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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:33 pm 
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Oh jesus. I have to say, one of the absolutely hardest things for me about having a kid has been that I am an XTREEEEEME introvert and my older kid is a pretty extreme extrovert. If it was up to him, it would be all things with other people all the time. I don't want to kill that in him, I think it's an endearing quality in many ways and regardless, it's part of who he is-- but when I was home with him all the time it was just really hard for me.

Aside from that though, I generally find my immediate family a lot less draining than external people. I dunno why. Maybe because there aren't really social expectations with them past a certain point.

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:58 pm 
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im terrified for when Charlotte gets older and i have to like talk to people.
like when she goes to school? other parents?
can i just skip that?

it took me several weeks to go to a baby group at the library and then almost had a panic attack on the way.
this past week i "accidently" slept through it

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:16 pm 
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Nebraskalaska wrote:
raspberrycomplaint wrote:
Sometimes my friends will find call me and say "hey, I'm bored, do you want to hang out right now?" Which is a totally normal request. But it is so difficult for me to go out when I'm already at home, settled in and drinking tea. Just getting ready and going out of the house seems as difficult and exhausting as climbing a mountain. And I don't really know how to explain that to people. If I say I'm busy, I'll be lying, but if tell the truth and I say I'm doing absolutely nothing, it's going to sound like I don't like hanging out with them.

YES. I really require at least a days notice before making plans so that I can mentally prepare myself.

Me too. If I don't know about it the day prior, it's probably not happening. Sometimes even phone calls feel like intrusions!


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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:03 am 
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I think I must be an introvert ... when not at work, or wandering in the wilderness I would rather be home, reading, drinking tea, cooking, and / or talking / cuddling with my husband than going out. He is very social which is good for me as it makes me go out ... this Saturday night we are going to a dinner party at the home of a couple I have met once ... I liked them just fine but dinner party conversation speaking the person on your right, then your left ... so exhausting!

Still they know I follow a vegan diet so we shall see ...

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:49 am 
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GraciaKai wrote:
I don't know what I am! When I take the test I come out extrovert. My personality is def extroverted. I am loud, obnoxious, rude, foul mouthed, and opinionated most of the time. But I think this is more to do with the fact that I'm not afraid of who I am and I just say whatever the hell I want as long as I'm not being mean or hurtful.

But, I am also always middle of the road on all personality tests. We just did the Meyers Briggs at work a few moths ago and I was pretty much 50/50 between the E and I categories.

Lately as I've gotten older I tend to want to stay in doing nothing. Sleeping, watching tv and movies, being lazy and cooking are my main ideal activities. Sometimes I'm up for going out but most of the time I don't want to be bothered because it means I'll spend money, I'll take away time from everything else I have going on, or I just don't feel like it. And if I do make plans I always need the option of cancelling but I just never know how I'm going to feel on any given day. Not because I have a problem with the social interaction, I just can't muster up the energy sometimes to actually get going.

I kind of don't know who I am anymore.


One of the clearest ways to tell if you are I or E is what you do in situations of extreme stress and fatigue. When you have a very stressful project and a heavy workload at work, do you need to go to a bar or clubbing to blow some steam, or do you need to take a bath and read a book to reload?

I am a sociable person, I love public speaking, organizing events, meeting new people, etc. I have worked quite hard to build good social and socialization skills - after my master's I took a business development/sales position specifically to force myself to interact heavily with new people and in sometimes tricky situations like sales pitches and negociation. So I do it quite well, and I enjoy it. But for the most part it definitely takes energy away from me rather than energize me. There are times when I come home after a big day and my partner wants to talk, and I'm just like, nope, can't talk. I'm all talked out. There is no talking left in me. Sorry. Good night.


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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:11 am 
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aelle wrote:
There are times when I come home after a big day and my partner wants to talk, and I'm just like, nope, can't talk. I'm all talked out. There is no talking left in me. Sorry. Good night.


And then it's awesome that your partner understands, and is like: 'k.

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:25 am 
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aelle wrote:
One of the clearest ways to tell if you are I or E is what you do in situations of extreme stress and fatigue. When you have a very stressful project and a heavy workload at work, do you need to go to a bar or clubbing to blow some steam, or do you need to take a bath and read a book to reload?

