Hello! I am an introvert. Yes, I’m weird, but I’m not shy and awkward like most people think of introverts. That’s why THIS ARTICLE is so great. It’s based off of the work by Sophia Dembling, author of “The Introverts Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World.”
“People are frequently unaware that they’re introverts -– especially if they’re not shy — because they may not realize that being an introvert is about more than just cultivating time alone.”
True that. It took me a a while to figure it out for myself, and the only reason I figured it out early in life was because I studied Psychology in college. It was quite the epiphany for me. While I was reading Carl Jung (on my own time, because they don’t teach Jung much anymore), I realized that, “Hey! I’m kind of like this introvert trait.” And my development unfolded from there.
“Despite the growing conversation around introversion, it remains a frequently misunderstood personality trait. As recently as 2010, the American Psychiatric Association even considered classifying “introverted personality” as a disorder by listing it in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), a manual used to diagnose mental illness”
Holy crap. Don’t get me started on the DSM… They also briefly considered adding “Road Rage” as a mental disorder. Come on!
It is immensely important for people to understand themselves. To understand that just because you’re a little different from the norm, doesn’t mean that you’re crazy or messed up. Self-ignorance and misunderstanding can lead to tragic behaviors or real mental illness. To read a quick summary on the dangers of an “undeveloped introvert”, click here and scroll down to “The Introverts Weakness” section.
That being said, here are my favorite of the Huff Post’s “23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert”:
1. You find small talk incredibly cumbersome.
Ohmahgoodness, yes. I despise it. But, here’s what I love about what they said: it’s not that I hate small talk because I’m a jerk and hate people, it’s because it feels fake. And I am almost incapable of being fake. It makes me feel all icky inside.
3. You often feel alone in a crowd.
I have to be in the mood to interact. If I’m not, I feel alone. No matter if my best friends or family members are around me. And this isn’t necessarily a negative experience. It just IS.
5. You’ve been called “too intense.”
I don’t know how many times I’ve been called “too intense”, or simply, “intense”.
“Introverts like to jump into the deep end.” Yes, ma’m, we certainly do. This aspect of my personality directly coincides with the small-talk issue. I don’t want to talk about the weather, or the tricks your cat can do. I want to talk about our existence as human beings on a planet suspended in space unlike any other. I want to talk about the origins of life and evolution and natural rights and the role of government and human happiness, mental disorders, depression, love, life, and death! Give it to me!
10. You start to shut down after you’ve been active for too long.
This is me.
“…many introverts will resort to zoning out.” There’s a home video of me when I was about 2 or 3 years old. My family is all walking around our house putting up Christmas decorations, talking, having fun. The camera pans to me at one point- I’m staring off into space. My mom says my name a couple times, and zooms in on my spaced-out face (thanks, Mom.) Finally, I snap out of it and look at her and smile. Friends, not much has changed. I’m a “zoner” and it happens when I’ve been socially active for too long (like a couple of hours).
11. You’re in a relationship with an extrovert.
My significant other is not wholly an extrovert, but he’s good at small talk, he’s fun and he balances out my seriousness with his “funness”. We don’t always have deep, philosophical conversations and that is partly what attracts me to him. I spend my days writing about and thinking psychology, politics, existence, artistic expression, relationships, etc and when he and I get together, I’m ready for nice, simple talk about our days and the future activities we can do together. But, when I need it, we do talk about “intense” subjects and we’re both happy.
14. You screen all your calls — even from friends.
I wouldn’t say always, but definitely often. And here is my favorite part about this one- “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.”
Right! I have to be “mentally prepared” for conversations. If you ask the people who are close to me, they’ll tell you that I hate talking on the phone.
16. You have a constantly running inner monologue.
I think everyone has an inner monologue, but not in the same way that introverts do. It’s intense. I tell myself that I’m too intense sometimes.
18. You’ve been called an “old soul” -– since your 20s.
Try- since my teens! My nickname in high school was “Grandma”. Sounds mean, but it really wasn’t. It was an endearing way for my friends to tell me that they relied on me for advice, guidance, friendship, and responsibility. Recently, some friends started calling me “Mama” or “Mom”. Again, endearing. They did so because I navigated us to a restaurant we couldn’t find and I sorted out our bill when no one could figure it out.
21. You’ve been told to “come out of your shell.”
For as long as I can remember. Now, when someone says that to me, I say “No thanks”. I come out when I want to come out. End of story.
22. You’re a writer.
And that’s it! I’m sure other introverts can identify with some of the other signs, but those were the most compelling to me, personally. I also think it’s important to remember that the introversion-extroversion scale is a continuum. Some people are more introverted than others, and vice versa.
Some have even talked about the idea of ambiverts: exhibiting an equal- or close to equal- amount of introverted traits and extroverted traits.
So, are you secretly an introvert?