That’s kind of what I’ve felt like doing lately. Why? Good question.
I think part of it is that there’s a lot going on in my little corner of the world, lots of upsetting circumstances, disappointments and heartache. Thankfully none of it directly involves me or my immediate family, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect us at all.
I tend to be the type of person who easily absorbs and is affected by others energy. That’s to say, that if I’m around someone who’s happy and has a great outlook on life, it will rub off on me. If I’m around someone who’s hurting and down, that will rub off on me as well. I also tend to be someone whom others seek out to talk to, to share with. And I do enjoy being there for others and helping them if I can. However, over the years I’ve learned that I have to keep some boundaries in place or else I will find myself completely drained and I’ll have nothing left to give. I need to make sure I take the time and space to recharge. And while I enjoy being able to offer support to others, I sometimes have trouble reaching out for the same kind of support. There aren’t too many people in my life that I really open up to and even then I will sometimes choose to withdraw into myself rather than seek them out.
In my life outside of blogland I’m often perceived to be an extrovert (I have no idea what people’s perceptions of me are inside of blogland really), when the reality is I’m more of an introvert. People sometimes have the wrong idea about just what an introvert is though. I came across a list of ten myths about introverts and while it doesn't describe me to a T, there was a lot I could identify with…
Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.
Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.
Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.
Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.
Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.
Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.
Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.
Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.
Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.
You can read the full article here: 10 Myths About Introverts if you’re so inclined. ;)
Anyway, I think really what I’ve been trying to achieve lately is some sense of balance. It’s not something that comes naturally to me. I’m such an all or nothing person in a lot of ways. Moderation? What’s that? And why is it a good thing exactly? I can just picture Michael shaking his head. He’s well aware that this is an area I struggle in. I tend to go all in and then at some point retreat completely. I know it drives him crazy sometimes, but I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. And I’ve been tempted to retreat lately, to withdraw. It’s not always a bad thing actually. Sometimes I just need some time to process things or to recharge. But other times it’s not so healthy. I can get into a rut and keep myself out of the game for too long sometimes. I can get a bit lost inside my head I’m afraid. And I suppose that’s at least part of why I’m writing this blog post, to acknowledge how I'm feeling and keep myself from withdrawing. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. For example, I don’t have to write a blog post every day and read and comment on a bunch of blogs every day. I can write when I feel like it, when I have something to say or share or think through or babble on incessantly about. And I can read what I want, when I want. Balance is a good thing…right...a worthwhile goal?