30 August 2013

Are You An Introvert?


Recently, I read an article called, 23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert. I just had to smile at all the similarities I recognized within myself. Unlike what some believe about introverts, not all of us are shy. I’m definitely a closet introvert. Well, maybe not so “closet” anymore.

Here’s an example… Last week, I had absolutely no reservations about instantly declining an invitation to a Mom’s Night Out. Granted, the proposition was extended by a sweet friend of mine but the fact remained that there would be many women there I didn’t know. Believe me, I’ve been to quite a few MNO’s in my life. I’ve even organized my share of them.

The thought of getting ready to go hang out and make idle chit-chat with a bunch a people I don’t know… So not my thing anymore. Come to think of it, I don’t know if it’s ever been my thing?

Call it age, call it whatever but I’d much rather spend the evening with my precious family or occasionally, with a few close friends… or (gasp!) even by myself. :) 

Here are some signs you might be an introvert, too!

1. You find small talk incredibly cumbersome. Introverts are notoriously small talk-phobic, as they find idle chatter to be a source of anxiety, or at least annoyance. For many quiet types, chitchat can feel disingenuous.

“Let's clear one thing up: Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people," Laurie Helgoe writes in "Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength." "We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.”

2. You go to parties -– but not to meet people. If you're an introvert, you may sometimes enjoy going to parties, but chances are, you're not going because you're excited to meet new people. At a party, most introverts would rather spend time with people they already know and feel comfortable around. If you happen to meet a new person that you connect with, great -- but meeting people is rarely the goal.

3. You've been called "too intense." Do you have a penchant for philosophical conversations and a love of thought-provoking books and movies? If so, you're a textbook introvert.

"Introverts like to jump into the deep end," says Dembling.  

4. Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive to you. One of the most fundamental characteristics of introverts is that they need time alone to recharge their batteries. Whereas an extrovert might get bored or antsy spending a day at home alone with tea and a stack of magazines, this sort of down time feels necessary and satisfying to an introvert.

5. Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards. (I’ve experienced this first hand!) Introverts can be excellent leaders and public speakers -- and although they're stereotyped as being the shrinking violet, they don't necessarily shy away from the spotlight. An estimated 40 percent of CEOs have introverted personalities. Instead, an introvert might struggle more with meeting and greeting large groups of people on an individual basis.

6. You'd rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything. The dominant brain pathways introverts use is one that allows you to focus and think about things for a while, so they’re geared toward intense study and developing expertise, according to Olsen Laney.

7. You screen all your calls -- even from friends. (Sorry, friends!) You may not pick up your phone even from people you like, but you’ll call them back as soon as you’re mentally prepared and have gathered the energy for the conversation.

"To me, a ringing phone is like having somebody jump out of a closet and go 'BOO!,'" says Dembling. "I do like having a long, nice phone call with a friend -- as long as it's not jumping out of the sky at me."

8. You notice details that others don't. (Sometimes, to a fault) The upside of being overwhelmed by too much stimuli is that introverts often have a keen eye for detail, noticing things that may escape others around them. Research has found that introverts exhibit increased brain activity when processing visual information, as compared to extroverts.

9. You have a constantly running inner monologue. (Oh, I can so relate!) “Extroverts don’t have the same internal talking as we do,” says Olsen Laney. “Most introverts need to think first and talk later."

10. You’ve been called an “old soul” -– since your 20s. (Yes!) Introverts observe and take in a lot of information, and they think before they speak, leading them to appear wise to others.

11. You look at the big picture. When describing the way that introverts think, Jung explained that they're more interested in ideas and the big picture rather than facts and details. Of course, many introverts excel in detail-oriented tasks -- but they often have a mind for more abstract concepts as well.

12. You’re a writer. Introverts are often better at communicating in writing than in person, and many are drawn to the solitary, creative profession of writing. Most introverts -- like "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling -- say that they feel most creatively charged when they have time to be alone with their thoughts.

So there you have it. It was kind of fun to see a lot of my personality traits written out and identified in this article. It also helped me to see the differences within each of my family members. Even amongst the twins, one is definitely more introverted than the other. And the longer I’m married to Morgan, the more I realize he’s way more extroverted than me!  

In His own image, God created each of us with our own unique bent and personality. What a beautiful thing to recognize, nurture, accept and appreciate.       

Genny said...

I identify with 90% of those! I thought I was the only one that screened phone calls from friends.

Catherine said...

Genny, I would have never guessed you were an introvert, too! :)

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