I, like many others, always thought I was shy, I had self-confidence issues, until I read a book on the power of introverts. THis book opened my eyes to the fact that I was not lacking in any way. I was simply an introvert. The time it takes me to respond to others when in a heated discussion was always irritating. It seemed I could never just respond without taking time to think things over. The way I get overstimulated like an infant would, and have to seperate myself from people because I get overwhelmed, seemed odd. I was brought up to think these were "odd" behaviors because extroverts are socially accepted and introverts are to be corrected into being extroverts. This book made me realize the power of being an introvert and how to embrace it to live a healthier lifestyle for myself.
These are just some of the things that I realized are my introvert nature:
*When I work on projects, I like to have larger uninterrupted time periods rather
than smaller chunks.
*I sometimes rehearse things before speaking, occasionally writing notes for myself.
*In general, I like to listen more than I like to talk.
*People sometimes think I’m quiet, mysterious, aloof or calm.
*I like to share special occasions with just one person or a few close friends, rather
than have big celebrations.
*I usually need to think before I respond or speak.
*I tend to notice details many people don’t see.
*If two people have just had a fight, I feel the tension in the air.
*I feel anxious if I have a deadline or pressure to finish a project.
*I can “zone out” if too much is going on.
*I like to watch an activity for a while before I decide to join in.
*I don’t like to interrupt others; I don’t like to be interrupted.
*When I take in lots of information, it takes me awhile to sort it out.
*I don’t like over-stimulating environments.
*I am creative and/or imaginative.
*I feel drained after social situations, even when I enjoy myself.
*I prefer to be introduced rather than to introduce others.
*I can become grouchy if I’m around people or activities too long.
*I often feel uncomfortable in new surroundings.
*I like people to come to my home, but I don’t like them to stay too long.
*I often dread returning phone calls.
*I find my mind sometimes goes blank when I meet people or when I am asked to
*I talk slowly or have gaps in my words, especially if I am tired or if I am trying to
speak and think at once.
*I don’t think of casual acquaintances as friends.
*I feel as if I can’t show other people my work or ideas until they are fully
understand through observation and prefer not to act or respond without thoughtful consideration. Introverts will take in information and perhaps ask a few clarifying questions.
They will not frequently interrupt with the questions and comments that most extraverts are prone to do. Introverts need time “to digest” information before responding to it. They characteristically pause before action.
This pause, often called hesitation by others, gives them time to study and classify a new situation so the action taken will make sense in the long run.
Introverts prefer to work with people individually rather than in large groups. They are likely to go deeply into their work and are reluctant to call it finished. When they do display their work they tend to give only their conclusions, without details of what they did. They need time to reflect, time to ponder possible solutions to problems and time to let emotions settle down before they can talk about them.
Tensions can develop when the introvert is in the minority in a group such as the classroom, where the prevailing climate is established/controlled by the predominant extroverts. If too much togetherness with others is demanded, the development of ideas is inhibited.
Also, introverts need time to reflect on a question before answering and, in an analysis of taped classroom discussion, it was found that teachers tend to wait less than one second for students to reply to their questions. (Rowe ,1974 cited in VanTassel – Baska, 1998) Introverts read more than extraverts partly because it is a socially acceptable way of gaining some needed time alone. Introverts need time to reflect, time to let emotions settle down before they can talk about them, time to ponder possible solutions to problems. If you need to discuss an issue with an introvert, raise the matter and then postpone discussion for at least 24 hours to let the introvert have time to think about it.
Introverts need to recharge their energy and take care of their unique temperament in many areas of their lives. Check these tips out.
- Take short rests before you are tired
- Write in time-outs on your daily calendar
- Include nature every day, sit in the yard, go for a walk, look at trees or set a soothing outdoor picture on your table
- Create down time to store energy before any big event
- Remind yourself its OK to be introverted
- Since you may not speak in meetings, write a memo to co-workers/boss afterward with your comments and suggestions
- Tell your boss you need to think before you can discuss your thoughts
- Say thank you if someone gives you a compliment
- Include yourself by coming early to meetings to help set up or clean up afterwards
- Say hello to people, smile and say thank you to presenters at the end of meetings
- Leave notes for those you care about
- Talk about your differences based on your temperaments
- Discuss how to clear up conflicts
- You have the capacity to enjoy private time
- Plan for couple and friend time
- Choose which events you want to attend, it's OK to decline invitations
- Remind yourself you may feel overstimulated at social gatherings and that is OK
- Stay on the side-lines and observe before you enter festive occasions
- Decide when you will arrive and leave, you can always stay longer if you feel peppy enough
- Wear an interesting piece of jewelry or tie (usually guys) as a conversation starter
- Explain introverted qualities to your child
- Never correct your child in front of others
- Let them watch before entering an activity
- Encourage breaks to recharge
- Realize they need time to think before responding to questions