Part 10 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

10. You start to shut down after you’ve been active for too long.

Yes!  And it takes me a while to bounce back.

Being around people and being “on” for the folks around me is tiring, but only if I’m subjected to it for a good, solid day.  I really hate being the center of attention, but there are times when it is necessary.

There are times, during the holidays especially, where we are almost in a non-stop social groove.  Parties, game nights, dinners, etc.  Once January hits, I can’t socialize anymore for a while.  I’m just tuckered out from all the interaction – even interaction with my best friends.

My husband and I are planning our 15th anniversary wedding renewal.  I can hardly wait, but I’m also hesitant about the actual little ceremony because all eyes will be on us – on purpose.  My wedding day was awesome, but it was much larger than this little soiree will be.  And, yes, only those closest to us will be in attendance, so what’s the big deal, right?

I’m trying to keep my focus on all the other details so the ceremony won’t be a sticking point on my subconscious.  Music has helped tremendously!  I’ll jot down new songs while listening to my Pandora stations – ah, Pandora!  How I love you!

Extroverts out there, don’t be offended when your introvert pals disappear for a while.  They’ll be back…they need to rest up for the next round! 😉

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Part 8 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

8. Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards.

Nope.  Nada.  NOT going to happen.  For. Get. It.

This is where I divert from introvert to super shy.  I am not good with public speaking or anything where I’m singled out and in the spotlight.

When I applied for the newly vacated position of Director of Christian Education, I made it perfectly crystal clear that in no way would I be expected to be the “face” of the department – I would hire someone to do that.  I’m a behind the scenes kind of girl, and I’m most content that way.

I easily embarrass – flubbing a word makes my heart pound and my face turn red.  All eyes are on me – I’m not physically gasping for breath, but no matter how slowly and clearly I speak, I feel like I can’t breathe.  Before I’m singled out, I’m all nervous and shaky.  Afterwards, it takes me at least 30 minutes to come down from the anxiety ride.

I’m sure a lot of it is psychological remnant from all the times I was teased during a presentation in class, I’d be laughed at quietly.  Just enough to make me feel very uneasy and self-conscious.  That stuff never leaves you.  I’m almost 40 and those “memories” are still as vivid as they were when I was in my teens.  Even thinking about it makes me anxious.

I know, in my heart, all the people in the pews on Sunday morning love and respect me and couldn’t care less if I tripped over my tongue during a reading.  I wish it didn’t matter to me, but it does.  It’s who I am.

I have been toiling over joining our church choir for well over a year.  I just feel so intimidated by the talent up there.  I know my lack of sight reading music doesn’t matter to those up there (I’ve come to learn there are many who don’t read music).  I can sing what I hear and I do love to sing (when no one else is listening, of course).  I guess it’s just a matter of getting enough courage to actually do it.  That is one thing I always did like and was never nervous about – because I was in a group of blended voices.  I do like to just blend in.

I do apologize if there are those of you who DO excel under the conditions of performing or speaking that cannot relate to what I go through in those situations.  I wonder how many introverts out there do suffer from a degree of shyness.  I’d love to hear from you!

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Part 7 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

7. Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive to you.

Hear that?  It’s absolutely nothing!  Mondays are often my recharge day.

Weekends are busy with family, shopping, church work, and/or church socializing – and for me, that’s draining.  I’m fortunate to work a part-time job so I most often end up catching up on ME on Mondays.  I’m sure my husband doesn’t really like hearing that…sorry, hon!

Today was gorgeous outside, but I just stayed in until I had to run an errand or two before picking the kids up from school.  The dog, as always, was my lazy companion.  He’s a Pug, so it’s just in his nature.

There are some days where being unproductive is frustrating.  Usually it’s those days where I have a clear goal in mind for the day and just about anything and everything pops up just to spite me and my plans.

Lazy days I am perfectly fine with doing nothing.  And by doing nothing I mean no real goals.  I’ll work on laundry a bit, take the dog out, prep supper, make sure the dishes are done – I’m not a complete waste! 🙂

After a busy couple of days, I need to recharge in silence and at my own pace.

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Part 5 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

Apparently you have to actually do something in order for people to visit your blog.  Ha!  A couple big goose eggs with the stats over the last two days.

