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Accepting Yourself as an Introvert and Loving Your Inner Tortoise

tortoise

“We can’t underestimate the value of silence. We need to create ourselves, need to spend time alone. If you don’t, you risk not knowing yourself and not realizing your dreams.” ~Jewel

Tortoises are out of fashion. They are no longer the wise ones, taking one patient step after another, coming out victorious in the end. Today, they are the ones who can’t cross the road fast enough, the ones most likely to get hit by a car.

There is shame involved in being a tortoise.

And so I have spent a considerable chunk of my life trying to turn into an extroverted hare, coming up with rationalizations for why I am not, most definitely not, an introverted tortoise.

For one, I don’t move slowly. In fact, I love to dance. I am quick in perceiving and understanding what people say and mean. I am not slow-witted.

But these explanations don’t quite cover what it means to be a tortoise—how their rhythms are slow and deep, how they enjoy taking in the scenery instead of rushing past, how they need the shell that protects their most vulnerable, precious self.

As introverts, it’s easy for us to get alienated from our own nature because of the extrovert bias in the culture at large. So, how do we reconnect with and start celebrating ourselves? It starts with self-awareness and living our own truths.

The Way We Manage Energy

As opposed to extroverts who turn to other people to recharge and renew themselves, too much interaction saps our energy. Introverts turn inward and need quiet spaces to recharge. This is why we turn to nature, to prayer, to solitary hobbies.

We already know this from our own experience. What we often struggle with is the validity of this preference for time alone. I’ve wrestled with this too, thinking that there is something wrong with me if I am not excited about going to a party or socializing at the end of a hectic day.

It’s only recently that I’ve begun to let go of this internal dialogue. By going deeper into my own creativity—writing more, doing photography—I’ve realized that what I am actually lonely for is a connection with myself. When I’m taking a photograph, for example, I feel present and whole.

Engaging in activities that make us happy helps us focus on all that is right with us, instead of wondering whether we are faulty.

As introverts, we need to start giving ourselves permission to go deeper into our own nature. If building legos, reading books, or watching birds gives us joy, that’s what we should be doing instead of going along with what other people think is fun.

It might be fun for them, but is it fun for us?

Another thing that I’ve learned is that although I need time alone, not all interactions affect my energy in the same way. While many social interactions leave me feeling depleted, there are some that have the opposite effect.  In her wonderful book, The Introvert’s Way, Sophia Dembling discusses this with Cognitive scientist Jennifer Grimes.

Grimes says that the real issue is not how much energy we put in a situation, but whether we get an adequate return on this energy investment.

She says, “There are people who like to invest a lot of energy and get a lot back. Some people don’t want to invest a lot and don’t expect a lot back. The people who are deemed the extroverts in pop literature, the people who are social butterflies, what they get back on an interpersonal level is sufficient for them.”

As introverts, we need to be aware of this. While small talk is draining for us, meaningful conversations are energizing. They require us to expend energy, but they also give us energy back.

Haven’t we all talked for hours about something we are passionate about, and been at a loss about what to say when we are talking politely with an acquaintance?

The Rhythms of Social Conversation

As an introvert, social conversations can be a challenge for me. I didn’t realize earlier that one of the reasons for this is the difference in the rhythms of how introverts and extroverts communicate.

When we are asked a question, introverts usually pause to think about it before replying. We need this space to formulate our answers. This is different from extroverts, who formulate their answers while talking.

Because of this difference, when we are silent, extroverts can perceive this as meaning that we have nothing to say and rush in with their own thoughts. And while they are talking, we can’t think. This dynamic renders introverts mute.

For me, understanding this has been extremely important. Instead of getting frustrated that I didn’t get a chance to speak, I’ve started responding differently. By showing the other person that I am still thinking by providing visual cues (like furrowing my brows), I hold my ground better in a conversation.

I’ve also started letting myself interrupt the other person. And in the case of those people who are extreme talkers, I’ve understood that it’s okay to disengage and simply walk away. By doing these things, I’ve created more space and freedom in my interactions.

While understanding this basic difference between extroverts and introverts is important, we also need to be aware of the mistakes we can inadvertently make in social situations. One of these is being too quiet in a new group setting. Introverts don’t realize that it is the silent person in the group who gains more and more power as the conversation goes on.

Elaine Aron talks about this dynamic in her wonderful book The Highly Sensitive Person. She says that if we remain silent in a new group, other people can be left wondering if we are judging them, unhappy about being part of the group, or even thinking of leaving the group. As a defence mechanism, the group might reject us before we have a chance to reject them.

