“Solitude matters, and for some people, it’s the air they breathe.”
― Susan Cain
I know which things are kryptonite to my HSP* Introvert temperament. I can list several:
Large social gatherings
Noisy, crowded places
Making a lot of small talk
Spending a large part of my day or evening socializing with not enough alone time
Engaging in a lot of new experiences/activities
Having a crowded schedule during the day with many demands on my time
Spending a lot of time on social media
Getting overstimulated by all of the above and becoming exhausted
So why do I forget all I know about what leads to a very unpleasant state of fatigue and feeling depressed, and engage in too much of the above list, then find myself suffering the previously mentioned consequences.
*Highly sensitive person
Featured comic strip image of Adventure Comics via Joel Kramer on Flickr. Exhaustion GIF via Giphy.
We have all heard about how it is important to have social connections, important for our well-being. But making connections can be daunting for someone with an Introvert temperament. There needs to be a good fit. I have felt this in my own life when looking for outside interests. I did not see this issue addressed in any books or articles I had read other than to say how introverts can push themselves out and try to be more extroverted. Until I saw this post by Emily White.
In her post she talks about how she was made to leave an environment that had been ideally suited to her and move back to a big city. This was interesting to me because I have felt as she did about the city environment. I live near Los Angeles which definitely qualifies as a big city. What is daunting about such a big city is that there is so much of it and this can be a bit overwhelming. You have to really focus in and look around to find your niche in such a big place. It is like looking at a big cluttered room and trying to decide what to do first and where to begin. Ms. White gave me some food for thought and showed me that you can succeed in making connections as an introvert even in a big city. She doesn’t say we have to morph into an extrovert or do extroverted activities that involve things that introverts do not like such as making a lot of small talk or participating in groups. Unless the group is involved in a cause we are passionate about.
I really like that she is addressing this and discussing how she found connections that fit her. It is good to see posts like this because it gives support to people who want to make connections but want to feel comfortable doing so and do it in their own way.
Since I have started into a semi-retired stage, I have been looking for activities and projects that are engaging to me. I have done the usual book group at the library and I am doing volunteer and paid tutoring. My blog is something very new for me. I definitely was not into social media and I do think introverts approach social media differently from extroverts. I can get very overloaded with social media and the internet. So I am working at balancing my involvement. Which means limiting the time I spend on WordPress, Facebook and email. There must be time set aside for reflection and quiet pursuits.
Some views of Los Angeles, a very big city, and some parts of it that suit my interests, (not the crowded freeways).
For many years I did not realize that many of my traits were related to my temperament. That I am an introvert, empathic and highly sensitive. I knew that small talk and large social gatherings exhausted me. I knew that I relished time alone and needed time to recover after a busy day of activities especially if those activities involved interacting with people. I think other people had a hard time understanding this behavior. Once I understood it was part of my temperament, and that it was ok to be this way, it made it easier for me to accept myself.
Susan Cain wrote this book, “Quiet,” about introverts and of course I read it. Now Susan Cain is starting up a Quiet Revolution Community website . It is scheduled to launch in April. Here is what she said about it:
“Our intention in building this space is to share and encourage each other. One of my favorite parts of the new site is a big new art project called Quiet Revolutionaries. This project is all about you, featuring you. Quiet Revolutionaries is an ever-expanding photo essay of people who have thought about what it means to have a quiet consciousness and/or to draw on their own quiet strengths. Our goal is to inspire, connect and celebrate our thoughtfully vibrant community.”
In a TED Talk Susan Cain explains traits of introverts and talks about how our society has not traditionally seen this as a positive trait and that the needs of introverts in schools and work places have been ignored. The idea of constantly working in groups is seen as the ideal. She makes some good points about how it may not be the ideal.
In a post about The Quiet Revolution on her website she talks about plans to redesign the workplace and school environments to be more in line with the needs of introverts, and develop the leadership skills of introverts in the workplace.
This is interesting and worthwhile information for introverts and the people who love them. It is worthwhile for parents and teachers to be aware of this as well.
Now that I have found my voice I am getting tired of hearing myself talk.–D.
Introverts do not like making small talk. I think blogging daily is like trying to make small talk. I wondered if blogging is for introverts at all. I googled the topic and found an old blog about it. It claimed that introverts like to blog because it is easier for them in that they do not have to talk to someone face to face. That is probably true but on the other hand to endlessly blah, blah, blah is not the introvert way.
So today I am taking a day of rest from blah, blah, blogging. Happy Sunday!
Do you think bloggers are introverts or extroverts?