A few months ago I borrowed a book from the library called “Quiet” by Susan Cain. ‘Quiet’ is about how undervalued introverts are in all sorts of life and how can they empower the world with their quiet personality. I was somewhat intrigued by this book beforehand because I wanted to read how introverts was able to handle our world of extroverts. Lots of people have opinions on about everything and want to be noticed about it but with introverts they have the power of their own with their intensive focus, seeing the details that other don’t and being more productive during down time.
I also wanted to find out from this book if I was an introvert myself. As I kept reading the book and stories about introverts’ frame of mind, I kept thinking, “Whoa, maybe I’m an introvert myself.”
Acceptance Wasn’t I Thought It Would Be
Starting from high school into college and to after college, I wanted to be accepted by friends as someone who is cool to hang out with and wanted to be relied on. To prove that, I did stuff like going out partying almost every weekend, checking out the trendy restaurants that our inner circle of friends was raving about, traveling to explore other cities outside of California to with no other purpose than to site see and check out their party scene….you get the picture. Just being a mindless kid coming out of college wanting to know what the world was offering. It was great to do all these activities with friends but felt something was missing; I was not fully satisfied with myself!
There would be some days during that time where I just wanted to stay home to read a book or watch a Netflix movie by myself. But I thought there was something wrong with me thinking like this so I end up calling some friends up to find something to do that doesn’t involve going out. It would always be either playing video games or playing Texas Hold’em poker. It was nice to do that but in the back of my mind I wanted to be home by myself.
I remembered talking to my friend over the phone and we were blabbering about random stuff and when the subject came up about plans for the upcoming weekend and the places we were going to. As he was discussing them, something clicked in my head and I interrupted him and ask, “Dude you think going to these nightclubs, bars, and parties almost every single weekend is a bit too much? Don’t you think we should cut down on it?” He responded by saying, “No, it’s great were going out like this because we may never do stuff like this again. We should take advantage and enjoy it. After that exchange, we continued to our plans for the weekend.
At that time, it felt it was non-stop from going to one place to another; traveling to cities and having a great time. But there was a place in my mind where I really wanted to rest, be alone and not let anyone else bother me. Is there anything wrong with that?
About a few months before dating Mother with Cents, I cut down on going out with friends and had weekends going to library, driving around the city by myself, reading at home, and hit the gym for a workout on my own. It felt great that I had this time on my own and regretted doing this stuff earlier. I still wanted to hang out with friends but in moderation, once or twice a month but not every single weekend. They would try to call me on days I didn’t want to go out and I would let it go to voicemail. This is right before texting became the norm so they couldn’t text me. The next time I would see them they would ask what happened to me when they tried to call. I made up a reason like I didn’t feel good or helping my parents with something at home. They had that look of ‘Oh, whatever!” and we would move on.
Reflection on What I Really Am
When I was dating Mother with Cents and started to get more serious with each other, I would cut down more time hanging out with friends but at the same time it made me reflect on some things that I never thought of throughout our times hanging out together. I remember some events that made me think I was an introvert:
-Whenever we were at a party or nightclub, I would hangout with the people I know rather than meet new people. Having that comfort level was fine with me. Even when friends were encouraging me to meet new people (aka girls) and try to know them I would shrug it off and not be interested. I didn’t think I was shy or anything, it wasn’t my type of environment to meet anyone like that.
-To the point earlier about trying to stop going out too much, wanted to be more balance between being with others and by myself. I believe that I should have done more of it but was too worried how other would perceive me and defaulted to going out. In the end, stressing out about how other would think of me should not be a big deal and should created that balance earlier in my 20s.
-Small talk was definitely uncomfortable for me. It can only go so far and felt like some sort filler conversation to chit chat. We could be discussing more topics rather than talk about how the weather was for ten minutes
-There were some occasions that I felt alone even though I was with a group people especially with large groups. This is what I get for wanting to be with a group of people and not care what activities we get into. Smaller groups work better since you feel everyone is listening to one another. Larger groups tend to be overwhelming for me
-I tend to screen calls from everyone especially the calls that come out of nowhere. I felt like I needed to be in the right mood to pick the phone and chat. I needed to prepare, gather some energy and I would call back. For some, they pick the phone regardless of who it is but I guess I’m not comfortable in doing that.
-Being in a huge environment was not that huge of deal for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to attend something where a lot of people gather to see someone perform at a concert or to celebrate a special occasion at a party but I did not feel it was an euphoric moment where my emotions would show and get into the moment
-Needing some time to answer a question especially in pressured situations. On some occasions when someone wants an quick answer from me, I can’t come up with one because my brain is trying to function a thoughtful answer. I thought i was the only one who had to deal with this.
Acceptance of Being an Introvert
I recently took one of the random surveys online about whether if I’m an introvert. After answering the questions, the results said that I’m a ‘Public Introvert, Private Extrovert.’ That pretty much sums up what my personality is. It’s a good thing that I discovered this trait instead of pretending of trying to be an all around extrovert when I’m not. I love being around extroverts, they fill up that energy I don’t have when we’re out and about, make people get into a great mood and fun to be around. It’s why most of my friends are extroverts because they can offset from my introverted personality.
I am more than happy to accept my introversion. Staying home with Mother with Cents and Baby with Cents makes me more at ease of who I am. There is no obligation to go to a social gathering, I’ll go to those occasions when it’s the right time for me to go.
Being an introvert is a great thing. As an introvert, I try to be more thoughtful in answering questions, super focused, easy to please(quiet night and a book is all I need) and trustworthy. I love being around people but you need that time alone(or with family) to gain that energy back and that’s when my introverted self kicks in.
What do you think of introverts? Do you have some traits of an introvert? Please feel free to comment below. Would like to read your perspective on introversion.