After trying to get my kids to come out of their comfort zone and make new friends. I realized my kids weren’t the only ones that didn’t have many friends. I wondered why it was so hard for me to want to do this. I wasn’t always like this. This got me to looking things up and I quickly learned about something called introverts and extroverts.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?
First, I want to state there is nothing wrong with being an introvert or an extrovert. Knowing which one you are can definitely explain the way you are, do things and help you in the future. Do know that we all have a little of both inside of us, but we tend to lean one way or the other. Does being at a big event with lots of people drain you? How about do you love hanging out at the mall with a big group of friends?
What is an Introvert?
Did you know that not everyone that is shy or gets social anxiety is an introvert? Being shy is actually a fear of other people due to insecurity or anxiety. Don’t worry many people get that one wrong.
Everyone has a different opinion on the actual definition of an introvert is. According to the Oxford Dictionary: a shy, reticent person. This does NOT mean every shy child, guy, or gal is an introvert. I like what the urban dictionary says though: A person who is energized by spending time alone. Often found in their homes, libraries, quiet parks that not many people know about, or other secluded places, introverts like to think and be alone.
An introverted person focuses mainly on the inward, they love to just sit and think, ponder, daydream. This is a person that knows who they are, their feelings, moods, etc. Kendra Sherry of Very Well Mind wrote 8 Signs You’re an Introvert, I fit perfectly with number 2 which was all about how we like to spend our alone time. It was as if she was opening a door to my mind. To must they seem shy or sad but that is just them contemplating everyday situations, the future, etc. An introverted person uses up their energy when socializing with others.
Honestly, anyone that knows me can tell you if I’m not at home, I’m in a park under a tree, by a river, or at the local book store or library. Those are all my go-to places, they are quiet and I can think, read or learn something. I can feel like myself.
Am I an introvert?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I like hanging by myself?
- Does being at a social event with lots of people completely drain you of energy?
- Would I prefer to listen to my jam or go to a party and listen to it with others, a concert, etc?
- What is my ideal place to just hang out?
- Do you prefer a party, mall, local gathering with tons of people or the library where it is quiet and you can relax and think?
- When do you find yourself more lonely in a crowd full of people or by yourself?
What is an Extrovert
Oxford dictionary says an extrovert is an outgoing, overtly expressive person. Basically, an extrovert is a person that seems to gather their energy and enjoyment by being around other people. They can be by themselves but they prefer to be around other people. Chances are these will be the people that are more social, likes to host or stop by a party, mall, baseball game, etc.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I like to do in my spare time, be by myself or with other people most of my spare time?
- Is it better to be in a crowd or by myself?
- Are big crowds sound more appealing than alone time?
- Do you seem to become more energetic in bigger settings of people?
- When do I feel the most alone, by myself or in a crowd?
- Would I be at a party/event or in a bookstore reading books?
- Do you love getting attention from others?
- After a big social event do you feel drained or full of energy?
- Do you like to be the center of attention or would rather be not noticed?
An Extrovert can become an Introvert and vice versa
I believe a person can go from being one to another, after all, don’t we both have a little of each in us. Growing up I was always able to hang out with whoever I wanted and had no problem being on my own. The truth is though I preferred to be around other people. I hated being alone, alone was scary. I loved being in sports, softball, bowling, track you name it I joined it. In high school, I did cross country and even mock trials. I loved the energy of being in the thick of things and having fun with others.
How I went from being an Extrovert to an Introvert
However, once adulthood hit I experienced a few traumatic events that turned that extro more into an intro because I learned not everything was safe. To me being in the public could become life-threatening, you could get noticed and become stalked by people you may never have even met.
This pushed me into a shell and led me into thinking life was better inside my walls. Being in a crowd meant trying to make sure everyone was happy which took a lot out of me. I’d rather be home reading my books, under the blankets, safe. I could write or get online to socialize with others. So yes, we can all go from one vert to the other.
How does Knowing if you are an Introvert or Extrovert Help:
Knowing how you actually work will help you know how to deal with life. If you are an extrovert and feel low on energy you may just need to get outside, join a group, do a sport with others or go to a social gathering to get that energy level back up. If you have been staying home and started hitting some level of sadness this could be why. Sometimes we just can’t stand being by ourselves all the time, even for just lengths of time.
An introvert that has been busy with a lot of social gatherings whether work-related or just life. Maybe you’ve been doing holiday parties and may be feeling anxious, stressed, or even angry you may just need your alone time. If you haven’t had your solitude you may be about to become completely worn out because you need to re-energize your brain.
Parents with Introverted Children Take Note
Many of us parents think we have to turn our shy, introverted child into an extrovert. The truth is they may actually be happier this way. I didn’t know much about being an intro or an extrovert and tried getting my introverted children to become someone they weren’t. BabyGirl loves her music, it calms her and she can think. Often you will find her putting her headphones on in public places. Psychology Today wrote 9 signs You’re an introvert and that was one of them.
Being a mom I was always concerned they were depressed because they liked being in their rooms with their music after school instead of being around the family. They preferred time to themselves…alone. I thought they were distancing themselves, they said they just liked to think. Sports didn’t do it for them, they preferred to join friends on their own time. I have five children that all have both in them, two are more extroverts while the other three are introverts.
Give them their time of solitude and then get them out into the world. Remember once they’ve been out socializing they may need to refocus and get their energy back. Just like an extrovert, you may have had a child sick for a while because of the flu season and now they just seem blah. This could be as simple as getting them to hang out with their friends or getting back into school for them to bounce back.
Please if you are feeling lonely, depressed, suicidal, paranoid, or have become ill for longer than usual seek a doctor. I’m no medical expert just finding out a few things that I wanted to share with others.
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