When I tell people I’m an introvert, they usually argue. In fact, only people who know me well really believe me.
Introverts who are not shy are used to being told that they could not possible be introverts.
People usually think that introverts are shy and extroverts are social. But that’s not it. Extroverts get their energy by being around people whereas introverts are recharged from being alone. And I am constantly looking to be alone for a spell to recharge.
I run, or do puzzles or take baths or read books. I listen to music, with headphones on, the world’s best invention because they tell everyone else not to bother me without me having to say it. I love to take long scenic drives with my music blaring. I have started taking the kids on field trips that are father and farther away. Before they had this kind of attention span, I would offer to do the family errands, to have a few minutes alone in the car by myself. I was getting my energy where I could.
I hate small talk. I’ve been known to dash down an aisle at a grocery store to avoid what Larry David calls “stop and chats.” I will happily have a long, interesting conversation with someone, but I have no interest in a pointless polite one.
I do not need to be the center of attention. I do not need 1,000 Facebook friends and I am confident I will never have that. But I do want a friend or two that I can be completely honest with, that I can talk about ridiculous and serious things with.
Research has found that introverts have lower thresholds for pain and noise. Dr. Robert Stelmack agrees that introverts’ sensory processing is more sensitive. That’s why we dislike crowds, loud noises, strong smells, he says.
And for god’s sake, will everyone shut the fuck up for a second?
Be assured: You’re not mentally ill. You’re not dangerous. Or weird. Or lacking in any way. You just like to be alone sometimes. You were born that way.
All italicized quotes are from The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quite Life in a Noisy World by Sophia Dembling