So, in a new group, it becomes extremely important for introverts to communicate what they are thinking, even if it is just to say that we are happy to listen and will speak up when we have something to say.

The Focus on all That’s Right with Us

As introverts, most of us have heard messages about all the things that are wrong with us. We are too intense, too solitary, not fun enough. We may not have asked our own questions back.

What’s wrong with thinking deeply? What’s wrong with solitude? What’s wrong with enjoying one-on-one conversations instead of a big party? And fun according to whom?

Once we give ourselves permission to ask these questions, we can also start seeing our own strengths more clearly. What the culture considers an aberration is what makes the best part of us.

Thinking deeply gives us new insights. It helps us see new relationships between things. The solitude that we love is also the springboard for our creativity. It gives us the chance to imagine and re-imagine our world.

Aren’t these all amazing things?

As introverts, connecting with our essence is what will help us actualize our talents. Not acting like an extrovert. I am sure it’s great to be a hare, but not if you are a tortoise.

Photo by Lee Ruk

Profile photo of Ritu Kaushal

About Ritu Kaushal

Ritu Kaushal is a writer, classical dancer, and emerging photographer. She is also a free spirit, a gypsy, and a lover of music. She writes about sensitivity and the challenges of living as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) in her blog at www.walkingthroughtransitions.com.

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  • Gigi

    …this post resonates deeply with me, it has been a year since I embraced my nature of being an HSP: I now realize this is just a step on the process of discovering my true self. I need to reconnect my body and soul as I now see I’ve forced myself for far too long: seeing my emotional responses as too intense, the way my body reacted to situations as wrong, always trying to reach standards and fight challenges which, sadly, weren’t mine own. I need love, but really, I need to love myself first, and only then feel joy and truly love another human being. There’s one person now I need to make feel comfortable and safe, and this is me. I have to really take care of myself before stretching out to reach what is now unreachable.

  • This is a great post Ritu, I too am an Introvert and when I was younger I tried to be an extrovert, but in never seemed to work. I am at peace being an introvert now and love being the observer, there is so much to learn from everyone. I love thinking and I love meditation, just enjoying my own self. I have learnt to be who I am, instead of trying to be what I am not, it makes life so much easier.

    Thank you Ritu for a valuable post.

  • Foosa Noble

    Quite true those who speak the least say the most…

  • Ryan Smith

    i guess i’ve had a hard time finding friends that can accept how i am in social situations. there are times that i find myself being more outgoing (usually like you said, when something is really engaging to me) but most of the time i am exhausted by small talk and become bored quite quickly, and just want to go home. the way people react to my idea of a good time (small gatherings, interesting activities, etc vs. big parties, loud bars, that kind of “normal” thing) makes me feel like i’m the one who is in the wrong. i feel like finding acceptance from others is what throws me off…i feel like i’m lazy, or just plain not fun to be around. i’m trying to learn to accept who i am but it’s hard when no one else seems to find me very fun to be with.

    people always call me an old lady (i’m 25) because i’d prefer to get a good night’s sleep and then spend the day doing fun activities with my boyfriend or my close friends than go out and get drunk til 2 a.m. i prefer staying in or just going out for a little while to going out all weekend long.

    anyway, thank you for the article. i never considered how other people may perceive my quietness as rudeness or me being uninterested. i need to be more aware of my body language and how i may appear to everyone else!

  • I love this! I used to think something was wrong with me when I didn’t want to go out and be social like all of my other friends. Sometimes I was but most of the time I didn’t prefer to party and rage. But it’s interesting because when I didn’t, I would see how much fun they had or get a text that I missed out and then I got a sense of remorse like I really did miss out. It’s taken me time to realize going out and partying is not really something I enjoy doing, let alone do to recharge. I have found other activities that are social bring out the best in me like you mentioned above– meaningful conversations. Thank you for sharing this fellow introvert 🙂

  • Insightful post. I love the way you describe the differences, they were right on. Thank you.