I am a sociable person, I love public speaking, organizing events, meeting new people, etc. I have worked quite hard to build good social and socialization skills - after my master's I took a business development/sales position specifically to force myself to interact heavily with new people and in sometimes tricky situations like sales pitches and negociation. So I do it quite well, and I enjoy it. But for the most part it definitely takes energy away from me rather than energize me. There are times when I come home after a big day and my partner wants to talk, and I'm just like, nope, can't talk. I'm all talked out. There is no talking left in me. Sorry. Good night.


It's funny, I much rather prefer a job that is full of social interaction. I love a fast paced full speed ahead work environment where I can talk and be active all day. I don't have that right now, and I'ts kind of slowly killing me. Actually I think sitting at a desk and a computer all day is making my laziness worse. I get so tired from staring at the screen and my work is kind of boring most of the time. And when I get home all I want to do is relax and sleep. And then on the weekends all I want to do is relax and sleep.

When I was a kid I remember getting called shy all the time! I would think I'm not really shy I just don't have anything to say. Are all kids supposed to be bouncing off the walls and getting into to trouble to be normal? I just wanted to sit and listen to the adults or color. I like listening! I learn from listening!

So I guess there's a lot of us who are very outgoing I's!

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:40 am 
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aelle wrote:
GraciaKai wrote:
I don't know what I am! When I take the test I come out extrovert. My personality is def extroverted. I am loud, obnoxious, rude, foul mouthed, and opinionated most of the time. But I think this is more to do with the fact that I'm not afraid of who I am and I just say whatever the hell I want as long as I'm not being mean or hurtful.

But, I am also always middle of the road on all personality tests. We just did the Meyers Briggs at work a few moths ago and I was pretty much 50/50 between the E and I categories.

Lately as I've gotten older I tend to want to stay in doing nothing. Sleeping, watching tv and movies, being lazy and cooking are my main ideal activities. Sometimes I'm up for going out but most of the time I don't want to be bothered because it means I'll spend money, I'll take away time from everything else I have going on, or I just don't feel like it. And if I do make plans I always need the option of cancelling but I just never know how I'm going to feel on any given day. Not because I have a problem with the social interaction, I just can't muster up the energy sometimes to actually get going.

I kind of don't know who I am anymore.


One of the clearest ways to tell if you are I or E is what you do in situations of extreme stress and fatigue. When you have a very stressful project and a heavy workload at work, do you need to go to a bar or clubbing to blow some steam, or do you need to take a bath and read a book to reload? .


I've changed though - when I was younger I would have wanted to go to a bar and see my friends but now I'd rather stay home and read or watch TV. I've always been an introvert though.

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:16 am 
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gracia, relaxing muscles/ not wanting to get out of comfy clothes is different from relaxing brain.

another good way to figure it out is whether a group of people energize you or sap your energy. (if you're an introvert, you might be excited at first, but because extroverts re-energize off of us, it gets harder and harder to keep the energy production up.)

i'm so bad that i have had a cracked tooth (multiple?) for at least 2 years, and i keep putting it off. (sure, i'm a procrastinator, but the social anxiety makes it so worse. and i hate my former dentist. [doesn't listen] so it's made worse with knowing i need to start fresh with new people.)

in high school i lost a friend over introversion. she was a diva, and it was the end of the school year, we hung out at one of her friends house down in center city for at most 2 hours, he had to go to work, i drove everyone home to different parts of the city, i must have missed the part where she said we were going to go back down that night to finish hanging out, i barely had any time to recharge, since i was chauffeuring everyone around, and i "made an excuse" that i wasn't feeling well, and she got mad. the next day, she called me selfish and actually slapped me in the face. that was it. adios.

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:45 am 
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I've been reading through this thread and nodding repeatedly. Like many of you, I'm not shy (although I was as a child) and I've learned to wear a mask and mimic what extroverts do in social situations. I handle myself well with groups, but it's hell and it exhausts me. When younger I too lost friends because of my introversion, at the time it was hard, but as an adult, not so much. My friends get it - or at least accept it. I work with the public and it's just not good for me, I dread returning to work because of it.

I'm comfortable with public speaking - I even won competitions in school. I actually really enjoy being on stage and giving a speech, but I hate when people come up afterwards to tell me how much they enjoyed my speech. I also live in a small town, so I would run into people afterward who had seen me speak and assume I was very sociable. I have stopped public speaking because of this.

I don't really have social phobia, in my twenties I suffered greatly from agoraphobia and social phobia (which is why I did not finish uni), but that was related to post traumatic stress. And although the phobia is no longer there I still can't cope with being in a classroom environment, the claustrophobic feeling is overwhelming. The total lack of places to hide from others on campus has prevented me from completing my education and I've tried many times. I've accepted that I'm limited to what I can study online.

