I am always amazed by my friend Terri. (Hi Terri!) She has this insatiable desire to try everything and meet everyone. At a party, people flock her her. Her laugh echos around a room, and soon she has everyone around her laughing too, red-faced, doubled over, sometimes crying. I love her for her ability to charm everyone around her, and I admire her ease that she has while she does it.
It has taken me quite a long time (and some denial), but I have come to realize that I am not Terri. In that moment at the party, when a room full of eyes shift in my direction, my stomach suddenly knots. My hands fidget. I bite my lip. Awkward is best way to describe that feeling. I like one-on-one. I like small groups. I love time to myself, books. At a really busy party, I’ve slipped into a quiet bathroom to take a moment to myself. I like solitude. I’m an introvert.
It feels a little strange to write that out, but when it comes to getting to know me, my introversion is an important part of who I am. You see, if you find me out in a large group, you need to know that I will try, but I suck at small talk. If I look away or laugh nervously, it’s not that I don’t like you. I swear I’m trying. Hang in there, I really do want to get to know you better. And if you call my phone, more often than not I let it go to voice mail. I will call you back. Promise.
But being an introvert, for me, is a beautiful thing. Here’s why: I’m a great listener. I think before I speak. I respect your boundaries and needs because I have my own set of limits I like to stick to. I’m a good friend. I am self-sufficient, independent, calm, measured, and even-headed. I work hard with my head down at the quiet of my desk. And since all of these characteristics help make me who I am, I don’t mind being introverted at all.
Tell me, are you introverted or extroverted? And do you see it as an advantage or a disadvantage?