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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fun With Introversion


A friend on FB just posted this article from Huffington Post: "23 Signs You're Secretly an Introvert." In my case I'm not sure it's really a secret...I can fool people occasionally though. I'm pretty close to the introvert/extrovert line but ultimately, definitely an introvert. Some of these I can really relate - some of them not so much, but here they are for your reference. If you're also an introvert, I'd be curious to know which of these apply to you and which don't - all of us are introverted in different ways ;)

1. You find small talk incredibly cumbersome
Yep. I like chatting with and getting to know people - in the break room at work for example. But if it becomes obvious the conversation isn't going to become anything substantial I'm just like "welp see ya." There's one person in particular who I always have really interesting conversations with - we've never worked even worked together, but we'll go on forever about our philosophy on food, her time living in New Mexico, family drama, all sorts of things and I love talking to her. But if it's someone who's like "sure is hot out today!"

2. You go to parties -– but not to meet people
Absolutely true. I LOVE hanging out with my friends, especially in small groups. Even going out is fun if I'm with people I trust and feel comfortable with, but spending a lot of time with people I don't know is very draining.

3. You often feel alone in a crowd
Yes, but not in a bad way. I feel like an observer, but I like observing so it's all good.

4. Networking makes you feel like a phony
"Networking (read: small-talk with the end goal of advancing your career) can feel particularly disingenuous for introverts, who crave authenticity in their interactions."
YES. Yes yes yes. My MBA orientation was almost entirely networking, and it just exhausted the hell out of me. Those were honestly the most stressful two weeks of my life. I would not do it over again if you paid me.

5. You've been called "too intense."
This really depends. In most situations (i.e. at work) I hide my intensity pretty well but there is a LOT going on under the surface, even when I seem laid back. People who know me well know that I am definitely intense.

6. You're easily distracted.
Ha. Yes. Just ask my husband. There are times when I'll just get up and leave in the middle of a conversation because something occurred to me and I need to take care of it right that second, or I'll derail an entire conversation. 

7. Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive to you
Totally true. Downtime is essential.

8. Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards
Absolutely true

9. When you get on the subway, you sit at the end of the bench -– not in the middle
Hahaha completely yes. I never even thought of this as an introverted characteristic, but yeah...I automatically go to an end or a corner.

10. You start to shut down after you’ve been active for too long
This is especially true if I'm at a party with a lot of people I don't know, or out at a bar or someplace crowded. All of a sudden it's like a switch flips and I just kind of zone out. Not because I want to, but because my energy is zapped and once that happens there's really no coming back from it. I just have to go home.

11. You're in a relationship with an extrovert
Big miss on this one. Not even close - Ben is probably more introverted than I am, although outwardly he seems more gregarious. I dated an extrovert once and it was actually really difficult for our relationship because he didn't understand why I sometimes would rather stay in than go out all the time, and I think he thought I was anti-social or mopey or there was something wrong with me. Which may actually have been because he was an asshole and not because he was an extrovert, now that I think about it.

12. You'd rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything
Yep. When I do something, I do it 100% which is why I don't have a lot of 'hobbies.' My passions almost become like part time jobs. I guess I just don't see the point of doing something at all if I'm just going to half-ass it.

13. You actively avoid any shows that might involve audience participation
Not sure this one really applies.

14. You screen all your calls -- even from friends
Not if I'm expecting a call from them.

15. You notice details that others don't

16. You have a constantly running inner monologue
Definitely. Think first, talk later.

17. You have low blood pressure

18. You’ve been called an “old soul” -– since your 20s
Not really...I've actually been told I seem young at heart?

19. You don't feel "high" from your surroundings
I do at concerts. Otherwise no.

20. You look at the big picture

21. You’ve been told to “come out of your shell.”
Annoyingly, yes. At a grad school party, one of my classmates (after several drinks) started telling me to "just relax and be myself!" I was like...this is myself. Sorry. Obviously this person wasn't a close friend. Oddly though a lot of my closest friends from that time are extroverts.

I also had a college professor tell me that "when you talk, you always have such good things to say! you should talk more" to which I mentally responded...well I only talk when I feel like I have something valuable to say. I'd rather not talk much but have meaningful contributions, than talk all the time just for the sake of talking but without really saying anything at all.

22. You’re a writer
Case in point

23. You alternate between phases of work and solitude, and periods of social activity
For sure

Well this has been lovely. Once again it's almost past my bedtime! Night :)

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