As an introvert, I am often misunderstood. Growing up, I have always been seen as shy, rude, stand-offish, nonchalant, and snobbish. I remember living in West Virginia and my mom telling me that our neighbors thought I acted like I was too good for them because I didn’t socialize with them like my cousin, who lived with us did. However, I would like for people to understand me and my introverted ways.
- If I’m not talking, it’s because I’m in deep thought about something, I’m observing, and/or I just don’t know what to say. A lot of times I get so lost in my thoughts that I actually forget that there are people around me. I have a universe inside my head and sometimes it takes over. I’m a very good observer. If we are in a group setting, I’m usually the quiet one because I’m watching everyone and their actions. I could probably tell you a lot about a person after observing for a good 30 minutes.
- Stop commenting on my quietness. My recruiter at the temp agency that my job is through came to visit her employees on site and I shit y’all not but she kept commenting on how quiet I was as if I haven’t known myself for over 23 years and don’t already know this. It was like she just kept stating the obvious as if it was going to make me magically become an extrovert in that short 30 minutes that she was there.
- Socializing can be really draining. I really like people and being around them, but I need to recharge by being alone. After a couple of hours of socializing, I’m usually ready to go off by my lonesome to just think and be in solitude.
- I’m uncomfortable with public speaking. If it’s a small, intimate setting or if I’m intentionally putting the spotlight on myself, I’m okay, but once the crowd gets bigger and it’s something sort of a class presentation, work presentation, or public speaking forum, I get extremely nervous, start trembling, become sweaty, and have a shortness of breath.
- I don’t think out loud. Unless I’m in a one-on-one setting, most times when we’re having a group discussion, I tend to think internally. Like, I will legitimately answer the question in my head and will not speak up to speak on the situation. Sometimes it’s because I don’t know how to formulate the words to what I’m saying and other times because I’m too worried about what the people around will say about what I have to say.
- I value my friendship although I’m extremely bad at keeping in touch. I love all of my friends and family, but I will be the first to admit that I am bad at keeping in touch. It’s almost like you have to put in more effort than me to keep in touch and it’s not because I don’t want to talk to you, I just get lost in my own little world and forget. I genuinely have to set alarms in my phone sometimes just to remind myself to call and/or text someone. Speaking of texting, I am also a slow texter, just be patient with me and know that I’m going to eventually get back to your text. I also get phone anxiety. It’s kind of like when I’m doing public speaking, I get extremely nervous, starting trembling, become sweaty, and have a shortness of breath. (The only time I don’t have phone anxiety is when I’m doing a phone interview, it’s kind of like I turn all phone anxiety off and become this new person, like an alter ego, I think I shall name her Nicole. Nicole sounds like a girl that knows how to party.)
- Days spent alone are a blessing. Every Saturday, I wake up and I go to the gym and often venture off to going to the mall, the park, the movies, getting my nails, and/or getting something to eat by myself as opposed to calling my cousin to see if she wants to go with me because there’s just nothing like spending a full day alone in peace and quiet.
Although I am an introvert, I don’t consider myself to be shy. I think if I were shy, I wouldn’t have done half the things that I’ve done in life. I am however an extremely quiet person and it takes the right person to bring my inner extrovert out of me. My friends are typically extreme extroverts and loud. I always gravitate towards people like that because I know that they will get me to be loud and extroverted.