An Introvert’s Life

In response to Huffington Post’s article, 10 Things That Don’t Make Sense To Introverts, I’m going to talk about the points that it brings up and related them to my own experiences.

According to the Myers-Briggs test, I’m an INTJ. Of course, this isn’t entirely scientific, and really has no bearing on my real personality, but it’s good for giving a general idea about my personality. I am what you would consider one of those highly logical, calm, deep-thinking introverts that tend to be direct and don’t beat around the bush. As I’ve said before, I am not shy. I just dislike inane conversation with strangers in social situations. However, my new job will allow me to get straight to the point and have fun with science. So, let’s get on with it! I renamed the points so they’d be clearer.

1. Parties

Can’t stand big parties, especially if there aren’t many people I know. I prefer spending time with friends. If I know everyone at the party, that’s perfectly fine. No need for meaningless small talk.

2. Small Talk

Like I said before, small talk is mostly meaningless to me. However, I do it. I like to talk about the weather, actually. But it has to do with the fact that I’m interested in the weather on a scientific level.

3. Alone Time

I value my alone time. Very, very much! I like walking alone, watching my favourite TV shows alone, and especially reading alone. Since I don’t have to interact with people, I feel my energy recharging. Constant contact with people tires me out.

4. Shyness

Introversion does not mean shy. I’m not shy. I was when I was a kid, but I grew out of it. Just because I’m quiet doesn’t mean I’m shy. I’m listening.

5. Answering Your Phone

I really dislike talking on the phone. I prefer to text or email. I just don’t like talking to people unless I can see their face. I’m an observant person, so I like to have full sensory input while I’m talking to someone so I can accurately judge the person’s attitude. Phones take that away, and I feel like I’m running a machine without all the components. I also hate answering the phone when I’m having a quiet moment for myself. It’s my time, and a phone is intrusive.

6. Hugging Acquaintances

Unless they’re close to me, I prefer not to hug. But I love hugging my daughter. That’s the best thing in the world.

7. Open Office Plans

Having worked in an open plan call centre, I can say it’s not my favourite thing. I felt far more comfortable with my own classroom while I was teaching English. I don’t want half wall partitions, I want full walls and a door. It’s quieter and I can concentrate better.

8. Being the Centre of Attention

When I played hockey, I avoided scoring goals. I didn’t want to be the centre of attention. In my previous job as an English teacher, I often was the centre attention, but with small groups. Now that I’ll be presenting science in a science museum, I’ll have a bigger audience, and am forced to be the centre of attention. But since I’ve been vlogging and making YouTube videos, I’m trying to make myself be the centre of attention.

9. Being Observant

I watch. I watch everything. I watch people and how they behave. I’m pretty good at seeing people’s attitudes and reactions. I adjust my approach accordingly. I notice what people say and do. And I take note.

10. Introversion Is Bad?

Absolutely not! In general, at least for my kind of introvert, we are very observant, learn quickly, understand things quite well, and don’t take things at face value. We want to know the facts. We want to know how things work and why they work that way. We also tend to know bullshit when we see it. As thinkers, we tend to make good decisions, too.

Any introverts out there? I’m sure some of you are. What are your thoughts about these points that the article brings up? Let me know in the comments below.

32 thoughts on “An Introvert’s Life”

  1. I’m definitely an introvert. My family calls me the unsocial social worker. I don’t see anything wrong with it. I’m happy with my own company and enjoy reading, thinking etc.

  2. Me too…I prefer my own company, and that of my online friends. I hate having “company” and would rather go to the dentist than have a mob of people over. . I like to read and write, and work on my blog. I get my feelings hurt if someone says or write something mean about my work.

      1. I don’t mind speeches when I know more than my audience…as for the dentist…yikes! I need to go to the dentist now but I’ll wait until my head is blowing up with pain first. 🙂

        1. With what I do at work, I know more than my audience, since I have a degree in the field that I’m talking about, and most of my audiences are children. I have plenty of experience teaching children, so it’s not intimidating to me at all anymore.

          1. Speaking to children is good, especially when they are at the age when everything is new and exciting..bugs, etc…and before they get to where they think they know everything.

            1. Like teenagers? Well, I’ve had people challenge my knowledge at work recently. Audience members, that is. It is interesting to see how stubborn they can be.

            2. Absolutely. Especially junior high school. I had an awful group today, though. One boy, around 11 years old, was making inappropriate sexual comments during one of my shows. His teacher apologised and told me that she was going to tell his parents.

            3. I wonder how much effect that will have…kids with such bad manners rarely come from “nice” family homes. Even little tiny kids need to have decent upbringing and be taught to respect others.

            4. No idea. The other day, we had a group from a city just outside Edmonton, and that city is known for being a bit richer than average. They were awful.

            5. kids need to have respect, and that needs to be taught at home. The only time I ever complained at school was once when my son was five, in kindergarten, and he was playing around and “fell” off the lunch table seat. The lunch room lady then made him throw his lunch in the trash! I complained…not at all a suitable punishment.

            6. I don’t understand how staff at school can take away food from kids. Doesn’t that go against everything they’re supposed to be doing?

  3. INTJ here! I can relate to almost every single one of these with the exception of the open office plan. If my husband and I go out, I need 2-3 weeks to recover from one night of being around people, lol. It’s also best not to give me too much notice about plans because that gives me time to come up with excuses to avoid going out. I try to avoid people’ing as much as I can.

    1. After about two weeks at my job, which requires me to speak to many people every day in a buy science museum, I’m finding I’m pretty tired after work. Something happened yesterday that made me want to argue with a guest, though. They said that physics can’t explain how a gyroscope works, and I said that it’s very well understood. She disregarded what I said and insisted to her children that we don’t know how they work at all. My degree is in physics and astronomy, and I’ve done the calculations and used equations that explain the behaviour of gyroscopes. Bah. Can’t argue with the guests.

  4. I’m one of those confused extroverted introvert. I’m intro by nature but around the right group or in the right situation I’m extroverted. I recharge by being along and requite “me time”.

        1. I think the biggest thing is, if the talking involves a bunch of inane, unimportant stuff, it’s difficult to talk. If it’s something you’re very knowledgeable about and interested in, it’s easy.

  5. Nice. I can relate particularly well with not liking telephone conversations. I usually get physically tired after one that lasts over 15 minutes. Takes me a while to recover from those. Introversion is not at all bad and neither is extroversion… just two different extremes of the personality spectrum. I will say that introverts (such as Michelangelo, Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Charles Darwin) have brought a lot of value and light to this world with their intellectual prowess and creativity.

    1. They say introverts can make very good leaders. There are a lot of famous introverts. You can add some modern ones like Bill Gates, Jodie Foster, Steven Spielberg, Mark Zuckerberg, and so on. And they can all speak in front of an audience. That’s something people seem to think introverts can’t do. I do it daily at work.

    1. Exactly! I find that I’m a much better judge of character than an extrovert who doesn’t take the time to assess someone’s behaviour or personality. Sometimes I think that we observers have better empathy.

  6. Really enjoyed this post as it described a majority of my personality traits. When I first started living alone I had a lot of social anxiety but the hellish mind state led me into the spiritual realm and I shifted my focus onto my own well being. I am now introverted and all the information I take in is for my own growth, and nobody can see that unless they see it for themselves. You are your own best teacher. Being introverted you are connected with yourself on a whole new level and I believe its the best way to truly live a fulfilled life. Peace and blessings Jay Dee!

    1. Thanks! I agree. As introverts, we tend to be able to understand ourselves far better. We live within ourselves and learn about ourselves. But as introverts are often good observers, we can learn about others, as well.

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