  • Peace Within

    This is a great post Ritu. I am an introvert and I didn’t understand it for a long time. I have my own hobbies that are different than most people. Now, I embrace them. I also pick up on peoples energies and emotions. Sometimes this can be draining. I keep minimal contact with people that drain the energy out of me. My favorite things to do are take nature walks and just relax by the ocean, a great way to recharge my energy. Once we understand ourselves it is like finding the key to our lives. Now, I perceive it as a gift. Take care. <3

  • Ellie

    Just last week I started to realize a few things about how people view social butterflies and outgoing folks. Through my oriental medicine studies, I read that having all your energy bubbling at the surface and talking a lot can display an imbalance in the heart channel. Having a calm and balanced demeanor actually portrays a healthier spirit (and body). Think of the quiet sage. I’m a very social person but I tend to get drained during social events and in the past at parties. I always believed I was more introverted because I enjoyed spending my time alone. That was until just last month when I found a circle of women who I can socialize with for hours while continuing to gain energy and dele like I’m being healed.

    I love that this post calls out our cultural preference for extroverts. It’s true, but those who don’t fit this description shouldn’t feel like the exceptions or the weaker species. I think in most cultures of the world it’s the opposite. America can be screwy like that.

  • katie

    Yes, yes, oh, yes. “too much interaction saps our energy. Introverts turn inward and need quiet spaces to recharge”…exactly.

  • Rachael Mae

    Thank you so much for writing this article. It was not only wonderful to read but a huge reassurance!

  • lv2terp

    As an extrovert, I found this post extremely helpful to be more aware, attentive, and conscious of my presence too…thank you so much for this post/message/information! 🙂 Beautiful to discover who we are and be proud and happy with what we find! So GREAT! 🙂 hugs

  • Philosopher

    This is a beautiful piece! Very true 🙂

  • JRoseBooks.com

    I’m definitely a mix of an introvert and an extrovert. Though everyone assumes that I am an extrovert because I am hyper and can talk to anyone, anywhere. But I can either recharge with a group or all by myself – honestly, I get a more fulfilling recharge alone, meditating.

    I’ve had to train myself over the years to pause and give others space to talk. For one friend, sometimes I’ll even wait 30 seconds or a minute in the middle of conversation for him to respond. And that is okay.

  • Talya Price

    I am more in between however I identify myself as a lone wolf. And I love being a lone wolf. I travel the world alone, always on the move and I get bored very easily. I tend to be quiet and stay to myself, but I am okay with being on my own. I wish society would stop making introverts out to be lunatics.

  • Audrey Meyer

    Wonderful piece! I especially loved the line, “I’ve realized that what I’m actually lonely for is a connection with myself.” This really struck a chord with me, because it is so easy to misunderstand feelings of loneliness as something which only the addition of another can cure, but I, too, really feel that sometimes the vital thing I’m missing is a connection with myself. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

  • Kaylin Lydia

    This is a great post! I am a social person who enjoys socialization but only recently identified my exhaustion as the source of being an introvert trying to live an extroverted life. It was kind of life changing. Now I take time to consider my energy level before committing to any social event. Thanks for writing!

  • Great post Ritu~
    I loved that you spoke to the importance of taking back power in such a highly extroverted culture. When we do so, we also give others permission to surrender into their own introverted nature. Every voice, regardless of introversion or extroversion, deserves to be heard, honored and given space.

  • ritu kaushal

    Thank you ! You are so right. Understanding ourselves IS like finding the key to our lives. It’s so great that you have found your way to a place where you can embrace who you are and all your gifts. I agree that it’s very important to protect our energy. I love being in nature too and find water especially calming. Thank you again for reading !

  • ritu kaushal

    Thank you 🙂 I can completely relate to that. There’s always the fear of missing out. But as you found out, a lot of us are more comfortable being social in our own ways. I think the cultural norm today is to equate being “social” with being in big groups and so, if we are not doing that, we feel that we are missing out on all the fun. But that’s not true. To each his own.

  • ritu kaushal

    Yes indeed !

  • ritu kaushal

    Thank you so much ! That’s a big piece of the puzzle for me. Of course, we do need close relationships. But simply being around people does not cure loneliness. It took me a long time to understand what giving yourself what you need means. It’s hugely liberating to know that we can nourish ourselves.

  • ritu kaushal

    I know what you mean. If people around us don’t mirror us, we start thinking that something must be wrong with us. If they love big parties, we should too. The truth is there’s nothing wrong with us. We just have our own way of being, our own preferences. I think you are just being yourself.

    Yes, letting go of finding acceptance is a biggie. The culture today also makes it harder for introverts because introversion is not the norm today. I think that’s something to keep in mind – there’s our internal struggle for acceptance and there’s also a struggle because we compare ourselves to a cultural norm.

    You are welcome 🙂 I’m glad it was helpful. And thank you for reading !

