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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

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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