Thursday, November 7, 2013

On Being an Introvert

One of my first memories is meeting one of my mom’s friends and hiding behind her leg. When she told me to say hi, I peeked out from behind her thigh and said a very soft “Hi” and darted right back to my hiding place.

Someone should have thrown me into some sort of class aimed at murdering my shyness then. It persisted through middle school. Thank goodness high school bough more social opportunities and I broke out of my shell a bit. Today, I’m out from behind the thigh (mostly because I’m at least 5 inches taller than my mom) and I’ve gotten past crippling shyness BUT I am still not that girl at the party who is going to initiate conversations with strangers and float throughout the room leaving smiles and warm fuzzies in my wake. I’ve hosted events. I mentor teens. I’ve argued in court. I can chat up anyone (usually after a glass of wine) but I can’t necessarily take the first step unless I give myself a little pep talk first.

Why? Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am an introvert. No matter how much I get past the shyness, I will always be the quiet type. Thanks to books like Sophia Dembling’s The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, I ok with that. If networking makes you feel like a phony or you HATE small talk, you might be an introvert. If downtime feels like something you need/crave and you love to think and write, you might be an introvert. And there is nothing wrong with that unless you want to change it. If that’s the case, try an improv class or a meet up group with similar interests to your own.  If you’re fine with it, own it because at the end of the day, your opinion of yourself is most important.

Read more about signs you’re an introvert here.

Are you an introvert? Does it bother you? What are you doing to break out of your shell?

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