That’s OK…when life calls, you have to jump into action, and it’s been a busy couple of days.  So, where was I?

5. You’ve been called “too intense.”

I don’t think I’ve ever been called “intense” to my face.  People may think it, I don’t know.  Myself?  I think I can get intense with knowledge – but not just arbitrarily.

If I pick up an interest or an activity I think I can excel in, I research the crap out of it.  New pets?  I become the new expert.  A music group?  I could host my own “Behind the Music” show on the artist or group.

All this comes into play because it helps me speak intelligently about said subject.  I feel like a heel when I have no idea what someone is talking about.  I’m left out of the conversation and that makes me squirm.

I enjoy educating people with what I know (and not in a snooty kind of way, in a helpful way) because it helps me connect with them.  I love giving what I think is solid advice if someone comes up to me with a problem.  I go above and beyond for my friends when I can…if I don’t have the answer, I can find it or find someone who can find it.

I could talk for hours about the intricacies of The Walking Dead storyline, the latest news about my favorite band’s upcoming tour, or what viewpoint I just discovered in my last Bible study class.  I just love deep conversation about things I can participate in.

So, when you find someone who you think is “obsessed” “passionate” about oddball things, don’t label them as someone who’s a little too hardcore or extreme.  Think about the things YOU love and what YOU love to talk about and how it makes YOU feel.

Those things may be the very things that fuels the introvert’s energy.  We may be nerds, geeks, eccentrics – but it’s what we need to make us feel a part of something – a part of anything.

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Part 3 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

What a weekend!  Trying to get back into the old routine of things and it’s rough.  I’m tired, have a mountain of laundry (despite the fact it was all done on Friday), and I’m trying to motivate myself to blog a little.  It’s already been a busy Monday with work and on-going private stuff.

Whew.  Let’s get to:

3. You often feel alone in a crowd.

This has a caveat or two with me.  There are some crowds that I’m perfectly content with and the big one is music concerts.  I’m a huge RUSH fan, and perhaps someday I’ll have posts devoted to nothing but that terrific Canadian trio, but despite the fact that crowd is a sea of strangers, I feel so at home and have the BEST time.  RUSH fans are quite unique and it’s such an inclusive atmosphere, you can’t help but fall deep into conversation with the person next to you.

The other is church.  We have a large congregation for this area and there are still people I don’t know on any given Sunday.  I feel safe enough to not feel alone.

I have a very hard time eating out alone or taking a time-out while running errands if I have to do so in a public place.  If I do have to eat out, I do my best to prepare with a book or something to keep me active so I’m not feeling so conspicuous (when in reality most people probably don’t even notice me).  I’m very end-goal oriented when it comes to a task that, unless it’s absolutely necessary, I just won’t allow myself to stop until the task is complete and I have to go home.

There are also times, in crowds with friends, where I feel a little lost and alone.  Most often it’s when I don’t have a lot of knowledge about the activity/interest.  I embarrass easily and I hate to come off looking like an idiot.  If I’m able, I’ll find out as much as possible before hand.

Winter, coupled with Seasonal Affective Disorder, there are times I feel pretty lost and alone when friends are out of town.  I know they’re still my friend and they’re just gone temporarily, but I feel some sort of connection has been severed until they get back.  It’s weird, but it’s an awful, lonely feeling.  I did find out my Vitamin D level was insufficient, bordering on deficient and it really helped – so if you find you’re feeling on the verge of depressed certain times in the year, have your doctor get to the bottom of it!  It made a huge difference for me.

On the quirky side, I’m not often one to follow a trend, so I’m kind of intentional about isolating myself.  Reality TV?  Nope.  The latest blockbuster movie?  Meh.  Anything fashion?  Funny!  The latest one-hit wonder on the radio?  Puh-leeze.  Even the TV shows I love that happen to be popular, I don’t even start watching until 4 or 5 seasons in.  I try to start a series from the original pilot airing, but usually it’s canceled mid-season or by the end of the first season.  I guess the truly good stuff continues because I haven’t jinxed it yet.  Ha!

Am I starting to sound like a complete freak of nature?  I hope not.  I have a feeling the folks that are checking up on me daily are doing a lot of nodding in agreement.

You’re not alone!  Would love for some of you to comment and tell me a little about how you deal with these situations I’m talking about. 🙂

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