If you're a fan of my Facebook page (FYI if you're not a fan you're pissing me off right now), you know that last week I posted something about how Cassie from Witty Title Here and I made something awesome, and that you'd probably find out about it this week. Well here it is, my loves! We teamed up to create a little somethin' that you can put on your own blog and a way to spread the news that introverts are not, in fact, a bunch of lonely freaks.
I was raised on a dirt road in the middle of the nowhere with no neighbors and no brothers and sisters. My parents are introverts. I had very few friends until I got to Jr. High, and I had a terrible time trying to fit in when I was growing up. I always preferred to sit on the sidelines and observe rather than immediately join in. Most would say I was "set up" for being introverted.
BUT (and this is a very big but):
The difference between being an introvert and being shy/quiet is that I would've turned out this way no matter where or how I was raised. Introversion is an actual sensitivity to dopamine due to different dominant neuro-pathways. We are not raised to be introverted, just as we are not raised to be gay or straight or mentally disabled or musical prodigies. We are born with it, and it is part of us no matter how much we do or do not nurture it. We cannot fix it, nor is it something that should need fixing to begin with.
Until about a year ago, I paid no attention to the fact that introversion was my most defining trait. I wondered why I constantly felt like I wasn't getting what I wanted from the people in my life even though I knew that I loved them and that they were good people.
This article was the first thing I found (I believe it was Evi that shared it, so thank you!) that made me pay attention because I finally felt understood. Those last 2 lines especially were a game changer, because that's what I seemed to struggle with most. Carl King also wrote an amazing post about this that's worth a read! The reason Cassie and I put this together is because we want to celebrate the fact that we are introspective, observant, reserved people. We notice things that others may not. We take our time and only say the things that we know will make a difference. We recharge when - and only when - we are by ourselves. And we don't want anyone else to feel guilty or wrong for having trouble with what our very extraverted society believes to be "normal."
So here’s where you come in. If you’re an introvert, and you feel as though you’ve been misperceived as shy/slow/weird/irrelevant because of who you are, we invite you to put one of these badass badges (Go here for the downloads and more info!) on your blog and write a post based on the following prompt: Just because I'm introverted, it doesn't mean...
Here are mine:
It doesn't mean I'm shy.
I have no shortage of opinions or things to say. EVER. I am loud and obnoxious and feisty, but only for certain people. Introverts are usually extremely picky about who they open up to: not just in love, but in casual conversation. It takes a while to decide if I want to subject someone to all my nonsense. And I can tell you with absolute certainty: when someones tries to draw it out of me, it usually doesn't work.
It doesn't mean I can still function like an extravert.
This is especially true at work. At my first job, I used to get put on the spot often. "Just throw some ideas at me," is a phrase that makes me panic. It's not how my mind works, and it doesn't help me produce results. Instead, it makes me retreat and feel inadequate because I can't spit out ideas like other people can. What I need in order to do my best work is to stand back and observe for a while. I may not have a lot to say while everyone brainstorms out loud as a team, but I promise that I am paying very close attention. When I feel that I've come up with a quality idea, I'll share it and work very hard to see it come to life. But I can almost guarantee that the great ideas won't come to me until I'm left alone.
It's also true in relationships. It's hard for introverts and extraverts to be together. The extravert will likely feel a bit neglected, and the introvert will likely feel a bit overwhelmed. It's perfectly acceptable for a date to want to take me out and introduce me to all his friends, and I'd love to do that to show him that I'm interested in his life - but the thought of it makes me shudder because it's just too much stimulation at one time. A balance and an understanding of this has to be reached for a relationship to survive.
It doesn't mean I'm a bitch!
Trust me, me being a bitch is an entirely separate issue ;) When I was growing up I was branded as a bitch because I sat back and watched my classmates before I joined in. If I didn't feel comfortable joining in, I wouldn't, and there was not a damn thing anyone could do about it. That doesn't go over well in school!
We hope you’ll join in and spread the love with this idea! And when you do, send me a link to your post so I can check you out (wink). I'll make sure to post each link on the downloads page!
Once again - the link to the downloads page.
Introverts UNITE (Individually!)