  • Marquita Herald

    Well said. I am an Introvert, as a matter of fact if you buy into Myers Briggs personality assessment I’ve been tagged as an “extreme” Introvert. But what is interesting about that is I’ve enjoyed a long successful career in sales and marketing, traveling around the world attending conferences and speaking to groups from 30 to 500 – all the things that so many experts say we Introverts struggle with or shy away from all together.

    My point is that I’m a happy Introvert who has never felt my options limited because I learned long ago how to manage my energy and embrace the things that matter most to me. If I can do it, anyone can.

  • ritu kaushal

    Thank you ! And thank you for sharing. It’s great to know that you’ve found your way to enjoying your own way of being.

    ” I have learnt to be who I am, instead of trying to be what I am not, it makes life so much easier.” Yes, exactly !

  • ritu kaushal

    Thank you ! I’m so glad this post resonated deeply with you. Understanding that I am an HSP was very important for me too. And it’s true that it’s just the first step. It is very important to reframe all our past experiences in the light of this knowledge and have compassion for ourselves. Yes, we need to love ourselves first. Finding our way back to ourselves can be tough, but it’s worth it. I hope you find all you need to make this happen for yourself and share your gifts with the world !

  • Ellen Bard

    Lovely piece Ritu, and a wonderful analogy. I hadn’t previously aspired to be a tortoise! Here’s to all of us understanding, accepting and nurturing who we really are.

  • Zen Stick

    I’m amazed by how quick we are to label ourselves as ‘introverts’ just because we have felt socially inadequate at times. Ok, it’s an understandable tendency to want to know where we fit in socially, specially if we have been exposed to certain struggles, and yes, I think if you’re an introvert you won’t get on too well pretending to be an extrovert, but I think we all would be much happier and even more an at ease if we we just dropped these labels altogether and let go of trying to formulate ideas and concepts of who we are. But we can’t drop these labels unless we drop our attachment to our thinking and understanding, can we? Buddha was trying to enlighten us to the nature of suffering, the no-self and the freedom that comes with it’s realisation, so why are we clinging to thought-based identities to find some sense of security? Maybe Tiny Buddha is into that. But a Big Buddha would have none of it. Getting out of suffering doesn’t come from stamping our foreheads with yet another label to hang around our necks like a noose; Getting out of suffering comes from wanting to get out of it, and that comes from investigating it and finding our true nature – beyond concepts and labels, which this article doesn’t actually fail to elucidate – it’s only clouded by a mass of potentially misleading concept. “As introverts, connecting with our essence is what will help us actualize our talents. Not acting like an extrovert.” Absolutely, but this principle is true for an extrovert as much as it is for an introvert, and dare I say that the essence of an introvert and extrovert is the same essence and indeed all of the universe. Why be partial towards sharing such great wisdom to introverts only? I’m sure extroverts suffer and struggle just as much as the common introvert. There is even a simpler wisdom available for complex lives than just trying to find another label to box oneself in – which is what it looks like we are doing. This is a lovely, well-written article, but only represents a step on the tortoise-path – the tortoise path, just like the hare’s, has the same ultimate destination – somewhere beyond all this seemingly sense of separateness between introverts, extroverts, I, me, you, mammals, birds, amphibians, rivers, moons, planets, stars, etc.. which makes this world appear hostile. And focusing on the essence of that is more important than just finding somewhere comfortable to fall asleep on the path IMO (which is what the hare does.. lol.. sucker)

  • jaycobb

    Zen, you have a very valid point. Great minds reach the level of “label less ness” if I may say so, but small minds (where everyone starts from) are pulled towards labels and from there they have to grow up step-by-step and realize the smallness in being attached some label… and liberate themselves from any kind of labels. So, IMHO feel the article does provide a path to where you finally want to reach ….

  • ritu kaushal

    That’s lovely ! 🙂 And thank you so much for reading !

  • ritu kaushal

    Yes, time to accept who we are ….

  • ritu kaushal

    I agree with you that the essence of who we are is much greater than any personality traits. Being an introvert, however, is rooted in our physiology. Research has shown that an introvert’s brain responds in a very different manner to stimuli as compared to an extrovert’s brain. It is important to understand that. Introversion is not about feeling socially inadequate. Anyone can be shy – whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. Introversion is about how you recharge, where you get your energy from.

