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What drains you?

 Events happening worldwide over the past several months have slowly and surely been draining this introvert.  The daily news is filled with violence: heinous terrorist acts, police and mass shootings.  Even if it is not happening locally, it does have an effect on those of us who are extra sensitive. Those images stick in the mind and I don’t relish the idea that they might turn up in nightmares.  We introverts mull things over in our minds constantly so hearing all these reports of heinous acts get added to the mix. 

Merely cutting back on how much news I watch really doesn’t reduce the effect that much.  The news is not just on television or radio, it is also on the internet.  It’s not only the news though. I also pick up energy of all sorts daily through interactions with other people: positive, neutral and negative energy. Too much interaction of any kind for too long drains us.  If it happens to be negative, well that compounds the effect.   As a result, the cumulative effect of the seemingly constant stream of negativity  and the overstimulation by too much social interaction have drained me.  Have noticed a difference for a while, a bit more edgy, not as positive.  Realized how much negativity I have been absorbing over a period of time and it has not been healthy.

I turned to Dr. Judith Orloff’s book “Positive Energy 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue Stress & Fear into Vibrance, Strength & Love”    I came across a line in this book that described how I’ve been feeling: “a train roaring through my body screaming something is off.”  That was it exactly.

  In “Positive Energy”,   Dr. Orloff developed a program consisting of 10 prescriptions:

  • Awaken Intuition and rejuvenate yourself
  • Find a nurturing spiritual path
  • design an energy aware approach to diet, exercise, and health
  • Generate positive emotional energy to counter negativity
  • Develop a heart-centred sexuality
  • Open yourself to the flow of creativity and inspiration
  • Celebrate the sacredness of laughter, pampering, and the replenishment of retreat.
  • Attract positive people and situations
  • Protect yourself from energy vampires
  • Create abundance

My strategy is to work through these prescriptions.  Not in numerical order but instead focusing on those which are most important right now: awakening intuition and rejuvenate yourself, generate positive emotional energy to counter negativity, then to celebrate the sacredness of laughter, pampering, and the replenishment of retreat.

   Intuition is a direct line to our life force and divine intelligence.  While reading through this chapter, recognized I’ve been paying only lip service to intuition, ignoring my own energy.  What energy am I giving off?  Some negativity detected.  Our intuition is the language of energy and it’s job is to know every nuance of what makes us tick.  It’s a master at reading vibes informing us what gives positive energy and what is draining us.  Intuition evaluates who we meet, where we go, what we do daily, job, hobbies, family and current events.  Distractions can lead us astray, the pressures to need to know, be someone other than who we are, want to be and result in disconnecting in some areas or maybe all areas.  Yes it can.  Can also reconnect.

       Next post will cover Reading Energy 

#energy drains  #intuition. #Dr. Judith Orloff #Positive Energy

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Introverts differ from extroverts in a number of ways, that’s quite well known now. The biggest difference might not be so obvious, however, as it can’t be observed with the naked eye.  The introvert brain processes information in a more complex way.  Very complex indeed.

6 Illustrations That Show What It’s Like in an Introvert’s Head

        According to Marti Olsen Laney (“The Introvert Advantage”), introverts have a longer neural pathway that runs through a pathway associated with long term memory and planning (see illustrations in link). This means it’s more complicated for introverts to process interactions and events as information is processed:introverts are carefully attending to their internal thoughts and feelings at the same time.   

       Psychologist Hans Eysenck’s research reveals introverts require less stimulation from the world to be wide awake and alert than extroverts do i.e. introverts are easily stimulated!   So guess this means my two large coffees first thing in the morning are maybe just a bit too much for this introvert?!   No plans to stop or cut back on caffeine intake anytime soon though;)  Actually it doesn’t just mean stimulants like caffeine, it is also prolonged exposure to  large crowds, noisy environments like shopping malls, rock concerts, parties, nonstop talking, most social events that overstimulate and exhaust them.

        It also seems introverts need less dopamine to feel happy.  It’s why introverts are quite content and energized while reading a book, thinking deeply,  or diving into their own rich inner world of ideas. Introvert brains run on an energy conserving nervous system while extrovert brains run on energy producing /seeking nervous system.

