An Introverts Dilemma


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I’ve known forever that I’m an “introvert,” but I do love learning about this aspect of myself, and having conversations with others in my life. Because often I feel torn, as in, I feel like I make my life harder for myself in a lot of ways tempered with the thought that “this is who I am, I can’t change it.” And this recent bout of musings was brought on by the Huffington Post article 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert. Now, we all know it’s not really a secret with me, but I wanted to address a few of them…

You find small talk incredibly cumbersome.

It wasn’t until I took an “anger management” communications course after college that I learned about the function of small talk. Before that it felt trivial and stupid and shallow. Once I learned that every culture has it’s own version of small talk, and that it’s an actually valid thing, I have grown to…well, not quite appreciate it, or even really understand it, but at least I participate in it…at least for a few minutes.

You have low blood pressure.

Yes. Yes I do. How did you know? But, I’m curious…what does that really have to do with anything?

You have a constantly running inner monologue

I am married to an extrovert (though it’s interesting, because I actually do more ‘social’ things), and we got into this great discussion last night about this running inner monologue. Because…yeah…he doesn’t have it. Sure he thinks about things, but then Boof said, “when I’m done thinking about something, like what I need to do tomorrow, I just stop.” Um, excuse me? You just….stop? The discussion went down a long winded rabbit trail about inner silence (he labels it boring, I label it as peaceful/fucking scary), about how our brains work so differently. I admitted to him that my new trick to fall asleep is saying random words in my head until I fall asleep, it goes something like this: truck, kangaroo, pumpkin, pink, love, scary, force, night, dove, poop, lice, crow, fog, door. His response? “That sounds stressful.”

Yeah. I guess so. But it’s how my brain works.

Which then left me wondering if introverts are more prone to anxiety, because it seems there is a fine line between my inner monologue and my inner monologue being influenced by a whirling dervish. Because that inner monologue is often my worst enemy. But then again, I rarely get bored.

And this conversation also makes me think about previous conversations with Boof about our brain, on the subject of dreams, he takes the perspective of the person, as if watching a movie. I see out of the character in the movie’s eyes, but I’m also the omniscient narrator a lot, too. Also, when reading, he doesn’t see pictures, he hears the words being read and it’s distracting because the words are a half second behind his eyes, so it’s like being in stereo. Makes me think about how we are all wired differently…

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Reading the article were you surprised by any of the categories? When dreaming do you see yourself, see out of your own eyes (as if watching a movie, or participating in the action) or are you from the perspective of the narrator? Do you dream in black/white or color? When reading do you see pictures, hear the words or something else?

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6 Comments

  1. I read that article on Huff and had 20 out of the 23. It is interesting to me because while I’ve known that I’m shy, I never really understood introversion as a personality. It is actually pretty validating to learn that I kind of fit into a category. . . While I enjoy people, extroverting myself makes me really tired and bitchy. I always thought of this as a character flaw. So coming to understand introversion makes a lot of sense to me. Great post! We have so much in common! (and that’s not just small talk…)

    • Yeah, I got 20.5 of them (the one about parties…I mean, I’m interested in meeting people if they are cool, down with talking about something philosophical and standing by the cheese plate. Because, yum, appetizers are my thing!)

      I like knowing that I fit into a category, too…and it makes me mad that I was labelled as shy as a kid. If only I had understood this I don’t think I would have felt like such a freak and tried to force myself to be something I was told to be by society/peers/parents!

      We do have a lot in common. I bet if I put your face on a T-Shirt people would be like “um, wha??? why does that chick have a pic of herself on her shirt?’ 😉 lol

      We could swap blogs one day and see if anyone noticed! HA!

  2. I’m an introvert. I see through my own eyes in dreams and when I read i see pictures, especially when I read books. When I read online it seems more like taking in the information, less like images and stories.
    I don’t mind parties, especially ones where I know a few people. Small talk is OK in small doses. I have a never ending monologue in my head. Music brings on daydreams. I have low blood pressure too. Weird characteristic of a trait. I guess we are more calm?

    • Oh you make a GREAT point about the difference between reading books (or magazine articles) being visual vs. reading online (probably why I feel like I always need to include a picture!)…reading online feels more like absorbing things through my skin, or like breathing I guess, but maybe it’s that rapid window changing I do. lol.

      It’s so weird about the low blood pressure…I don’t FEEL more calm? I feel anxious…except the anxiety is really just in my mind arena, so maybe all that energy goes to my mind and doesn’t go to make my heart beat faster?

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