Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'm an Introvert

I've long considered myself a somewhat shy and quiet person.

But I've finally figured out I'm an introverted person. Maybe that is shy or quiet to some. But I've come to find out it's so much more than that.

I used to struggle with that word, "introvert." I'd hear it and think negative about it. I didn't want that label. I thought it meant I was dark and pessimistic. But I feel I'm quite the opposite. I feel like I have a happy disposition and think positive, most of the time. Life and the world around me get the best of me some days. I think that's normal.

I love people. I love being around them, talking to them, getting to know them. But then, after awhile, I'm ready to retreat to a quiet place. I don't thrive on being the center of attention or feel like I need to be around people all the time. That's just not me and never has been.

I like the quiet. I like to snuggle up and read a book good or watch a movie. I like to write and I best express myself through writing, not talking. You could even say I hide behind my writing. I'm okay with that. It's my comfort zone.

When I was younger I used to tell my parents, jokingly, "I'm not a loner, I just like being alone." I wasn't a loner, I had plenty of friends, was involved in sports, etc., but I did like being alone. I don't think there's anything wrong with that either.

A few weeks ago I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Simple Homeschool, and she was writing on introverts. (Read it here). It spoke to me and I realized I'm an introvert. Since then, I've thought about the post on occasion and realized it's not a bad thing. It just is. It's who I am. And I need to embrace it.

"Introverts are not backwards, insecure, or unsociable. We simply fuel ourselves through thoughts, ideas, and time alone. When tanked up and ready to go, we can enjoy people time as much as anyone else. But when we have nothing but people time, our reserves begin to dwindle, which leads to burnout." -Jamie Martin, blogs at Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

When I read that it was a total wake up call. I finally realized, came to grips and was okay with being an "introvert." I was finally okay with the label. Like she said, it's not a bad thing. It's important to know who you are, how you thrive.

Reading her post was almost a relief. I'd go days with no alone time and wonder why I felt so drained, so emotionally spent, angry, frustrated and just plain tired. I'd get short with the girls and act a way I didn't like. I'd apologize to them but I wouldn't feel much better. Then I realized, I never had any "refuel" time. My tank was empty.

My solution has been to take some alone time, to make it happen. During nap time (thank goodness for those!), I can refuel. I read, blog, start dinner, lay on the couch or work in the yard. I find peace in the everyday things. I thrive on the simplicity of life and it doesn't get much simpler than lying on the couch!

There are some days when the girls flat knock me on my booty! (Can I get an "Amen?!") When Daniel gets home I retreat upstairs for 30 minutes. Sometimes I read and other times I just lay in bed and stare at the ceiling. After 30 minutes I can come down and be a better person, wife and mother to my crew. Taking time isn't always easy but I know when I need it. I can feel it coming. I know myself so I watch my cues and take care of it before it takes care of me.

To all you "introverts" out there, it's okay to be an introvert! Figure out what works best for you and let it work for you, not against you. Embrace who you are. Find your quiet place, refuel and recharge. Learn your cues and know when you need some time to yourself. Take 30 minutes and escape. What helps you recharge? Reading one chapter of a book, weeding your flower beds, washing dishes, baking? Find it and do it.

Are you and introvert or an extrovert? How do you handle the "label?"


SparingChange said...

I never thought about it either, but I'm definitely an introvert! :-) You described me to a T. Thank you for this great post!

Ginny Gafford said...

So glad you liked it, Meg! I, too, had never thought about it until i read a blog post. I feel like i know myself 100x better now. I'm an introvert and proud of it!! :)

erin said...

I've known for years that I am introvert and have embraced it. Stephen is an introvert as well, even more than I am. It takes introverts and extroverts in the world. I also think that a large percentage of bloggers are probably introverts. Extroverts are too busy hanging out with everyone to write a blog post. :)

Ginny Gafford said...

I guess I've known I'm an introvert, i just didn't care for the word. I'm not sure why, though.
It does take both in this world. Just like pot takes leaders and followers. We can't all be one or the other.
I'm sure most bloggers are introverts. I guess that's why i feel connected to them. :)