       Introvert brains are not as strongly rewarded for things like gambling or taking risks and feel less excitement from surprise or risk.Activities like extreme sports, ziplines, carnival rides definitely do not appeal to this introvert!  Not even thrilled with escalators;)

       Believe this next difference might be a major one. The introvert brain treats interactions with people at the same intensity level it treats inanimate objects. Introverts process everything in their surroundings not just the people: they pay attention to all the sensory details in the environment.   Perhaps it is this that is the most disconcerting to extroverts?  I recognize I can seem distracted when in a conversation, perceived as not being present, not interested, not invested in the interaction.  This is not the case though.  I might seem as if I’m not hearing what is said but nothing could be further from the truth. Am also keenly aware of what is not being said (the subtext), the other person’s body language, and the vibes they are giving off.

        Am also noticing what all is going on in the room, the sights, and sounds, smells etc.  Busy reading other people in the vicinity.  Introverts love figuring out why people do what they do! And yes I am still aware of what is being said in the conversation. I’m just not giving undivided attention to the other person or group as the case may be. Can I turn off the ability to notice/be very aware of everything else?  No.  It is how I am wired as an introvert.  Suspect that other introverts will have similiar experiences, with some variations of degree.

        I have covered this subject before, when I first began this blog but thought it is worth revisiting.  This time with some personal insights into how differently my brain is wired.

    

  

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Despite progress in the last few years, extroverts still don’t get introverts.  There are way more blogs on introverts than when I began this one about 5 or so years ago.  It seems some extroverts are either slow learners or they are very resistant to changing their minds.  Think it is the latter.  

       Extroverts as the dominant group may feel a sense of entitlement, that it’s up to introverts to make an effort to fit in and do things the extroverted way.  

      One theory I read recently about why extrovertd behave as they do toward introverts is that it is fear of those who are different from them.  They fear people they do not understand  and they fear what can’t be explained.  Those of us who are introverts cannot even explain why we are wired the way we are or explain what exactly introversion is.  It seems extroverts’ fear of introverts challenges their self identity and self worth.  This is the part that is baffling to me.  The extroverts I have encountered do not seem to be bothered in this way.  They in fact seem to be quite the opposite (unless they are overcompensating) and can be quite dismissive of introverts.  I have been talked down to as if I were a child.  Talked about as if I am invisible (actually it feels a lot like social excusion/union blackballing) or could not possibly understand as they equate stupidity with my silence or slowness to respond.   Often I simply don’t bother responding because I know I very likely will be ignored or won’t be able to get a word in edgwise.  Most often I stay silent because their ignorance and/or belligerence startles me …it is amazing what some of these people have said to me assuming I don’t get that they are ridiculing me to my face.  It makes me wonder about their humanity. I have little hope that such ignorant individuals will ever mature beyond the grade school bully in the schoolyard.

           It is quite amusing when I hear these individuals go on about how they are all for human rights, fairness, how tolerant they are for differences.  Really??  Is that just all for show?  It seems so as their tolerance for diversity does not extend toward introverts.  

          Not all extroverts are as ignorant or belligerent as those I have described in this post, not at all.  I do still encounter confusion and misconceptions about introverts, though.  And I am not the only one if comments in response to other introvert blog posts are any indication of what people experience daily.  More education is required.

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Snark, it’s everywhere!  Rampant and so very ugly, insidious .  Cruel remarks about someone’s appearance, the way they talk or maybe don’t talk, or how they write, or act, or their social gaffes. Nothing is too insignificant to pick on by the snarkers.    Now the person might never find out about it but they certainly might!  The comments could go viral and the damage would be devastating…and how much more so for highly sensitive  and introverted individuals?  

        Brynn Donovan commented in her blog yesterday, “It’s the fact we do it all the time that I want to talk about it.”  And so do I!  Specifically how it affects highly sensitive and introverted individuals.  Also some discussion of who snarks and why.  Have I snarked?  probably.  It’s not something to be proud of.  

    The snarkers, who are they?  Perhaps it’s those who believe they’re ultra cool, smug, blase, maybe entitled?  Is it that belittlng someone else makes them feel better about themselves?  Have they been the targets of snark, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.

