Archive for February, 2012

It’s true … you can take us to a party (or other social function) but you can’t make us talk (lol) like ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’. Knowing how to approach us and being very clear as to why you want to talk with us can make a huge difference whether we respond favourably or just clam up. I recently watched a You Tube video on the clarity of intention when interacting with horses. These amazing creatures respond to energy and if approached with anything but clear intent about what you’d like them to do, there is no chance the horse will cooperate! I think introverts are like the horse, we are also very sensitive to energy: picking up on underlying vibes when something’s different. When someone starts small talking with us at a social function, we are on immediately on ‘high alert’. Perhaps this is part of the reason why introverts aren’t gabbier at gatherings lol. Small talk really irritates introverts and totally drains our energy when chatting with strangers! We’d so appreciate it if people would stop the expected social niceties type of talk and get to real conversation with some substance;) At social gatherings, we introverts are left wondering whether a person is genuinely interested in us and wants to lead the conversation to something more significant. Maybe it’s a case where he/she is just making polite conversation because it’s expected by society? Or is there some reason for the casual banter like wanting something from us, somewhat manipulative maybe? We might be more inclined to talk when the intent is very clear? Even clarity is present, the introverts may not begin speaking immediately, we need time to think. We will always be slower to respond, it’s just how we’re wired;be patient;)



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Misconceptions abound out there about introverts. Some very unflattering terms are used to describe and label them: loner, misfit, socially awkward, Asperger’s, shy, antisocial, people hater. As an introvert, I’ve had these either said to my face or about me within hearing range (apparently these individuals think I’m deaf too lol). Perhaps, it’s also believed I’m not comprehending what is being said or I’m so lost in my own little world that I’m oblivious to what is going on around me??
I had intended to get this blog entry posted earlier this week but that didn’t happen. The first version was scrapped after reconsidering its tone – – some anger toward extroverts was evident. Bashing extroverts was not my intent although frustration with their attitude sometimes flares up. While some extroverts can be incredibly rude and ignorant in their attitudes towards people who are different in any way, it is more than likely that most extroverts are simply uninformed as to what an introvert is and how they interact in any given situation. Hopefully, this blog can help provide some insight from an introvert’s point of view.
One key difference between introverts and extroverts is biological. Introverts have more activity in the frontal lobes of the brain and front thalamus, areas activated when the brain is processing – remembering, problem solving and planning. Extroverts, on the other hand, exhibit more activity in the back area of the brain. Areas typically thought to be more involved in sensory processing, listening, watching and driving.
Another key difference between extroverts and introverts is how each group are energized. Extroverts are energized by socializing (seemingly constant lol) with people: the bigger the group, the better! Introverts, on the other hand, are drained by constant socializing and non-stop small talk which introverts just despise with a passion. Introverts, such as me, prefer socializing with just a few people and for much shorter periods of time. After interaction with people, introverts need some alone time to re-energize: this may be where the idea we’re loners originates. I’m sure that it’s assumed we’re lonely and/or depressed when we’re seen off on our own but that is absolutely not true!!! I can’t speak for all introverts but I am very comfortable in my own skin and like my company…and quiet times though I suspect their responses would be quite similar.
Introversion and shyness are not the same although from the time I was a very little girl I’ve been called ‘shy’. Introversion is the preference for spending time alone whereas shyness is being uncomfortable, scared and timid to talk to people although they may want to. Introverts can and do talk to people, just not as often. No we aren’t scared to talk to people; we just need a reason to do so. Introverts detest small talk for several reasons but will not go into that this time around: perhaps next week. Some introverts are also shy but these two states of being are not the same.
Characteristics of introverts are many, we are complex;) Here’s a list of the most common ones:

• Introverts often take longer to get to know someone: we don’t meet someone one day then call them a friend the next day!
• Introverts need more than an average amount of personal space…applies to strangers and acquaintances in particular.
• Quiet and subdued and don’t like being the centre of attention, even if it is positive. Don’t like bragging about achievements and we’re not too impressed with those individuals who this either, especially if it’s not warranted. Introverts sometimes resort to ‘dumbing down’ so as to not draw attention to ourselves and appear to be bragging!
• Introverts can seem to have two separate and distinct personalities. One personality is reserved for family and friends we’ve known for a long time and we can be quite lively and talkative in their presence. The other personality is the reserved, quiet and observant one that’s displayed when in the company of strangers, people we know very slightly, and in group situations, especially large ones.
• We listen more than we talk; when we do have something to say, we say it, make eye contact with the person we’re chatting with, then look away from that person. Exactly why we look away from the person after talking, I’ve no clue…it’s one of our charms;)
• If we are asked a question, we require time to think before responding as we need time to process what has been asked, form an answer, consider the matter thoroughly and give a reasoned, balanced answer. Extroverts become exasperated with our slowness in this respect, their frustration written all over their faces;) We introverts are methodical and analytical deep thinkers so a quick, snappy off the cuff answer will not happen instantaneously!
• We are deeply embarrassed by public mistakes, and self conscious by nature anyway. Having long been scrutinized at any and all social gatherings when the ‘social awkwardness’ label appeared very evident to those extroverts who do not (or will not) understand it as being introverted and hating small talk (don’t get me going on this! ). The constant scrutiny has resulted in a significant amount of social anxiety when talking to people in a social setting. Knowing and feeling (like when you can feel someone’s eyes on you when your back is turned…just multiply that a few dozen times!!!) pairs of eyes watching, smirk on lips, exchange of glances that will be the hot topic at the first opportunity.
• Introverts can and do concentrate on a book/project for a long time if they find it interesting. We like to explore subjects deeply and thoroughly. It was suggested subtly that some Asperger’s likely in ‘my mix’ although the person putting forth this idea has absolutely no professional training of any kind in psychology, no MA or PhD. She has no idea what she is talking about and even therapists have a difficult time diagnosing Asperger’s in their patients.
Introverts are highly aware of their surroundings and notice details others don’t notice but aren’t quick to discuss their thoughts and observations. I’ve done this in the past, indiscriminately, and the result was either blank looks or rolling of the eyes and a slight smirk on their faces indicating relating of this incident to friends and relatives would be sooner rather than later.

Enough for this time around,

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