I've always known there was something a little different about me compared to most everyone else out there I know. I am not a partier, I don't like large social gatherings and in fact, I don't like hanging out with all of my friends at the same time. I prefer hanging out with my friends one or two at at a time and only for a little while. I loathe office parties or outside of work parties that co-workers host. When they're out socializing, having parties and what not, I can be found at home reading a book, thinking, praying, meditating, watching a DVD now and then or writing. (Writing is something that I've always had an interest in, but never much time for. But now I am starting to write as evidenced by this new blog.)
I am perfectly comfortable and happy to spend my free time at home relaxing and engaged in one of my aforementioned activities. I am always asked by people what I did over the weekend or what my plans are for the upcoming weekend or planned time off. My answer is usually "nothing". I don't like "going out". I like "staying in". Now that is the rule and I largely stick by it. But there are exceptions to every rule and once in a great while I will "go out", but that is usually on my terms, not someone else's.
A lot of people seemingly cannot stand being by themselves or in silence when they are. They always have to have music going or the TV on or talking on the phone. The phone is another thing that I loathe, but I'll get to that on a later posting. I on the other hand truly and honestly enjoy being by myself with no sound (translated: noise) at all. Sometimes I will play soft music ever so gently while I read. Other times, I can actually sit or lay down with nothing going on and feel good about it. It helps me clear my mind, recharge my social battery and feel rested. I really hate it when I get interrupted during these times because I don't get much of it. I spend my 40 hours a week at work and then another hour, hour and a half at the gym, I might need to go to the store to get groceries, and do some chores around the house. But once I get done with all that, I just want to sit back and relax in the solitude of my silence - that is happiness for me.
I get tired of people telling me that I am young (in my 30's) and I should be going out, living it up and partying. My response to that is maybe they should start staying home, take some quiet time for themselves, and get away from all of life's distractions to recharge. You see? It's a two-way street. What they think is good for me is probably what is good for them, but it isn't for me and I can just as easily tell them what I think they should be doing. They think I am unhappy and depressed or some kind of a hermit because I don't care to socialize very much. For me it is just the opposite. All that socializing is stressful, draining and exhausting to me. After a long day at work, the gym routine and even after a church day, coming home is the greatest relief I get throughout the day and I want to be done talking to people for the rest of the day. It's me time now; no offense, but please leave me alone!
Through the blog The Introverts Corner I mentioned in another posting, I found a book called Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe and purchased it from the iBooks Store on my iPhone yesterday (though I gave you the link to the book on Amazon.com here). I started reading it today after church this evening and got about four chapters read and it's like she wrote the book about me. It's amazing to me to read about this personality type, introversion, and how I identify myself with it and that it is a normal thing.
Since I recently started learning about introversion, it broke me of the perceived stereotypes of what an introvert is that our extroverted society would have you believe. I can actually feel better about being who I am, though I already liked who I am. Sometimes you can hear me say "I like me" and that is the truth. But learning about this personality type is helping me get a deeper understanding of who I am and why I do some of the things I do. That in and of itself also interests me; behavioral science fascinates me and now I can study it in myself.
I now understand why I prefer to engage with only one or two people at once and why those people, for me, need to be good conversationalists for me to get that sense of fulfillment out of the relationship. Unfortunately, I really don't have anyone, but one or two friends who can really fulfill my need as an introvert and have really good, deep talks. Or even spend some time together without saying anything and having no pressure to talk the time away. Additionally, there are certain circumstances that keeps these friends and me away from each other much of the time and that disappoints me. But I don't let it get me down in the dumps or depressed; I survive and retreat to my inner-self for fulfillment.
I am having a lot of fun discovering myself as an introvert and understanding what it means. I am equally enjoying writing some of my thoughts and experiences down in this blog. This blog provides me a way to "socially interact" and yet keep my distance and serenity while expressing myself without interruption in a hobby [writing] that I hope to continue.
Download the pdf version with pictures here.