      The effects of a snark attack on highly sensitive individuals would be very toxic. All those judgments and vicious comments are internalized and adds to the self talk we all have going on. Imagine how this affects the introvert and highly sensitive individuals whose mind already works 24/7?  That is how those of us who are highly sensitive and introverted (the two don’t always go together but can) experience the snark…

        Just reading snark directed at someone else can be very toxic, especially if it’s over a long period of time. It’s difficult to avoid altogether as snark is not just limited to posts on social media online.  It’s on tv, in print, possibly in overheard conversations at the coffeeshop…these remarks just aren’t heard by those of us who are introverts and very sensitive people, we feel them too as if the emotions of those being snarked are our own.  Over time this wears our emotions down to  a very thin thread…

       

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This was not the topic I planned to write today.  It is the one that was meant to be, however.  A blog post titled “Are You Afraid To Be Happy?” from Purposeful Faith inspired my blog.  What does Introvert Happy look like?  Introverts commonly have a stern expression, that unnerves people apparently.We’re perceived as appearing unhappy or sad, mad, unapproachable, with about as much charm as Ebenezer Scrooge.

     Ever since I can remember I have been asked are you okay?  What’s bothering you?  If  you talk about it, you’ll feel better?  Then there’s the ‘advice’ that’s just suppose to lift us up into happiness from the gloom my face is perceived to be showing: just smile!;)  a frown is just smile turned upside down and a number of other similiar phrases that escape me just now.  They are equally syrupy though.  When I am barraged by such questions and/or advice, I am fighting back the urge to throttle them but manage – barely -to restrain myself.  Could I ever snap though?  If that were ever to happen,  highly unlikely, I imagine it would go something like this:  I do snap and someone is throttled after onte too many “just smile!” comments.  When media interviews those who know me for their comments about what I’m like, they’d inevitability say she’s so quiet, keeps to herself you know! I’d be then cast as the stereotypical quiet loner who’s set off by something and takes revenge in some over the top act of violence.   Except that for 99.9% of introverts that is very unlikely to ever happen.  Myself included.

      Society has some ludicrous idea of what ‘happy’ should look like.  It’s the extroverted always bubbly, big smile pasted on all the time, life of the party, loud, leaping with joy,  and unnaturally eager ideal individual that’s worshipped. It’s what  everybody should be like to show they’re happy.  This seems very unrealistic and insincere.  For me, that is so not going to happen!  Adjectives that describe me include: quiet; subdued; reserved; low-key, and reticent. 

    What does a happy introvert look like?  It’s very individual but for this introvert, it’s time to myself, going to book stores and libraries, visiting art galleries and museums during the least busy times, listening to music, engaging in photography, writing, art, reading…and visiting with a friend, going to bookclub and poetry club (very small groups!)…

       When a quiet person responds that yes they are fine, they’re happy, nothing is bothering, worrying, angering them, believe them.  Although they appear a ticking time bomb, it doesn’t reflect their emotions at all.  Really!:)

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Back again

Despite my belief that probably I was done with this blog on introversion, this seems not to be the case.  There a number of blogs on the subject now and there are many more resources for introverts available.  There was little available when I began this blog.  Wondered what more can I possibily write on the subject?  

 Maybe I am not done with this blog after all.  Within the last two weeks, I’ve added two followers.  There’s some interest in what I have to say in my posts even though it’s from quite sometime ago. That’s encouragement to continue!  There are the other followers who maybe are still waiting for me to begin again. Well hopefully they are;)  Hopefully I can add some more followers?

     I will be blogging at least once a week,  maybe twice though not sure which day(s) yet.  It feels good to be back:)

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The less shame is understood, and how it affects our feelings, thoughts and behaviours the more power it has over our lives. Having the courage to talk about shame and the compassion to listen enables us to change the way we live, love, work, and manage relationships.

Shame is particularly prevalent in these areas:
appearance/body image; motherhood/family/parenting; money; work; mental/physical health; sex; aging; and religion.

We all struggle to feel comfortable with who we are. For introverts, this seems to be especially challenging in a society that puts so much emphasis on fitting in and ‘being perfect’. Introverts are perceived as not ‘fitting in’ with the norm. We feel that judgment acutely and as most introverts often are very sensitive as well, we’re more affected by the judgments.

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