    This article focused on understanding introverts. When I say, “As introverts, connecting with our essence is what will help us actualize our talents. Not acting like an extrovert” it is because the article is about introversion. Of course, the opposite is also true. An extrovert acting like an introvert will be unhappy. Today though, extroversion is the norm and an introvert is much more likely to feel pressure to act extroverted than vice versa.

    In the end, we are more than the sum of our parts. But I also think in order to understand ourselves, we need to understand different aspects of who we are. And whoever we are, we have the right to BE that person, not feel pressure to conform to norms.

  • I feel that I am an introvert and an extrovert. I love being by myself but I also love meeting new people and being the life of the party. I have no fears about walking into a room full of total strangers and introducing myself to get to know them. I also cherish my time alone and being by myself.

    Anyone else have both of these characteristics?

  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    This is a really interesting blog & one that was much needed to be addressed for the more ‘introverted’ character types to be more true to their authentic selves (instead of feeling shame/guilty about what they find meaningful/passionate in their lives) and also for the more ‘extroverted’ ones to be able to understand them better, due to the often miscommunication that may happen between the two types! However, I would like to add that while these personalities are there in all of us more or less…this often extreme polar opposite view of Introverts Vs Extroverts; is a culturally constructed view which in my personal experience and studying cultural anthropology is more prevalent in Western Cultures, particularly in the American Popular Culture.

    “And in the case of those people who are extreme talkers, I’ve understood that it’s okay to disengage and simply walk away.” In defense of those of us who are the extreme talkative types…not all of us do it consciously or as a lack of respect for the views/opinion of the other person(s) that we are talking to…:)

  • As an ex-concrete extrovert I want to say that being introvert was difficult for me. I didn’t want to go home and lay in my bed alone with myself, I was even frightened of the idea that I am going to be alone.

    What I realized after being alone for couple of months (not in jail, haha, but alone away from the crowd of people) is that there is not concrete introvert or concrete extrovert person. To be authentically positive and happy around people and to spread that energy, first we need to be alone and overcome that fear of being alone. I am sure 80% of the people, if not more, are afraid to be left alone with their thoughts because they are afraid of themselves, that’s why they need the crowd to share the thought’s, to be accepted somewhere.

    I would suggest to all, and to you, that you are not introvert and extrovert person, you are overcoming the balance of your life. I was happy and laughing with people, and believe me I was the most positive guy in the world, but leave me alone and see me rot! That feeling is gone now, and being authentically happy with and without crowd is beautiful! I want to say that you are not jailed inside of you, but you are releasing the beauty of you inner self to the outer world. Great read once again Ritu!

  • Kirsty

    Thank you so much for this. I have recently come to learn a lot more about being introverted. I love time on my own and only now can I really relish it rather than berating myself that something must be wrong with me. The point you make about meaningful conversations over ‘chit chat’ really resonated and is something I hadn’t considered. I have a friend who I always enjoy spending time with because all of our discussions are about a news topic, or spirituality, or world concerns. It doesn’t matter if we disagree, the conversations are just so interesting and give me so much food for thought. Thank you

  • Thanks so much for this wonderful post, Ritu! I’m just catching up on my reading from last week and it couldn’t have been more timely to see this right now. It was a rough day and I was feeling energetically robbed by all the extroverted energy going on around me. Like many of the other comments, I used to feel like something was wrong with me. These days I’ve learned to get by in an extroverted world while still honoring my temperament. Although, every now and then (like today!), I’m more than a little annoyed by lack of sensitivity from extroverts in my midst! haha!

  • ritu kaushal

    You make some great points. Thank you for reading !

  • ritu kaushal

    I agree !

  • Christine

    Can you ever truly label yourself as an introvert?

  • Joseph Robinson

    The love of my life is an introvert. I’m an extrovert way over on the scale of social butterfly.

    “Thinking deeply gives us new insights” is something we all share. She teaches me to slow down and turtle in more often to catch my breath.
    She tells me I help her with words (without me saying anything) when she wants to speak but is silent.
    I guess she really is listening to what I’m rambling on about all the time.
    It is truly lovely to be “heard” and I’m glad to be an inspiration for her even when I’m quiet or not around.
    I’m on a mission to help evolve consciousness in the world and found that this conversation about or differences and what is the status quo is very useful. I might add to the conversation a point that it will be our common benefits from each other’s nature that will grow deeper connections.
    These deeper connections are available to us all.
    My lovely introvert has taught me to do that in addition to my energy building social sharing via sitting quietly together watching the world evolve.

