After reading the March Noveltea Book Club pick, Quiet by Susan Cain, I got to thinking about my life as an introvert and where I fall on the scale.
I’ll start first with how I was as a kid. I was forever curious, I wanted to see everything and apparently I spent so much time looking around, enthralled by my surroundings, that it was hard to get me to eat because I immediately lost interest in the food because something else would happen. I was also really bad at making friends. I was standoffish and whenever play group would happen at my house, you could find me outside playing alone in my imaginary world while all the other kids were inside playing with toys.
I never would have told anyone I was an extrovert, because I wasn’t. Although I’m sure I lied about it a few times in high school to seem “cool”, but I could never escape the fact that I’m an introvert through and through. It’s not a bad thing though. I work really well alone, which is fantastic for design. I’m always in my own little world, which is full of ideas that I can transfer onto paper. No one ever stopped me from being creative either. While sometimes I was forced into play groups as a child, it was nearly impossible to stop me from slipping outside and playing by myself. I was stubborn that way.
I’m still a bit like that, but I’ve also learned how to turn on my extrovert switch when I need to, which wasn’t an easy thing to learn or get used to.
One thing that I’ve noticed has really helped me is my relationship with an extrovert. When we first started dating it was beyond obvious that we hit opposite ends of the spectrum. During parties I would hide up in his bedroom and read a book while he mingled downstairs. If I went downstairs to mingle it was in short intervals. Now, though, I go out on my own (sometimes after a little prompting and pushing) and Alex sometimes turns down invitations to instead lounge around the house with me! It’s like we’ve rubbed off on each other and hit a nice equilibrium that I didn’t known existed before.
I still have some shyness issues and once I accept invitations to go out, I always get antsy when the day in question arrives. A part of me will always want to cancel and come up with an excuse not to attend, but gone are the times that I can call people and say: “Mom says I can’t go.” Now, I have learned to step up and put on my extrovert pants, well, only for a little, I still need to recharge in silence with a book.
Getting a new job that works on client meetings has also been helpful. Working as a designer I have to meet people to discuss the designs they want and it involves a lot of selling myself and my ideas/designs to them. I worked on that skill first as a freelancer, and now with this new company! I really enjoy the work and so far, it hasn’t stressed me out at all!
I think I finally found my happy middle ground of what works for me, after a lot of years of struggle.
The Noveltea Book Club is having a little link up about Introversion! Although, if you want to write about being an Extrovert, feel free to add your two-cents to the conversation as well! Join in below!