Also like many of you I need lots of advance warning for an outing, time to prepare myself mentally.

I rarely answer my phone. I wish people on the bus would just shut up - I feel like the Grinch sometimes in my head saying " Oh the noise, noise noise!" What's odd is that my entire life I've been seen by others as extremely approachable. I often get stranger telling me their life story and or very personal things about themselves. I hate that I'm overly polite and I just can't tell people to go away, or at least please stop talking to me.

I am grateful everyday that my husband is also introverted.

I wish very much introversion was a topic of conversation when I was younger. It was a dirty word back in the day, and I always felt like a freak.

I have not read the book Quiet. I did borrow from the library (not so surprisingly, the library purchased several copies, and it was the longest waiting lists of any book I'd borrowed) by the time it was my turn I had no time to read it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:55 am 
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I'm happy for this thread. Like some of you, I didn't really know what I was. I'm not shy, and if you told anyone I worked with I was an introvert they'd scoff in your face. I was always comfortable with my own company but chalked that up to being an only child. I have practiced to be "on" because I quickly figured out that relating, schmoozing, whatever you want to call it is unfortunately a pretty significant factor for advancement into upper management (especially in a boys club). I'm pretty sure my stunning personality (ha!) has benefitted me professionally.

That said, its absolutely exhausting for me. I don't want to go socialize on the weekends, and in fact, when I come home I need some quiet. I just don't want to talk. In big or new groups, I am trying to be sociable and think I usually pull it off, but it can be anxiety provoking. Lots of mental psyching up beforehand. What extroverts or people who want to always be with people don't seem to understand is that for me (don't want to speak for everyone) going out and socializing is WORK. Like, akin to another job.

On another note, and I'm going to be blunt here, I have found that friends both past and present have really disappointed me. (Complex topic, I know I'm to blame too with as well, but this one friend recently has really bothered me and maybe this is a good thread to ask you all on your take? I really feel like writing her off.) I wonder if that contributes to/is an offshoot of being introverted? Or are they 2 different issues?


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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:03 am 
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What's odd is that my entire life I've been seen by others as extremely approachable. I often get stranger telling me their life story and or very personal things about themselves. I hate that I'm overly polite and I just can't tell people to go away, or at least please stop talking to me.

Oh god, yes. Every time I'm in a hospital the person next to me will tell me their life story and I just can't stop them. It's so incredibly exhausting.

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:13 am 
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Introverts unite! I don't know how I missed this thread; I was looking for it the other day and I posted something in another thread, but I'd love your advice on this one so I'll repost here:

Quote:
I'm afraid I'll never really be happy. I guess I'm now in one of those situations I've always wanted to be in, yet now I'm bothered by it. I'm an introvert/have dealt with social anxiety for most of my life. I've made some good friends but deeper friendships are harder to come by. I have a friend in my program who's also an introvert, but is definitely more outgoing than I am. And we have a pretty good friendship. Lately I've just been feeling more introverted than normal. I actually apologized the other day because I feel like I can't be there for her like she has been for me. Because I just need to recharge and be left alone. She'll message me pretty much everyday, will phone me now and then..I'm not really a phone person so a lot of times I can't really talk much out of discomfort, and then I feel bad because I don't want her to think it's a one way friendship where she calls me all the time and I don't call her. Things are fine when we're in class or hanging out, I just feel a little smothered having to force myself to respond to something nearly everyday. Because a lot of times, when I'm home I just want to do my own thing and just hang out with myself. She called me twice today for different reasons and after the second one, asked if I was ok. I was perfectly fine, just wanted to get back to my knitting and really wasn't feeling talkative. But that's been happening a lot and I don't want to apologize for my inability to have a conversation when she can, because that's just who I am and I need more time to recharge. Some problem, right? I've always wanted people to reach out to me more and now that I have it I just want a little space. I can't force myself to engage more than I'm capable of but I feel like she'll wind up getting annoyed with me. I'm probably making myself look like a selfish idiot but I just needed to vent somewhere.

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:32 am 
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Oh I'm afraid my advice may not be the best, but it works for me. I don't answer the phone when I'm home. I have call display and an answering machine - no one but my husband has my cell number, so my landline is the only option for everyone else. I get back to people when I feel like it. Some people are really important to me and the reason they've called is important - I get back to them right away. People who just want to call and chat....ah, they can wait until I feel like chatting.

