Many writers and artists, as well as other people, are introverts. Are you an introvert? I am, though some people do not believe me.
Webster’s Dictionary defines introvert as: to turn inward or in upon itself; to concentrate or direct upon oneself; a reserved or shy person; a quiet person who does not find it easy to talk to other people.
I find these definitions a bit simplistic and, to a degree, they miss the mark. I agree that an introvert is a person who does not find it easy to talk to other people. However, what this definition neglects to explain is that it takes effort and great energy for an introvert to be around people and to have to interact with them, and after spending time putting forth the effort and energy to interact with others, an introvert needs quiet time alone to regain energy.
Why do some people not believe me when I tell them that I am an introvert? Because when I am comfortable with a person or small group of people, I enjoy talking to them and sharing thoughts and ideas that we have in common. Most people seem to assume that introverts are always quiet and don’t like to talk, and so the fact that I, as well as other introverts, actually enjoy conversations with people we are comfortable with seems to puzzle them.
As a homeschool mom, I have stepped out of my introverted comfort zone many times to do things for my children’s benefit and/or education. I have spoken in front of groups of people — for me, this doesn’t bother me too much if the group consists of children and teenagers, but if the group includes adults, it ranges from being scary to terrifying, and sometimes I don’t even know what the level of fear will be; like the time I had collected monetary gifts from the parents of the homeschool high school soccer team and had to stand before a group of both teens and adults to express our gratitude and present the gift to the coach. I still do not know why I became so terrified doing this that my hands shook, my voice and lip trembled and I was nearly in tears before I was finished. I was never so glad to sit down and hide in the crowd as I was after presenting that gift.
However, people see me standing before these groups and talking or loudly cheering for my boys at their sports events or introducing myself to new homeschool moms or new couples and/or families visiting our church and think I have to be an extrovert, when, in fact, I have simply learned how to force myself out of my introverted comfort zone when it seems necessary to do so. All of the things listed in this paragraph and those above require a lot of effort and energy for me, but I also find that all of these things can be blessings as I reach out to welcome or encourage others, and as they are blessed by my actions, it becomes a blessing to me, but it still requires a lot of effort and energy for me to do so.
Even as much as I love my husband and three children, I sometimes need some quiet time by myself to recharge my battery to prevent myself from becoming impatient and easily frustrated with them because of being so tired of having to deal with people and the energy it requires to be with them and to do things for them.
As I find myself getting older and my children growing up, I am finding that I am craving more quiet time to recharge my energy and regain my peace of mind than I used to. I feel a stronger need, maybe because I am writing again and writing requires a lot of mental time and energy, for more solitude — yes, solitude is what I really need. You see, as an introvert, I am not bored when I am alone and I do not become lonely within a day or two. On the contrary, being alone allows me to revel in the quiet, spend time reflecting and thinking, and, even more importantly, speaking to and seeking my Lord, and this refreshes me and renews my spirit and energizes me so that I can enjoy my loved ones and they will find my company more enjoyable than after an entire week of having to be with people.
Also, I remember as a teen, not really minding doing things with friends that required being in a large crowd. However, as I get older, I prefer to avoid large crowds, except on rare occasions, like when I have the opportunity to go to a Toby Mac concert. But, being in a large crowd doesn’t necessarily take a lot of effort and energy from me because a person can be alone in a crowd. As an introvert, I can easily blend into the background and not be noticed and, therefore, not have to interact with other people in the crowd.
So, what are my favorite activities? Yes, they are all introvert, things people do alone, activities: reading, listening to music without interruptions with earbuds in place, writing, or coloring in those new artist coloring books, although I enjoy having others color in coloring books around the same table with me as well.
How about you? Are you an introvert? What are your introvert tendencies? I know even we introverts are not all the same.