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20 Things To Remember If You Love An Introvert

20 Things To Remember If You Love An Introvert

I used to be ashamed of being an introvert. I wanted to be someone else. You see, sometimes it’s hard to explain to other people how it actually feels to be an introvert. It’s even harder to accept that it’s a part of who you are and especially difficult to communicate this to someone who is not an introvert.

Questions like, “Why don’t you want to go to this party?” or “Why do you look so unhappy around big groups of people?” are sometimes difficult to answer.

After all, it’s not like we don’t enjoy having fun, acting silly, or being around other people. We just want to do it around the right people and more importantly, we need the time to be quiet.

If you’re an extrovert, don’t take it personally when we don’t jump at the chance to be in large groups of people and remember these 20 things if you truly love an introvert.

1.  They enjoy quietly being alone

Yes, we actually enjoy spending time alone. In fact, we thrive off of it. It gives us a chance to gather our thoughts and recharge. It gives us time to do more things that we really like to do such as read, write, or reflect on our day. Extroverts may enjoy alone time too, but our time typically needs to be in a quiet place and for longer periods of time.

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2.  They can be overwhelmed by large crowds

We don’t typically enjoy spending long periods of time in large crowds. While we may endure it for a concert, parade, or special event, we don’t look forward to being around masses of people. After a while, it can be really overwhelming and although we may not cover our ears, scream and freak out in large crowds, we secretly wish we could.

3.  They really do like other people

Introverts aren’t necessarily anti-social. We just don’t get energized by people and sometimes it just takes us a little longer to warm up to someone. Be patient with us. Often, we want to get to know you better before we actually show you that we enjoy your company. We do like you, even if we don’t show it!

4.  They are highly introspective

We seek to find the deeper meaning in life, sometimes to a fault. We tend to analyze situations that really don’t need to be analyzed. If it takes us longer to understand something, it’s not because we don’t get it, it’s because we are thinking about the deeper meaning. In general, we seek to understand the deeper meaning of life.

5.  They prefer to get know fewer people on a deeper level

Many introverts are perfectly happy with a close, small group of friends. It can be overwhelming to keep up with a lot of friends because introverts feel like they need to really know all of them. So, they may prefer to have a select group of really close friends they can get to know on a deeper level.

6.  They are great listeners

In fact, we love to listen. It gives us a chance to really get to know someone and understand them better. Introverts are typically highly engaged with someone they want to get to know. They are easily distracted by outside stimuli that may interfere with listening, because they want to devote all of their attention to the other person.

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7.  They have a lot of fun!

Introverts are not boring people. They just like to save their best stuff for the right people in the right situation. They can act silly, crazy, be loud, and even sing karaoke! However, even reading a book can be considered fun for an introvert. Reading a book in a crowded room full of people? Not so fun.

8. They sometimes wish they were extroverts

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to walk into a large group of people and to instantly become energized by the people around me. I always thought it has to be cool to have that infectious energy that draws people to you. As a guy, I used to think this was the only way to get the ladies (it’s not). I love myself as an introvert, but sometimes I wish I could live it up as an extrovert.

9.  They enjoy a quiet night in

I actually prefer to stay home on a Friday night. I may go out with friends, a party, or out to dinner, but I actually prefer to stay in and avoid the large crowds. I live in a city so it’s difficult to truly get away and spend time alone. The best place I can do this at is sitting in my living room watching a movie or reading a book.

10.  They don’t enjoy being the center of attention

Most introverts don’t like all eyes to be on them. It can be difficult to speak up at a work meeting, deliver a speech, or answer a question in front of other people. We typically like to listen to other people’s perspective and hear what they have to say. It doesn’t mean we don’t have an opinion, but sometimes it’s hard to articulate what we’re thinking.

11.  They don’t necessarily have fun at parties

Even if everyone is having a great time, it doesn’t necessarily mean that an introvert will. A party with a lot of people just isn’t always fun. We know it’s supposed to be fun bu, large numbers of people in small spaces actually make us feel uncomfortable. It doesn’t mean we aren’t fun people or don’t enjoy people, it’s just hard to be ourselves in large groups.

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12.  They don’t like to talk about themselves

Introverts typically don’t like to brag about themselves. They are more interested in getting to know the other person first. They often have a lot to offer to a conversation but sometimes wonder if they add any value to a conversation. Also, they just don’t want to come across as a too much of a know-it-all. In other words, we might not say out loud how “stoked” we are about something.

13.  They want to really get to know you

We like to build honest, authentic, “real” relationships. Sometimes it doesn’t come across that way initially because we can be guarded. However, we are interested in you and what you have to say. It just takes us a little more time to open up. We secretly revel in the excitement of getting to know someone better.

14.  They work better in small groups

Employers should know that we prefer to work in small groups because it’s just easier for us to do it and we actually perform better. It’s also easier to speak up with fewer eyes watching you. We also like to get to know each individual in these small groups, because it’s less overwhelming when we don’t feel as if we have to know everyone in a large group.

15.  They notice things other people might miss

Introverts are valued assets in the workplace because they often notice details that others might miss. Because they are deeply introspective, introverts might be able to come up with a potential solution to a problem that may have been overlooked. They may not speak up about it but doesn’t mean that they aren’t thinking about it. In fact, studies confirm that introverts can be great leaders, too.

16.  They easily see other people’s point of view

They are typically empathetic to other people and what they have to say  Even if they don’t agree with the other person, they make a good effort to see things from their perspective. They strive to get to know other people in all situations before judging or making the other person feel inadequate.

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17.  They aren’t necessarily shy

Shyness and introversion get lumped together because many of the traits between the two overlap. Sometimes an introvert isn’t afraid to meet other people, but they just prefer to do it in their own way. In fact, extroverts can be shy! A well-known Stanford researcher points out that many public figures are both extroverted and shy.

18.  They are drained by high energy people

High energy people can be exhausting for introverts. They often feel like they have to match that level of intensity and may feel uncomfortable when they don’t. Introverts may need breaks from these high energy situations because unlike extroverts, they don’t become energized by these people. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

19.  They like to take things slow

Sometimes it just takes us introverts a little longer to move forward. We like to weigh all of our options and look at all possible outcomes before making a final decision. This can also be detrimental to us because we tend to analyze things too much. So, don’t take it personally if we just aren’t quite ready to take that next step.

20.  They are not just introverts

Being labeled as an introvert can immediately put someone in a category. Although it is a useful term that people can relate to, it doesn’t define who they are. There are many types of introverts and many variations within those types. More than anything, introverts are people first. Being an introvert is just one aspect of who a person is. Many people fall into a continuum of traits and exhibit extroverted traits AND introverted traits.

One definition certainly doesn’t define who I am, yet it’s helpful to understand that I am not the only one who experiences these personality traits. We aren’t crazy, we aren’t boring, and we aren’t anti-social. We may be some of these at times, but who isn’t?!

In general, introverts are just people who prefer to slow it down a little and re-energize themselves from a quiet place of peace and tranquility.

Featured photo credit: Marco Bond via flickr.com

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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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