theme=”style3″]
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
- Amusement parks
For the most part, they stress me out.
[clickToTweet tweet=”‘In a silent room with a book or computer or in a wild trout stream with a few friends, I’m at home.'” quote=”‘In a silent room with a book or computer or in a wild trout stream with a few friends, I’m at home.'” theme=”style3″]
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…
- Acclimate – I get used to the environment and try to figure out group dynamics and social expectations.
- 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.
- Create a game plan – I mentally hash out who I’ll talk to and what I’ll say.
- 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.
[clickToTweet tweet=”‘It can take a long time for an introvert to develop trust with people.'” quote=”‘It can take a long time for an introvert to develop trust with people.'” theme=”style3″]
That’s what it’s like to be an introvert from my point of view.