“The more introverted you are, the more you need a serene environment for processing stimuli and for recharging.”
In reading, “The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World,” I have learned more about myself than in my 27 years of being on this planet as a whole. As I read, I have many “a-ha” moments. I also have strong feelings of resentment. It gives me anxiety.
Although I don’t really want to share these thoughts because they are very personal, I will anyways because maybe you’re introvert and maybe you aren’t aware. Maybe you need to know there’s nothing wrong with you.
These feelings of resentment I speak of, I can’t decide if I’m more frustrated toward myself for not understanding me for all these years or towards others for making me feel like I was crazy for many years for simply being myself.
For example – “Most introverts need their own personal space because they tend to be territorial. They need an actual place to call their own. It gives them a sense of control over their own energy.”
Anytime I travel somewhere my first question is “Where are we staying? Where are we sleeping?” This is very important to me because from these 2 questions I can gauge if I will have solitude, privacy, my beloved alone time. Now you can see why I love the RV lifestyle so much right? It’s like the introverts fantasy. Taking your personal space with me almost anywhere!
Years ago, I vividly remember an instance when my husband and I traveled to see our family. Prior to the trip I asked the usual questions, “Where are we staying? Where are we sleeping?” He wanted me to stay in a huge room with 0 personal space – with everyone. Kids, adults, personal belongings.
My introvert stimulation overload spidey sense was going off like mad, DING DING DING. I wasn’t aware at the time this is what was happening, I just knew I felt instant anxiety. Obviously I wanted to see the family and so I went but I didn’t feel good about it. Overwhelmed, stressed, fuzzy, exhausted.
I am now learning that this was my body telling me that I wouldn’t have a serene personal space to manage my energy (raise/recharge) and I NEED that to function. It kind of makes me sad how unaware I was and in being so unaware – I was caused unnecessary pain. Ignorance is not bliss.
I remember in that time, feeling pressured to be there but super uncomfortable about the amount of energies all up in my personal space. I felt like I was a bad person for wanting space. I felt like I was a bad person for almost not even wanting to go. This isn’t the first time I had felt this way.
This is an extrovert world and it is looked down on in society to be introvert. That needs to change. Introverts have been some of the most impressionable people in history, *cough* Albert Einstein *cough* (Google it). Quiet and solitude is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of maturity and reflection. I believe this. Not every space needs to be filled with sound.
I guess you could say the more I read this and understand myself – the more mad it makes me. Mad that I spent so much of my life in shame for my
feelings when they are completely normal!! It’s not a choice to be primarily introvert or extrovert – it’s the way the brain works. Just like sexual orientation.
Moral of the story: Take time to understand why you do, say, feel the way you do. Don’t beat yourself up for not living up to societies (or individuals) expectations like I did. There’s nothing wrong with being different. Nothing wrong with me, nothing wrong with you. And if you think you’re an introvert – PLEASE, research, read, become aware.
Resources: Book – The Introvert Advantage