  • Carl Jung once said, that there’s no such thing as “pure” extrovert or an introvert, which suggests that we act and react in different situations according to our unique inner sense of “what feels right” – so it is perfectly OK to be an introvert or an extravert as long as it’s natural, I guess ;-]

  • Heather Mason-Goodell

    This is so me! people think I am a snob or a old lady because I don’t want to go out and do a lot of social things. It is just not were I am comfortable. what is actually funny about this post is the photo you used it looks just like my pet turtle that I have had since I was 16 I am now 45. I am so glad I found this article I posted it on my facebook page.

  • ritu kaushal

    Thank you for sharing ! Glad it resonated with you.

  • Yawar Khan

    Its so nice to read this article, Thanks a lot Ritu for writing this. I am an introvert.

  • Kat

    Heather, I am he same way. This article feels like it was written about me.

  • Bay Ratt

    There’s a great book I found called “The Introvert Advantage” that really made me feel “heard and understood” as an introvert. I spent most of the book saying “THAT’S ME!!” And it was very clear on what it means to be introverted or extroverted. People think introvert & anti-social go together, when really it is just how we get our energy. Introverts need “me time” and sometimes need to watch & enjoy the party from the periphery, whereas extroverts get jazzed and energetic being in the middle of the group and all of the hustle & bustle. It doesn’t mean that we don’t want to go or be invited to the party. Though we might want to take our own car so we can leave when we want to. 🙂 It is great to be an introvert, the world needs us as much as it does extroverts. I like reading articles on introvertedness because I keep needing reminding about how okay it is. Thank you!!

  • Hi Ritu! Thanks for this insightful article 🙂 I’ve always made myself wrong for not wanting to do social activities all the time. Always pushing myself to go out and do social interactions even if it drained me because I thought it was the right thing to do. You’re right, it just boils down to how we manage energy and what’s important is to focus on what gives us energy, what makes us happy and what is right with us. Thanks again for this 🙂

  • ritu kaushal

    Thanks Yawar !

  • SOngrx81

    That is very respectful and sweet of you. I being a introvert am grateful for these little bit of times to think and given a chance to express my thought.
    I mean we are are special in our way

  • Danielle Dinh

    Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading this book and hope to get out as much from this book as you have.

  • member48

    I know I’m an introvert, but I don’t want to be. At the same time I don’t want to be the loud, obnoxious one in the crowd either. I like that I’m a listener. I hate that I can’t make small talk. I like being left alone to do my own thing. I hate being alone in the world. I do feel like I’m missing out when others are meeting up and having dinner parties…I hate it if I actually have to go! My “better half” is one of these people who has all these really close friends that he’s had for 30 yrs and it’s a huge part of who he is and what defines him. I wish I had what he has. I know it’s not good for people to be all on their own. It scares me to have it…it scares me not to have it. I don’t want to call up someone from my past and reconnect…I don’t know how to make a new friend… I think I’m afraid that if I do I’ll lose out on the “my time” that I don’t get nearly enuf of… And I don’t want to be a friend to someone only when it’s convenient to me. It all makes me feel so messed up.

  • GodsChick

    Thank you for giving words to my experience! It seems that given the extrovert bent our jobs as good little introverts is to growing up and start touring the world giving lectures or something. Thank you for affirming the good that introverts bring into the world! I am learning to be more assertive but it is great to be mindful that I do not need to change the essence of who I am as a person. I can’t count the number of times I have been labeled as snobbish for not being so talkative in groups. I do talk more one on one but I get really chatty when topics of my interest are sparked.

  • GodsChick

    I can relate. 🙂

  • reba

    I am right there with you… Add to the mix a job I hate draining the life out of me and mild depression, and I have totally alienated myself from all the friends I used to have. I guess they just stopped inviting me out because I never went anyway. Now I feel like everyone hates my guts, and I have no clue how to reconnect with the few people I used to be friends with.

  • Emilly

    Thank you

  • Chris

    I recently retired, but when I was working I liked nothing better than to enjoy a walk and lunch by myself, an opportunity to get away from the chatter and chaos for a little while and think. It was difficult sometimes, though, because when people saw me alone they assumed I wanted company, and I never did, but I also didn’t want to be rude. I learned to slip out at off times, use the stairs instead of the elevator, etc. The people who knew me best left me alone but clearly did not “get” it.

  • Maggie Patton

    Awesome post. Thank you for articulating how I feel. You probably wrote this post so well because you were alone and able to think… 🙂