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12 Confessions That Show What It Exactly Feels Like To Be An Introvert

12 Confessions That Show What It Exactly Feels Like To Be An Introvert

Being an introvert in today’s world can often lead us to feel like we’re somehow social outcasts, but this isn’t the case. We are all complex and unique, meaning we can no longer label people as simply an introvert or an extrovert. 

Most people actually carry both qualities — sometimes in equal measure. However, there is an entire spectrum of introversion which shows that not all introverts are the same. As a true introvert, you are more likely to enjoy spending less time interacting with others and genuinely enjoying your own company.

A recent Quora thread united different introverts in a discussion describing their own “struggles” with living in a world where introversion is often seen as a negative trait. They discuss how it really feels to be a person who loves spending time in their own company. Here is a highlighted list containing different points of view through the eyes of those who live in the spectrum of introversion.

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1. We Have A Low Tolerance For Unfulfilling Social Interactions

We choose quality over quantity when it comes to our social interactions. While some people get a lot out of each interaction they have, we have a low tolerance for conversations that we don’t gain anything from. We would rather have a deep and meaningful conversation than a quick chat or small talk that doesn’t lead anywhere.

2. It Takes Effort For Us To Withdraw From Our Internal World

As we are quite analytical and have great imaginations, we often have a lot of creative and interesting ideas swirling around our brains. Our time alone fuels these ideas, which usually means we need to make more of a conscious effort to shift from our internal world to the external world. We can find this quite a struggle at times, which is why we sometimes retreat quickly from a social interaction or avoid social interaction in the first place.

3. Our Alone Time Is Longer Than That Of Non-Introverts

While most people like to have a bit of time by themselves, as introverts, we need longer than most. We use our alone time to re-energize ourselves — to gather our thoughts and recharge our mental batteries. We can easily spend a whole day happily entertaining ourselves with little interaction with others, which many extroverts find strange and withdrawn. However, we find it perfectly normal and definitely needed.

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4. We Can Have An Extroverted Side Too

People can be surprised when we show a less introverted side to ourselves, but in essence no one is 100% introverted. As humans, we are all unique and most of us have a mix of introversion and extroversion within us. Sometimes, our extroversion comes through when the mood takes us, so we should never be labelled as just an “introvert.” Most people are around half and half, with true introverts being around 60-70%. This leaves a small space for our extrovert tendencies to shine through from time to time.

5. We Are Intensely Passionate

Extroverts tend to have an interest in a wide variety of topics, but as introverts, we are intensely passionate about a select few things. This can usually come across in our varying conversations — we are more likely to take part in conversations that really spike our interest and retreat from those that don’t. When we’re passionate about something, we won’t hold back and will happily chat about it, but we don’t have much energy for anything that doesn’t interest us.

6. Being Alone Doesn’t Mean We Feel Lonely

Society tends to assume that being alone means a person is lonely, and while this can be the case, introverts can enjoy being by themselves with minimal social interaction. People who are more extroverted feed off interaction from others and so find it difficult to understand that we just don’t need it as much. This is why loneliness rarely crosses our mind, because we’re busy connecting with ourselves.

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7. We Make Good Friends Through Listening

We may not be great talkers but we’re excellent listeners, and this is an innate quality that means people trust us with their problems. Listening is a skill that a lot of people don’t have or find difficult to do — sociability and connecting with people is not all about how much we speak but also how attentive we are to what others say.

8. Speaking Is All About Quality Not Quantity

The amount someone speaks and what they speak about depends on their objective. Many people speak as a way to connect with others or find it genuinely relaxing, but as introverts we usually speak mostly when we discuss things on a deeper level, like life aspirations or something that we are passionate about. We use speaking more as a way of learning and gaining insights, opinions, and knowledge rather than a stream of consciousness to relieve our minds of our daily thoughts.

9. Our Alone Time Is Proactive

When we do spend time by ourselves, we are seldom bored. Since our alone time is significantly greater than that of an extrovert, we realize the need to be constructive with our time and we are good at filling up our day with activities — whether for relaxation or important matters. This is our optimum time to get stuff done, when our mindset is most relaxed and in tune with our inner being.

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10. Social Status Doesn’t Impress Us

As introverts, we are more impressed with the depth of people’s personalities, views, and thinking rather than social or career status. We find it harder to identify with an outward appearance and connect better with a person’s inner thoughts, feelings, and drive.

11. Small Talk Is Meaningless To Us

We love to get to know people on a deeper level and therefore small talk always seems unnecessary and fake. Small talk is seen to us as more of an obstacle placed in the way of getting to know someone better. We find it awkward and would much rather explore the minds of the people we know or try to connect with them on a much deeper level.

12. Social Interaction Is Exhausting

We do like to interact with people but, after a certain point, we need to retreat because it can be quite mentally tiring for us. This doesn’t mean we don’t like the people around us, but taking a break is necessary for us to recuperate so we’re ready for our much-needed next social interaction.

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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