To be honest, I’m a classic introvert. On any magazine – er, online – quiz, I score shockingly high in everything introverted. I regroup best when I’m alone. I’m most often found at home, or wandering around alone in bookstores or libraries. I love long walks alone or with one other person. I delight in finding secluded, out of the way places to hang out. I enjoy being around people, in small doses, as long as I can retreat and recharge afterward. I don’t mind staying home on a Friday night, parked in my comfy chair with a great novel and the fan gently blowing to block out any distractions.
This can present definite problems -especially when I have to teach. Or parent. Or go outside.
As a teacher, I often feel like an introvert in an extroverted job, exhausted by the sheer volume of people and interactions and decisions I need to make within a day.
As a mom, especially when my children were young, I found it nearly impossible to get that precious time to myself that was so crucial to my ability to feel like I could make it through the day intact.
As a writer, introversion suits me just fine. Words, language, silent communication – they all slip neatly into my day, offering the energy I need to not only make sense of the world but to make sense of me.
Thankfully, I’ve learned a few tricks to help me survive in a world that has always seemed pretty overwhelming. I’ve learned how to make small talk (I hate it, but it helps to have a few things to say to avoid people thinking I’m rude when really I’m just shy). I’ve learned to lock my door during my lunch hour to give me at least fifteen minutes of uninterrupted solitude – transitions are hard for introverts. I’ve learned to name my personality type, and to my great surprise, I’ve found that many of the people I interact with each day are introverts, too.
One of the most important pieces to surviving as an introvert in an extroverted world has been thinking carefully about social interactions and choosing carefully what I really want to do versus what I feel like I should do – and deciding who the people are that I most want to interact with. Introverts, surround yourself with love.
Being an introvert means that social situations involving large numbers of people are particularly problematic. I simply don’t like them, and I’ve decided that I have the power to choose – and most of the times, I go with my gut. I choose to surround myself with people who make me feel good, people who aren’t toxic, people who are thinkers and curious and like to walk through the world showing kindness.
Particularly in times like this, when the media is coming at us from every angle with meanness and hateful words and actions against others…it’s more than I can take. It’s more than anyone should have to see and hear and take in. Too much toxicity, too many unhealthy images and words battling to get inside our psyches.
Introverts, Surround Yourself With Love
Introverts are particularly susceptible to ‘people’ energy, requiring us to think deeply about those people we surround ourselves with. Even though it might not seem like much, when we take a few moments to think about who we are around and how they are making us feel, we introverts (and really, all of us) can take our power back. Just think for a minute how you spend your day, what kind of people make you feel loved and fulfilled and happy. If you consciously choose to surround yourself with love, imagine how infectious that could be. And imagine what would happen if we taught our children to do the same.
Who or what are you surrounding yourself with?