Today’s Preface to the Blog – I’m making myself #gigglesnort at the title I gave it…because, let’s be real…don’t embrace an introvert. We don’t like it. This is my dancing space, this is your dancing space. GET OFF ME!! 😉
ANYWAY…Hi, my name is Sheri and I’m an introvert.
People LOVE telling me that I’m not (because they know me better than I know myself), but I am one of the most introverted people you’ll ever meet. Yes, I’m good at putting on a face in large groups…I can be boisterous and loud (too loud sometimes)…but it’s actually rather hard and probably why I struggle to find a middle ground (and people think I’m too much)…
In an effort to not make people uncomfortable with how quiet I am, I make them uncomfortable with how loud I am. Sing it with me, y’all… ♫ I don’t know why I go to extremes… ♫
Actually, on this one, I do. I was always REALLY quiet as a little girl. I was literally voted “quietest person” in my 6th grade yearbook. I liked people, but I didn’t talk. As one of my childhood friends put it later in life, “You wouldn’t even talk to your own best friends…”. That’s how quiet and shy I was. Then I met my dad’s family…Italian men/boys…A LOT of Italian men/boys. They have a belief that quiet people can’t be trusted and pushed me to be extroverted. I also couldn’t be heard over them unless I was LOUD. But, I was so painfully shy it was SUPER hard for me to force myself to not be shy. Then…around 7th grade I had an epiphany. If I knew everyone I’d never have a reason to be shy. So that became my goal. FORCE MYSELF to be friendly and get to know everyone so I didn’t have to be in uncomfortable shy situations.
And that’s how the Sheri that everyone assumes is an extrovert was born.
I can people. I even look like I’m good at it. And, some days, I even do enjoy it.
But, LORD it takes a lot out of me.
I’ve been realizing more and more lately that that’s a big chunk of what’s been going on with my head. For over a year I really pushed myself to PEOPLE. And I enjoyed it…but I didn’t give myself nearly enough recharge time.
Here’s the thing. I’ve always said, “I love persons. I love humanity in general. It’s groups of people that are the problem.”
Give me one or two people to talk to and hang out with…that’s my sweet spot. I can hang out all day. (I’ll still need a little recharge later, but it’s not HARD. It’s enjoyable.) Let me talk to people on a deep level. Let me know them. I want to understand who they are…why they are who they are…what they dream of and what they fear…I want to know it all.
But I can’t do small talk. I need real. Surface small talk makes me anxious.
Why am I writing about this this morning? Because this morning that introvert part REALLY became clear.
I was walking with a new friend…I laughed and said I was sorry that I wasn’t very talkative… “Please don’t be. I’m an introvert. I like quiet.” Me: “THANK GOD! OMG that’s so good to hear. I’m so used to being around the extroverts that I feel like I have to keep talking.”
So, we walked. A little chatting, but mostly quiet.
Then a couple others joined us. They were walking ahead and talking about life, my new friend and I were hanging back quietly. She looked at me and whispered, “See…they can do the talking, we can just hang.” “This is so much better!” And we did still chat. We talked about our kids, we talked about working out, we learned things about each other. Even with a new friend, it was more than surface.
Which also made me realize…Introverts don’t waste words. We know that we only have so much talking we can handle…so we make it count. We don’t chat about trivial things because that’s a waste of our social battery.
So…this morning that’s my epiphany…I’m going to stop fighting who I am. Not to say that I’ll never be around a crowd anymore, but…
I’m going to embrace the introvert. I’m going to allow myself to not feel bad when I can’t do large crowds…when I’m uncomfortable because I’m surrounded by too much small talk…when I need to be around only one or two people who are willing to actually talk on a deeper level with me.
That’s who I am. And there’s nothing wrong with who I am.
And, those who love me, will love me enough to let me truly know them so that I can be comfortable with them in all my introverted shy ways. ❤