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:41 am 
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aelle wrote:
One of the clearest ways to tell if you are I or E is what you do in situations of extreme stress and fatigue. When you have a very stressful project and a heavy workload at work, do you need to go to a bar or clubbing to blow some steam, or do you need to take a bath and read a book to reload?

I am a sociable person, I love public speaking, organizing events, meeting new people, etc. I have worked quite hard to build good social and socialization skills - after my master's I took a business development/sales position specifically to force myself to interact heavily with new people and in sometimes tricky situations like sales pitches and negociation. So I do it quite well, and I enjoy it. But for the most part it definitely takes energy away from me rather than energize me. There are times when I come home after a big day and my partner wants to talk, and I'm just like, nope, can't talk. I'm all talked out. There is no talking left in me. Sorry. Good night.


Yeah, this! I think social anxiety gets confused for introversion sometimes. I am definitely not socially anxious, public speaking isn't scary for me and being a leader in groups isn't either. But I get drained by it instead of recharged by it, and then I need a long time by myself - no speaking, no one (except husband) around. And to destress, I need alone time. And I need a lot of notice before doing something.
I'm also a very inward person, my world exists largely based on my emotions, verses a more outward person who is engaged in the world around them more.

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:02 pm 
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Thanks for your response Jean. I only have a cell but I've been thinking of just answering when I want to, instead of feeling obligated to.

I don't think it's just extroverts and/or non socially anxious people that lump shyness and introversion together. I fall into both the invert and socially anxious categories and I'm guilty of lumping them together a lot. I'm trying to be more aware that it's not the case, it's just been my own personal experience for so long that it's hard to think outside the box.

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:38 pm 
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I think I may be the odd one out here but I'm very shy! Especially with new people I don't know, and especially in groups, which I guess can make it harder for me to get to know new people better and eventually open up. So I don't really have that many friends I can talk to openly in person.

I seem to get on alright on a one-to-one conversation with people but in college, surrounded by people, I find that really hard. It's not that I don't want to talk and make new friends, I just get really socially anxious and don't know what to talk about most of the time.

And when I do finally start to get to know someone, I'm very self conscious and don't want them to think I'm too clingy or whatever, so I try not to spend too much time with them while trying not to seem like I'm ignoring them... Ah! Socializing seems like such a puzzle to me...


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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:30 pm 
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^^ This is like reading my own writing. I'm also much better in one-on-ones than in groups..the larger the group, the more I am to clam up or feel overshadowed. Once I'm more comfortable around people you'd never know that I was shy, but I also second guess friendships I have/don't want to come on too strong/feel like I'm annoying people. So yeah, I totally get what you're saying!!

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:40 pm 
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I'm with you guys. But not like too with you, you know? The socially appropriate amount of with you - that's what I am

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:36 pm 
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Ooh my people. Have you seen that Meyer's Briggs thing on the internet lately? We're cats and wolves and sloths and shiitake. We're awesome! Introverts unite (in our own indiv spaces)!

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:44 pm 
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Hahaha! I love that!

Quote:
When you have a very stressful project and a heavy workload at work, do you need to go to a bar or clubbing to blow some steam, or do you need to take a bath and read a book to reload?


Is there really anyone who goes to a bar or clubbing to recharge? I am firmly in the time alone, reading and interacting online to recharge, but I love being out with people, I am a good fundraiser and will talk to anyone and am definitely not shy. So I've always thought I was an extrovert. But I hate bar and clubs.

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:53 am 
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I don't think I'm an introvert OR an extrovert. I recharge on all sorts of things: doing stuff by myself, hanging out alone, going for long walks, talking with friends for hours, dancing all night, reading a good book, going to an awesome concert, staying in bed with my boyfriend.. I don't have any preferences to either.
My boyfriend is a pretty clear introvert, though. He needs at least 8 hours of alone time (not sleeping) to recharge for social events. And by social events, I mean stuff like drinking coffee with a friend.
I think most of my friends are in the same boat as me, though; we talked about it, and we all agreed that we need BOTH alone time AND social time to recharge. It seems to be as much a matter of what the situation is, as it is a matter of your preferred way of recharging energy. I am also a firm believer that most habits are cognitive and can be changed to some extent, which explains why a lot of people go through periods of being introverted and periods of being extroverted. Of course, for some people it happens naturally, while for others it would be a huge task and not really be worth it - if your life works, then there is really no need to spend energy on changing it, right?


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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:05 am 
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Argh, i had just written a long ETA, but it went into the black hole of the internet! Annoying.

