I am an introvert. Hard to believe. I know. Most people don’t believe it and I almost have to make a case for it. But it’s the truth whether one chooses to believe it or not. I love my silence, hanging out in my house with my tv going quietly in the background and my kid downstairs chatting with his girlfriend, my husband in his office. Everyone doing their own things but the comfort of knowing they are all there.
My parents are social people. Both very capable of charming a room and winning friends easily. I have never come to friends easily but have learned over time how to smile, be a little charming and come out to a group. It’s not an easy task and it’s very scary to me. Will I be accepted or rejected? Will it be middle school/high school all over again? I know, I’m 45. And I am still afraid of being rejected. It’s much easier to just be the silent observer in the corner and not venture out. But the one great trait I was given is my courage. I may be afraid, but I will force myself to forge ahead into the dark scary. Sometimes, there is light. Sometimes there are monsters. But the next day I try again. It does me no good to stay in the corner afraid.
Today at work I learned what my personality is like from the observation of my Mongolian/American friend. She was shocked to learn I thought of myself as an introvert.
She said, “but you’re so LOUD”.
I was completely and absolutely insulted and hurt (loud suggests boorish, in-your-face, annoying). I, of course, didn’t say that to her. She sometimes doesn’t use the words she intends so I tried to find out what she meant.
“I’m loud?”, I asked.
She explained I wasn’t loud per se…I think she was trying to say my personality is loud, that I’m so…out there. My mother once told me I have too much personality for my own good. I can, to be fair, be a lot to handle. Alex is a lot like me and he reminds me of Tigger. They both bounce when they get excited. Yes, that is me.
When a group of us go out of town to enjoy a race get together, I am completely interested in getting my very own hotel room or sharing with one person. My inner self cringes at four or five people sharing. I can do it and not have a problem though so I sign up for whatever everyone agrees to knowing I will need my quiet time to recharge. I’m up early. I’m out for a run. I’m walking the halls. I’m not sleeping. Hopefully if I do it right, I don’t disturb anyone. I need my solitude in any way I can get it. And the more cluttered the room gets, the more cluttered my head. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just the way I work. This last trip was great, there were only three of us, everyone was neat, the room was easy.
The key here is management. Understanding your own strengths and playing to them and understanding your limitations and not letting yourself be ruled by them. Honor yourself and don’t let other people tell you how you should be or more importantly…who you are.