Who ARE You?

I’m starting to think I’m more of an introvert than I ever could have imagined.  That is a huge surprise to me…just part of the “finding out who I am” thing that is recovery, I guess.  I found the following fascinating and illuminating.

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

Um…yeah…this pretty much hits the nail on the head for me.  How in the world did I miss that all these years?

Well maybe because you were mistaking insecurities for shyness.  Maybe because you thought you got your energy from other people when really you just never learned to like yourself so you loathed being alone with your own thoughts.  Maybe because alcohol and a crappy upbringing stunted your emotional growth and you never had an opportunity to figure out who you really were?

Here’s a fact…I’m starting to like being alone.  I like cocooning with my family and just…being.  In fact, and here’s where it gets weird for me, I need to be alone in order to recharge and get going again.  If I’m out and around too many people for too long (which is what happened this summer) I get physically tired.  Not “bored” tired but “worn out time to take a nap and I don’t nap” tired. 

Which reminds me – I used to find it necessary to go over my day with the hubs in minute detail so that I could verbally vomit and be done with my day.  Now…not so much.  When I first get home I would much rather just be quiet for a little while and just soak up being there.  After a while something will pop into my head that I want to share and I’ll get a conversation going but until then?  Quiet works.

Which also reminds me – I used to find it necessary to run off at the mouth every moment the hubs and I were alone together.  I needed to process.  He needed to listen.  I felt that unless he was proving to me every damn second that he loved me by either 1) saying so or 2) listening to me or 3) understanding my innermost thoughts before I even said them; then our relationship was doomed.

Now I find it infinitely pleasing to just be in his presence.  I like to hold hands in the car and be quiet or sing along to the radio.  I like to just sit with his arms around me and listen to him breathe.  Again…I like to just…be.  Maybe those old people in restaurants weren’t bored with each other…maybe they hadn’t said all they needed to say over the last 30 years…maybe they were content just to be together.

And right about now, all the people who know me in real life and read this blog are saying, “Who has hacked Sherry’s blog and what have they done with her?!”

It’s me guys…just a sober, quieter, more introverted me.  And happy…did I mention happy?



7 thoughts on “Who ARE You?

  1. When I was younger, I didn't want to be an introvert. I thought there was something wrong with it. Your revelation reminds me of all those surprise moments when we truly feel more comfortable in our own skin. Lately, I've felt more than okay being an introvert again. In fact, I find that I like being around people more now. (maybe myth #7 is true for me.)

  2. Please let me know where you found that list of myths. I am a total introvert yet tried to be extroverted with the use of booze and that got me nothing but a world of pain. I've never read anything that sums up introverted life so accurately.

    I say embrace your inner introvert. But then, I'm biased 🙂

  3. What a facinating list. One of my daughters (and my husband) are introverts and I see so much of them in this list.

    What wonderful validation for you. It is amazing what we discover about ourselves when we take away the booze.

    Please let us know where you found this list. I would love to send it on to my wonderful daughter.

  4. Omg love this post! Have you read this amazing book?

    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

    She has a great TED talk (google it ~ wonderful!)

    ~ Lulu

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