If a Party Were Held For Introverts, Would Anyone Show Up? (Or Would the Extroverts Crash the Party?)

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seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
13,300
3,502
113
#1
Hey Everyone,

I've been thinking a lot lately about introverts vs. extroverts and am wondering what all of your experiences have been.

I wrote in another post that I never really identified with either term until a few years ago, when I started to realize that I seemed to relate to the traits of introverts much more than extroverts. If anyone remembers the old Fantastic Four movies, there's a scene in which Susan Storm (played by Jessica Alba) is throwing all her strength into keeping up a force field, and it takes such a toll on her body that her nose starts to bleed profusely.

This is also how I feel when I'm pulled in too many directions, too often, and by too many people -- it starts to feel as if my soul is on the verge of a breaking into a massive hemorrhage.

I realize that many times in life, we have no choice (such as with work), but I'm also realizing that sometimes my lack of energy around socially demanding situations can keep me from obeying God's will for my life. I had a recent situation in which I was invited to a church event and declined, only to feel the next day that God was saying I should have put my own feelings aside and gone.

And so, I'm wondering how you all classify yourselves and how it affects your life.

* Are you an introvert or extrovert, and how did you realize it? What is your own personal definition of being an introvert or an extrovert?

* Did you grow up in a family of introverts or extroverts (were they the same as you, or the opposite of you), and did it help or hurt you?

* Do you feel uncomfortable around your opposites? (Are introverts uncomfortable around extroverts, and are extroverts uncomfortable around introverts?)

* How does being an introvert or extrovert affect your decisions when searching for a spouse, and would you want a spouse who was in the same category as you, or the opposite?

And, as a bonus question:

* Do you think being an introvert or extrovert changes over time? Sometimes back and forth?

This is something I'm pondering for my own self as well. I have often wondered if I started out as an extrovert but that some of life's challenges made it feel safer to retreat into a shell.

Thank you for sharing and I'll be very interested in reading your stories.
 

Solemateleft

Honor, Courage, Commitment
Jun 25, 2017
4,015
2,449
113
#2
Another great inquiry @seoulsearch ...

My Myers Briggs personality test suggested I was right in between the two, but that I leaned more towards the Introvert side... In life I can see that quite often... While I am perfectly comfortable, capable and confident in social functions among friends, family and colleagues - it is certainly draining... I can keep that pace up in spurts, but it definitely takes a toll and find myself in need of recharging...

Interesting, never thought about the possible correlation with my upbringing and siblings... Being raised in a large family with 6 kids, it is interesting to now realize that we are all very similar in that regard... We absolutely enjoy our large family gatherings, but for the most part I can not say that any of my siblings are overt-extroverts... Save my youngest brother, may lean toward the extrovert side...

I have found that being alone has made it easier to find/make excuses for not partaking of social opportunities...

I would not consider whether someone is an introvert vs an extrovert to be a show-stopper in a relationship... Wife1.0 was an extrovert and the balance was both doable and probably healthy... Albeit, I can not speak for someone who might be further on the end of the introvert spectrum... Hmm, I suspect that might be more challenging for them... Which might suggest, that the range of where two people fall on the spectrum of introvert vs extrovert is probably a factor.

Now for the Bonus: I don't necessarily think that our personalities change over time... While those of us who are closer to center (along the spectrum) are able to oscillate back and forth periodically (maybe even seasonally), I do not think that our underlying personality characteristics necessarily change. Although, I can see where people who find themselves leaning to one side or the other, may gravitate more toward their leaning side during trying times.

BTW, love your new baby Yoda look, but miss your smile... :)
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
18,721
10,382
113
#3
I suspect that whether the introverts show up depends on the food offered. There will be food offered, right?

Speaking only for myself, I would attend a party for introverts, if it suited my schedule. I don't avoid people, but I am comfortable on my own, and usually get enough interaction with others through work and church activities.

