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What a Typical Day Is Like for Introverts

What a Typical Day Is Like for Introverts

Hearing the word introvert probably conjures up a person who is shy and not willing to interact with people; however, being an introvert and being shy are two separate personality traits. While some people can be both, many introverts just find a sense of peace being in their own company and indulging in lone pursuits away from others. This doesn’t mean they hate being around people; it just means they need less time in the presence of others.

There are many positive ways introverts contribute to the world around them — they are good observers, and are trustworthy, focused, and thought-provoking. In essence, introverts may come across as shy and reticent but they are just predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than external things.

A typical day for an introvert will vary, but the core inner feelings transcend throughout each day and can shape interaction with others and their choices of activities.

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A Day in the Life of an Introvert

7:00 a.m. — You go for a run.

You enjoy activities by yourself, so going for a run alone is no bother. Putting in your music and setting out for your morning workout is an excellent time to start the day and get your thoughts in check. Introverts are deep thinkers, so a good workout is not only a good opportunity to think about the day ahead, but it’s also a great opportunity to clear the mind of unneeded thoughts that are cluttering your brain.

8:30 a.m. — You enjoy reading your book on the commute to work.

Introverts love being in their own little world and reading is the perfect way to do this. It’s also a way of shutting out anyone around you — not because you are trying to be rude, but because you just enjoy the mindfulness and comfort of being immersed in your book with no distractions.

9:00 a.m. — You notice your co-worker’s new haircut.

Being an introvert, you are very good at making observations, and you are often the first to notice something different like a colleague’s new hair cut or new outfit. This is why introverts can sometimes be recognized as being thoughtful. Being observant also means you pick up on conversations and any awkward moments even if you aren’t involved in the conversation itself.

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12:00 p.m. — You become absorbed in your work.

Time can often fly when you’re an introvert because you get very immersed in whatever you’re doing. You have a knack of focusing well on anything you put your mind to. Introverts tend to be driven and disciplined and can direct their energy well into a project or a goal, especially if it’s something they’re passionate about.

1:00 p.m. — You go out for work lunch but leave earlier than others.

You go out for lunch and enjoy the break with colleagues and friends, but you are more likely to leave lunch much earlier than the others especially if lunch extends longer than usual. This isn’t because you’re trying to be rude or hate the people you’re with, but introverts need a certain amount of time away from people to recuperate mentally. Sometimes being in the company of others can be a bit too much especially if there are dominating personalities around you.

5:00 p.m. — You get invited out for drinks but decline.

The thought of being in a large group and socializing can be okay for an introvert for a certain amount of time, but after a while it can become boring to them. The common notion that being by yourself is lonely and boring without interaction with others is the complete opposite for an introvert. Many people find this hard to understand, but if you’re an introvert, you know exactly what I mean! Because of this, many invitations are declined or plans can be cancelled at the last minute in favor of staying in and enjoying your own company.

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5:15 p.m. — A stranger on the bus makes small talk — and you hate it.

There you are happily reading your book with an empty seat next to you, when someone decides to sit down despite there being numerous other seats they could have chosen. This annoys you a bit but what can you do? However, the person then starts asking you about your book and the dread sets in. You absolutely hate small talk and never know what to say or how to carry on the conversation — the awkwardness ruins your journey and you’re annoyed you didn’t get to finish that last page of the chapter before your bus stop approaches.

5:30 p.m. — You’re happy to be home.

As an introvert, you love being home. Home to you is your safe place and the place where you can truly relax and unwind. This is why you’d secretly love to be able to have a job where you can work from home and just be surrounded by your comforts.

6:00 p.m. — Your friend calls.

You love your friends, and just because you decline invitations and cancel plans sometimes doesn’t mean you don’t love having people in your life. As an introvert, you are more likely to have a small, close circle of friends rather than hundreds of acquaintances that demand your time. You love having interaction with your close friends, but they are the ones who are more likely to call you or initiate a conversation because you can find it hard to muster up the need to call, but this doesn’t mean you love them any less.

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7:30 p.m. — You take your dog for a walk.

Introverts — whether single, in a relationship, or married with a family — love to spend time with their pets. This is because animals don’t talk and just keep you company in a silent and non-judgmental way. You sometimes think you relate more to animals than people — or at least like the quiet company more. Having a pet like a dog is a good excuse to take yourself out of situations with people and be by yourself by taking them for a nice, quiet, reflective walk.

Featured photo credit: Reading by Alexander Lyubavin via flickr.com

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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