13 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

13. You actively avoid any shows that might involve audience participation.

Yeah, that!

I know that’s not much of a blog post, but it sums it up nicely!  😀

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Part 9 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

9. When you get on the subway, you sit at the end of the bench -– not in the middle.

I do not ride any form of public transportation unless it is my only choice.  I’m not a germ-o-phobe at all, but it’s just so unclean!

Sure, I’m on edge when I have to ride a bus or subway or shuttle, but the main reason I stay away is the lack of control I have.  Ask my husband, yes, I am a control freak.  Comes with the bit of OCD I carry around with me.

It seems every time I’m forced into public transportation as a mode of travel, something happens.  Never fails.  Breaks down, is off-schedule by A LOT, someone at home needs me and I can’t get there…you name it.  I hate being completely helpless and out of control.

As far as where I sit goes, yes, it has to be on the end.  With transport, I prefer the front – probably because all I want is OUT.  Anywhere else, the back and on the end.  I don’t like people sitting behind me, I don’t like having to inconvenience people by leaving a row if I’m in the middle.  The downside is I’m highly annoyed by all the people who DO end up sitting in the middle who 1) arrive late and bother me by needing to sit in my row and 2) cannot make it through wherever we are without getting in and out of their seat a bunch of times.

Yes, I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to performance etiquette.  Get there early and stay in your seat!  I paid good money, too, and it’s not to rise and fall by your presence in my row. 🙂

Wouldn’t it be great if all auditoriums and theaters had an aisle every four or 5 seats?!?

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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 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 4 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

Was a busy day yesterday and by the end of it I was OUT!  Sorry for the lack of posts.

Back to our list…

4. Networking makes you feel like a phony.

Does. It. Ever.

I don’t like selling and I don’t like being sold to.  Sometimes the honesty that comes out of my mouth does more harm than good, but I never have to worry about keeping up a pretense about myself.  What can I say, I was raised to be honest!

I have had the opportunity to be a part of business networking before and thankfully the crack-of-dawn meetings never worked with my schedule.  I had kids to take care of and a husband who left for work at zero-dark-thirty anyway.

Just the thought of putting on that fake smile and trying to “sell” myself gave me the creeps.

At the time, I was a studio and wedding photographer.  I had a decent amount of business and to have a ton more would have destroyed me.  Taking the photos is the easy part – it’s the hours of processing and taking/filling orders that is the hard part.

I worked so hard that, in my mind, my work should sell itself.  Ordering consults with clients I didn’t know prior to their were agonizing for me because it was full of small talk.  And I had no desire to “sell.”  What I offered I had and I didn’t want to have to convince someone into buying.  I just wanted them to fall in love with the photos, as I had, and that be all.

I really wished I could have had a salesperson to do all of that for me, but I was barely making enough for mad money, let alone an employee with a salary and taxes and blech!  I was perfectly content behind the camera rather than in front of my business.

Networking in other situations is tough, but I force myself to do it and usually there are great icebreaker activities that force me to talk.  Different church retreats and workshops I attend do this often and it really helps me.  Otherwise I’d be just sitting quietly where I am and I’d be OK with that.

Being an introvert is exhausting.  I hope some extroverts out there are finding this blog and understanding a little more about their more withdrawn counterparts. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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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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Part 1 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

I always knew I was NOT an outgoing person.  But I always thought I was just kind of shy or was so scarred by high school, I just felt uncomfortable in many different scenarios.  Until…

I have been coming across more and more of these personality articles on Facebook and this one really caught my eye.  It’s ME!

23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

1. You find small talk incredibly cumbersome.

Why yes, yes I do.  Case in point, while shopping today at the mega-store I loathe, I must have looked at every open lane (all had only one other person in line, which was miraculous) to find the cashier that was least likely to talk to me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, ask anyone that knows me – once you get me talking, I’m good at the whole talking thing.  But put me in front of a stranger who is just trying to pass the time as he or she rings up my sale?  I feel my blood pressure rise, I get kind of annoyed and I just want to get the hell out of there!

Had I not had about four million items in my cart, I would have gone to the self-checkout.  Ah, aren’t those the BEST things in the stores now?

The things I do like in situations like those are if the stranger makes a comment about a shirt I’m wearing (that usually happens when I’m in my RUSH or Doctor Who shirts) or if I’m looking at something they also have an interest in.  Specificity and a common topic are key when talking with an introvert – otherwise we just seem like stuck up people.

So, if you should come across someone who is kind of reluctant to talk at first…keep that in mind.  They could just be awkward…or, sure, they could just be a snotty douche! Ha!  Give us awkward ones a second chance!

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