I don't recall a time when I wasn't introverted to some degree. Even as a child, I would find something to do in my room if my parents had guests. My Mom can take or leave company, but my Dad is very sociable and will chat with a stranger for an hour easily. I developed many interests that don't require other people. At the same time, I enjoy some activities that do require other people, such as playing table games, soccer, or music in a band, and I look forward to these. The key for me is that I am often drained quickly by chaotic social interaction, and and refreshed by alone time.

A line from the Rich Mullins song To Tell Them comes to mind: "Some of them seem to thrive on the quiet; some are just dyin to go out and make some waves." I'm in the first group... mostly. ;)
 

BenFTW

Senior Member
Oct 7, 2012
4,833
971
113
31
#4
It’s just a matter of comfort zone. If you step out of your comfort zone, it only expands. Step out Seoulsearch. This way the Lord can use you more.

This whole idea of introverts and extroverts, is just a facade to some degree. People are people, with unique personalities and introverted-ness is fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, and fear of the unknown. It’s all tied up in fear, and while justified due to circumstances or events that have happened in their life, they have allowed such things to define them. To limit them. I myself have moments of being introverted, and it all goes back to being self conscious.

It seems that the answer to being an introvert, is finding peace in the mirror. Confidence in who you are, acceptance, and walking as the person God has made you to be. Now, granted, not everyone is meant to have charismatic stage presence as we all have our own personalities, this doesn’t mean that we can’t be expressive.

Any person I’ve met that they are super shy and quiet immediately open up when you make them feel comfortable, ask them questions and let the conversation go at their pace. If it becomes quiet, then you start talking making points and then again ask them what they think. People just need to feel comfortable.

Certain topics light people up. Find that topic and let them shine. They will smile, their countenance changes.

I am not saying people aren’t an introvert or extrovert, or have tendencies towards one or the other, and I am sorry if me suggesting introverts need a solution is offensive. My point is that what some people define as being an introvert, is really just fear.

Don’t let fear run your life. Sometimes introverts need a kick in the butt, and once they get going they realize it’s actually a lot easier than anticipated. They think “Oh they are laughing at my jokes” and “I keep making them smile” and you realize that what you were worried about you actually enjoy, because love is fulfilling. Walking in love with friends, family, and people just makes the air you breath that much fresher. The grass that much greener.

Don’t let fear rob you of love.
 

Kojikun

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2018
4,286
2,582
113
#5
Hey Everyone,

I've been thinking a lot lately about introverts vs. extroverts and am wondering what all of your experiences have been.

I wrote in another post that I never really identified with either term until a few years ago, when I started to realize that I seemed to relate to the traits of introverts much more than extroverts. If anyone remembers the old Fantastic Four movies, there's a scene in which Susan Storm (played by Jessica Alba) is throwing all her strength into keeping up a force field, and it takes such a toll on her body that her nose starts to bleed profusely.

This is also how I feel when I'm pulled in too many directions, too often, and by too many people -- it starts to feel as if my soul is on the verge of a breaking into a massive hemorrhage.

I realize that many times in life, we have no choice (such as with work), but I'm also realizing that sometimes my lack of energy around socially demanding situations can keep me from obeying God's will for my life. I had a recent situation in which I was invited to a church event and declined, only to feel the next day that God was saying I should have put my own feelings aside and gone.

And so, I'm wondering how you all classify yourselves and how it affects your life.

* Are you an introvert or extrovert, and how did you realize it? What is your own personal definition of being an introvert or an extrovert?

* Did you grow up in a family of introverts or extroverts (were they the same as you, or the opposite of you), and did it help or hurt you?

* Do you feel uncomfortable around your opposites? (Are introverts uncomfortable around extroverts, and are extroverts uncomfortable around introverts?)

* How does being an introvert or extrovert affect your decisions when searching for a spouse, and would you want a spouse who was in the same category as you, or the opposite?

And, as a bonus question:

* Do you think being an introvert or extrovert changes over time? Sometimes back and forth?

This is something I'm pondering for my own self as well. I have often wondered if I started out as an extrovert but that some of life's challenges made it feel safer to retreat into a shell.

