Sunday, 26 October 2014

Proud to be an introvert

Source: 10 comics every introvert will understand

Breakfast conversation this morning turned to someone who was described as 'shy'. I read somewhere this week that 40% of the population are 'shy', (I would link to the piece if I could only remember where I saw that stat - who knows if it's actually true!) because 40% of us are apparently introverts. Cue me trying to explain over eggy bread what it means and feels like to be introverted, and why that's different to just being 'shy'.

I feel like the term 'introvert' used to be a dirty word. Something to be embarrassed to admit to being. I can remember feeling very offended when someone described me as introverted years and years ago when I started uni because I thought of it as a by-word for socially awkward, shy or boring. Until I learned more about how the introverted mind works, I suppose I just thought I was someone who was quite shy around new people and enjoyed my own company. Then I saw things like this that were so spot on that I they felt like they'd been drawn just for me. Next time I get myself in a muddle trying to explain what it feels like, I'm just going to show them that.

Having a little look online about the term 'introvert' and the way introverts are represented has made me a bit miffed actually - it's lazy to just say that introverts are quiet, or like to be alone, without understanding why that is and that it's only half of the story. I love socialising, spending time with friends and meeting new people, but I genuinely find being social tiring. That's why I was always the person happy to leave the party in time for the last tube home (most of the time anyway) and leave everyone else to take the party on elsewhere.

So of course I wouldn't describe myself as 'shy', I'd say quiet. I wouldn't describe introverts as antisocial, I'd say we enjoy our own company. For me, quietness and space is the loveliest.

So then I got to thinking (not a Carrie Bradshaw reference) about parenting and what it means if you're introverted and like your own space and quiet time and not always being around others, because guess what? Being a mum is basically the opposite of all those things. And it changes you all of a sudden and very quickly. Maybe that's why I found it so hard in the first place, having no time to myself whatsoever. I think I'm getting the hang of it now, but it took some getting used to. And I tell you what, having a few mins to myself to write something like this with a cuppa is the kind of thing that keeps me sane. That and nap time.

I haven't done a very eloquent job of explaining the benefits of being an introvert (there are lots, I promise!) but this beautiful animation does a very good job, have a little look see.

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