linky do's!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Oh. So that's what's wrong with me...

no, there's nothing wrong with me.  it's not a problem at all, even.  just an "aha!" moment i had recently...

courtesy of google images

i found an article about introverts in an ancient old issue of body and soul and it gave me pause.  introvert, i always thought, meant a shy backwards person who avoided crowds.  someone, well, like me.

i don't try to be the life of the party.  when i used to work at the county, my coworkers would go out for drinks afterwards.  i always went home, feeling spent (after a day with degenerates, i wonder why?), wanting to curl up in my bed with a book and sleep.  the number of parties i went to in college, i can count on one hand (all SAI functions, pretty much mandatory).  up until i met my husband (the night owl), i was in bed by 9PM.  in high school and college.  scary, right?

after hubby and i got together, we went out to dinner and movies.  neither of us are in social circles, so we didn't go to parties.  no bars late at night.  in fact, i remember going to a local bar at **5** pm, and it was deserted.  as you can see, we definitely fit in with the early bird meal set.

it's not like i didn't try to be social.  i did.  but going to parties and staying out late made me feel tired and really out of sorts.  i don't have a gift of gab.  large functions or crowds freak me out.

my children even overwhelm me.  the boy, for years, used to frustrate me with his unending energy.  kids are active by nature, but he left me whupped.  add two active toddlers to the mix - some days i feel like i could crawl out of my skin.  a normal mother shouldn't feel that way, right?

i used to think, in recent years, that i was becoming agoraphobic.  but, i argued, i have no problem going to the grocery store or the doctor or the mall or church.  i can handle a small crowd.  black friday after thanksgiving - been there, done that.  if i was truly agoraphobic, i wouldn't be able to do these things.  i also used to think i had asperger's or some high functioning form of autism.  but i didn't fit any of the criteria for those disorders either.

a few months ago on an episode whatever with alexis and jennifer, laurie helgoe, author of  introvert power, discussed who a true introvert was.  introverts aren't antisocial, lonely or depressed.

as Wikipedia explains...introversion is "the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one's own mental life".  Introverts are people whose energy tends to expand through reflection and dwindle during interaction. Introverts tend to be more reserved and less outspoken in large groups. They often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, music, drawing, tinkering, playing video games, watching movies and plays, and using computers, along with some more reserved outdoor activities such as fishing and hiking. In fact, social networking sites have been a thriving home for introverts in the 21st century, where introverts are free from the formalities of social conduct and may become more comfortable blogging about personal feelings they would not otherwise disclose. The archetypal artist, writer, sculptor, engineer, composer, and inventor are all highly introverted. An introvert is likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people, though he or she may better enjoy interactions with a small group of close friends. Trust is usually an issue of significance—a virtue of utmost importance—to an introvert choosing a worthy companion.  They prefer to concentrate on a single activity at a time and like to observe situations before they participate, especially observed in developing children and adolescents. Introverts are easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation from social gatherings and engagement. They are more analytical before speaking.
Introversion is not necessarily the same as shyness or the social outcast. Introverts choose solitary over social activities by preference. Whereas shy people—who may be extroverts at heart—avoid social encounters out of fear and the social “outcast” not by choice.

by comparison, extroverts are energized by interaction with others, through parties, work, even politics. extroverts tend to have lots of friends.  they would probably be bored to tears if left alone.  perhaps that explains why many of my friends don't understand my love for knitting and yoga.

isn't that interesting?!  as a psych major, i should have know this about myself.  it only took me 15 years to figure it out.

being an introvert means that it's normal for me to feel irritated or overwhelmed after an overly active day.  being an introvert means it's normal for me to feel safer in small numbers.  being an introvert means that knitting, swimming and yoga are perfect activities for me, as they are primarily singular and don't expend a lot of energy.

another interesting book on the subject is the introvert advantage by marti laney.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments? Questions? Feel free drop me a line!