This post was inspired by a client whose work requires me to network at large events and meet with total strangers. Most would think that, as a blogger and journalist, I couldn’t possibly be an introvert. I think being introverted makes me a better writer and inspires my style in a way that reads more authentic. Also, let’s be real, it’s just me and my computer here. It’s not difficult to be surprised by an introvert, because like an iceberg, there’s so much we don’t see. Keep reading to discover some unexpected facts about introverts.
Could you be an introvert?
Are you decent in crowds as long as you have a plus one? Are you outgoing in one-on-one meetings but garbage at a party? Do you wish you could quietly dip from most events without saying goodbye? Do you need a day to recover from a work conference? What do you prefer to do with your free time; paint, read, practice yoga, grab coffee with your mom, or watch a movie with your spouse? Now, i’m not saying outgoing folks don’t enjoy these things, but if anything else sounds awful to you, there’s a good chance you’re an introvert.
Maybe this isn’t you, but sounds like someone you know. Or maybe you didn’t realize, until now, that you might be an introvert. Either way, it’s important to understand characteristics like this because it impacts how we communicate with each other and approach everyday events and relationships. Here are three things about introverts that might surprise you…
1. They can be great at socializing.
Photo: Spring 2014 – Go Blog Social in Kansas City. Though this was one of my favorite events each year, I attended alone, and it was painful.
Being introverted doesn’t necessarily mean someone isn’t good at being social. There are some who get energy from group events and mingling (like my dad or mother-in-law), and there are others who are lose energy in a busy atmosphere. Many, not all, introverts can be great at introducing themselves, meeting new people and speaking in public. The difference is they might have some secret anxiety about it, and they won’t want to do this every day. After a busy day at work, many introverts would prefer quality time at home over happy hour with friends.
2. Relationships are very important to them.
Photo: Winter 2012 – New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Taking holiday photos for family. Ben proposed a month later. We’ll celebrate 5 years of marriage next month.
A lot of introverts will identify as homebodies because they see their home as a safe place to be themselves. Relationships mean a lot to introverts and their inner-circle, family or not, is treated like family because these are the few people they feel most comfortable with. Introverts make great friends because they prefer intimate conversation and quality time over shared attention with others. You’ll also find introverts are very black and white in relationships. Because they prefer to give a lot to a few verses a little to many, introverts are quick to cut all ties if their trust is broken – I believe this quality can also be applied to brands, hobbies and politics.
3. Introverts can be very intuitive and witty.
Photo: Thanksgiving 2011 – Nebraskans in Florida. At least 3/4 of the goofballs in this photo are some variation of introverted.
I am definitely an introvert, but not the same type of introvert as one of my oldest girlfriends. Socializing can be hard for me, not because I don’t want to, but because i’m nervous. My girlfriend, on the other hand, avoids most crowds like the plague, and prefers conversations in books. She is painfully quiet until you’ve hung out with her a few times, but her silence makes her incredibly intuitive and one of the funniest people I know. Doesn’t seem like it would make sense, does it? She is a sweet-hearted wallflower who notices the little things and she’s always paying attention. Because she is so good at listening, and so smart from reading a lot, she has a greater perspective and the vocabulary to turn small-minded situations into hilarious one-liners.
Being introverted is not a bad thing.
Learning this about myself, and realizing it’s not a bad thing, has helped me feel less ashamed of my homebody tendencies, more aware of my nervous chatter, and less guilty about saying “no” to happy hour. It’s important to have relationships, but it’s also important to realize we’re all different and this helps create balance in the world. Some days I wish I was the kind of girl with a packed social schedule…then I spend a few hours at my girlfriend’s house, sipping tea and playing with one of her four dogs while she talks about her joys and fears as a new mom. These are the moments I don’t get at events or social settings that are shared with five others. These moments remind me that it’s the intimate places where I feel most confident and can shine as a wife, daughter, sister, friend and writer.
Did you like this post? Be sure to share with your introverted friend, or if you’re introverted, someone who could use some help understanding. Do you agree, disagree or have anything to add? Please share with me and other readers in the comments section.