Introverted Bookworm

Life

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!

By Jess

A bookworm since the tender age of whenever I stopped chewing on books and started actually reading them. A cat-mom, graphic designer, and introvert originally from Pittsburgh, but now resides in the humid, hot, state of Texas. Cheers!

  • Kay

    I feel the exact same way often on days with plans…my first thought is always, "How do I get out of this?". But usually once it arrives, everything works out just fine!

  • It's interesting how you and Alex have influenced each other! My fiance and I are the same way. He's more introverted, so he's taught me the value of just chilling out, since I'm a spaz of an extrovert who ALWAYS has to be going, going, going! We balance each other out.

    acupoftay.com

  • I can totally relate! I myself have always been introverted but I've been happily dating an extrovert for over a year now. Whenever we do go out with a bunch of people I always end up feeling exhausted afterward and I look forward to relaxing at home and reading whereas my boyfriend seems even more energetic after a night of entertaining people. My parents actually always tell me how completely shocked they are that I see my boyfriend every single day since when I lived at home I always loved being alone so much. Also, that photo of you is so beautiful!

  • I'm a total 100% textbook definition of introvert, so I think you and I would get along perfectly! 🙂 I think I have that book, but I haven't had the time to read it yet, so I need to add that to the queue! Over the years, I have definitely learned how to play the extrovert part (to some extent…I'll never be dancing on a table with a lampshade on my head, but I can definitely carry my own in conversations, but I do find small talk to be mind numbing!). My ex was more of an extrovert and loved to be the first one at a party and the last one to leave which would make my head explode!! He also never quite understood my need for me-time and personal space, but he did help me enjoy parties a little more!

  • I'm also dating an extrovert and it's so weird to me because we are the least typical forms of those categories. It's really made me realize how broad these two categories really are and has opened my eyes to my own introversion and how not typical mine is.

    You also made me really miss using "mom says I can't go" as an excuse. That was always my favorite!

  • thedailymiacis

    I believe I can subscribe to all you said 🙂

  • This sounds just like me! This just cements the fact that we need to be best friends! I can easily switch on to being an extrovert, but after a while it's pretty draining. I would rather sit at home and lounge than go to a party too. I definitely believe that my job, which requires me to pretend to be an extrovert at work events, has helped me break out of my introversion a bit.
    ~Sara

  • Exactly! I normally regret agreeing to attend something until I get there, then things normally work themselves out and I feel all right about it once I get back home!

  • I think relationships between introverts and extroverts work really well! It becomes a good balance and you both can teach each other new things! 🙂 If I didn't have Alex around I doubt I'd go out too often at all!

  • Thank you! I'm the same way! My parents are always shocked that I'm not sick of him yet! I used to always hang out in my room when I lived at home, or I'd be sitting outside reading somewhere under a tree! I don't think they ever expected me to peacefully live with someone, and especially not someone who is so talkative and out going!

  • I think we would get along great too! 🙂 I agree with the small talk thing, I find that I end up being terrible at it! I'd rather have more in depth and meaningful conversations than just talking about the weather!

  • Agreed! That was my favorite excuse too! Sometimes I feel more extroverted and it really has made me realize that the categories have a lot of shades of grey, they certainly aren't black and white! My boyfriend was a lot more extroverted when we met, but he has really mellowed out, while I've become better at being outgoing!

  • Agreed!! We do need to be best friends!! My new job requires me to be pretty extroverted too, I have a lot of client meetings where I have to talk about design direction and marketing plans, so after a while it can get pretty draining after a long day! But, it's also been really helpful and I enjoy it a lot!

  • I feel like I could have written this post. I definitely push myself to go out and meet people (joining a women's entrepreneur group that has networking events has helped to push that envelop for me). I still need plenty of time to myself when I've been extending myself, though.

    Congrats on the new position! I'm glad to hear you've been enjoying it!

  • Thanks! I feel like sometime in the future I want to join a local book club, so that I'll be forced to go to the meetings and meet new people!

  • oh that's so good you have a job that stretches you and allows you what you need at the same time.

  • That's a great idea! I know I'll be planning another Levo book club this fall – it would be nice to see you 🙂

  • Books are how I recharge too!

  • It's so nice, like a blessing! Although it can get stressful at times, but that makes me feel even better when all the work is completed!