What I wrote was basically that it's okay to have to cancel because you need alone time, as long as it doesn't happen super often. I feel like if it is something that happens super often, then it's important to look at how often you make plans: maybe you need to make plans less often? Or avoid having plans on days that may be emotionally draining.
For me, it's a matter of intent. And having as much respect for other people's time as my own. You can always call up a friend and ask them to drop by for a cup of tea, or go to a museum or something if you want to socialize/spend time outside of the house, even if you don't have plans.
But if there is no way that you could have known, then it's a totally legit thing to cancel!


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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:46 am 
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smoothie wrote:
I don't think I'm an introvert OR an extrovert. I recharge on all sorts of things: doing stuff by myself, hanging out alone, going for long walks, talking with friends for hours, dancing all night, reading a good book, going to an awesome concert, staying in bed with my boyfriend.. I don't have any preferences to either.


i think of the introvert/extrovert thing as a continuum. i know some people on either extreme, but i also know some people who fit kind of in the middle. sounds like you're in that in-between area.

i'm definitely pretty far over on the introvert side. but i'm another introvert who can put on an extroverted face in social situations. and it's not all a mask. when i'm truly comfortable, i can come across as loud and gregarious. and in some social situations, my nervousness expresses itself as hyperactivity. so people think i'm extroverted. but these modes drain me, so even after just a few hours in those situations, i need days/weeks on my own to recover and can even retreat from the internet because even interacting online hurts my oversensitive brain in those moments.

luckily, my partner is even more introverted than i am and totally understands this. when we have to go to social events together, even low key things like a bbq at his cousin's house, we're both so forking relieved to be back home afterwards. i dated a real extrovert once and (aside from other problems with the relationship), he had a really hard time understanding my needs as an introvert. for example, he refused to believe that i didn't enjoy loud, crowded music venues and dragged me along to one where i was totally overwhelmed and stood against the wall trying not to panic. and he got angry at me when i didn't want to go with him to a party after working retail all day and then an hour and a half commute to get to his house (and knowing i had to get up early and commute back to work the next day). no matter how i tried to explain it to him, he just thought i needed to relax into social events and i'd start enjoying them. ah, no.

i haven't read 'quiet' yet, but the book that really helped me to understand that there was nothing wrong with me and i was just an introvert was "the introvert advantage". highly recommended!

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 Post subject: Re: The Introvert's Support Thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:37 am 
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smoothie wrote:
For me, it's a matter of intent. And having as much respect for other people's time as my own. You can always call up a friend and ask them to drop by for a cup of tea, or go to a museum or something if you want to socialize/spend time outside of the house, even if you don't have plans.
But if there is no way that you could have known, then it's a totally legit thing to cancel!

I get what you are saying, but I make plans with people because 1) I need to psych myself up for hangouts, and 2) I don't think I'll ever be able to talk myself into calling up a friend on a whim to hangout if we don't already have plans. Usually I have only the best intentions of keeping plans, but ugh...sometimes I just really can't. And I wouldn't want someone feeling like they need to hang out with me just to keep plans. A friend cancelled on me recently just because she wasn't feeling like being social and I loved her honesty. Another friend who was hurt by me cancelling made me feel really sad because I'd wanted to be honest with her when in reality, I kind of should have made up an excuse to save her from taking it personally.

All that said, I do have immense respect for other peoples' time and I do think it is important for me to challenge my introverted ways as much as possible, no matter how exhausting it can be. Life is too short to miss out on interesting relationships and social challenges that can become something really meaningful.

I have a friend who always wants me to go shopping with her. It's a challenge because I don't ever just "go shopping," unless it's to the grocery store, and when I do have to shop for clothes I either buy online or go to a store with my head down and totally internalize and get in and out as soon as possible. It is extremely awkward for me to walk slowly around H&M chatting, but this friend is a really good one and I know it is her thing/cheers her up, so I occasionally go with her. We often go to the Indian restaurant next door afterwards, which I enjoy immensely, so we both get something out of the hangout. It's so weird when she starts personal conversations whilst shopping though. My brain can't handle that there are people around, music playing, I'm trying to act normal fingering skirts and tights and what the fizzle WHY IS THIS SHIRT $30 IT'S H&M!

And for the record, I hate it when people want to go for coffee! I don't like coffee and I find coffee shops to be incredibly boring and I will only hole up in one if I am alone, do not run the risk of seeing someone I know, and I have a good book to lose myself in. I would much rather go for a beer in a dive pub, but even then I'd prefer to do it alone.


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