Thank you for sharing and I'll be very interested in reading your stories.
I am an introvert however there are times when getting together with other introverts is on the agenda. Conventions are a great place however caution is to be used as the more pervy aspect of nerdom is easily accessible in such places. And if your going to a convention in wisconsin acohol is involved. The convention I go to has a built in waterpark in the hotel its held in so some people design there cosplays around swimsuits. I find myself becoming more extroverted as I get older not to the point of going clubbing or something like that but small get togethers and the such. I had learn how to talk to people I dont know when I promoted my game years ago. It was tough walking up to people at conventions and ask if they'd like to try, it made it easier to know they where also needs and probably introverts as well.
 
Feb 28, 2016
11,311
2,964
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#6
family and our young life's experiences will always predict who or what or how we will live out our lives
in this 'carnal-world' -
only by 'the calling-out of Jesus Christ', will we be able to step-out of these 'set-down-worldly-patterns'!
then and only then do we have the ways and means to 'live according to His Will'...
when Christ 'frees' us from the bondages of this wicked-world, we can never go back to being the 'lost introvert',
faithless and without hope, or the extrovert, seeking their own glory -
we use the Faith and Trust and Courage that Christ has blessed us with -
we start becoming that 'new-creature-creation' through His Holy Blood', never 'going-back' but only focusing on His Will'...
 

Going_Nowhere

Well-known member
Nov 10, 2019
1,510
675
113
#7
* Are you an introvert or extrovert, and how did you realize it? What is your own personal definition of being an introvert or an extrovert?

* Did you grow up in a family of introverts or extroverts (were they the same as you, or the opposite of you), and did it help or hurt you?

* Do you feel uncomfortable around your opposites? (Are introverts uncomfortable around extroverts, and are extroverts uncomfortable around introverts?)

* How does being an introvert or extrovert affect your decisions when searching for a spouse, and would you want a spouse who was in the same category as you, or the opposite?

And, as a bonus question:

* Do you think being an introvert or extrovert changes over time? Sometimes back and forth?
1. I'm an introvert. I think of an introvert as those who tend to keep themselves and don't socialize much....if any. I know I don't.

2. I think I'm the only introvert in my immediate family. I'm the odd one out, I guess. :p

3. I feel uncomfortable with people in general. Especially those who try to start a conversation with me. I'm not a good talker....believe me.

4. I'm so introverted and anti-social that I would rather just stay single and not have to worry about such things.

5. It doesn't change for me. I love being alone.

I think this picture sums up my feelings quite nicely.

6831dcd766e3836084ad14bbb3687c90--introvert-infj.jpg
 

Butterflyyy

Well-known member
Oct 31, 2019
1,314
1,135
113
#8
1. I'm an introvert. I think of an introvert as those who tend to keep themselves and don't socialize much....if any. I know I don't.

2. I think I'm the only introvert in my immediate family. I'm the odd one out, I guess. :p

3. I feel uncomfortable with people in general. Especially those who try to start a conversation with me. I'm not a good talker....believe me.

4. I'm so introverted and anti-social that I would rather just stay single and not have to worry about such things.

5. It doesn't change for me. I love being alone.

I think this picture sums up my feelings quite nicely.

View attachment 208867
That's a shame because Jesus loves people...and how are you going to help them know Him if you deprive everyone of you and don't socially interact? Do you go to church? 🙂
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
13,300
3,502
113
#9
These are great thoughts and I hope people will continue to add their stories. Every post brings up excellent points and I hope I can share some thoughts about each one without making this too long:

Sole -- Very interesting points about your family. I have been thinking a lot lately about what effect it must have on people if they are one thing and grow up around people who are another. I've heard of introverts growing up in families of extroverts (and not understanding why they were different), but I also wonder what it's like for extroverts who grow up in introverted families. What must it be like for those who crave being around people, but their family always wants to stay home?

Thanks for the comment on my avatar -- but as you can see, I've been bitten by the Baby Yoda bug! :)

Dino -- You really summed it up for me when you said that you are refreshed by alone time -- this is how I define my own introvertedness, too. And, you may have also found the cure -- I'm wondering how many other introverts can be lured out with food! :geek:

Ben -- All kinds of unique insights! I have often wondered how much other things come into play, such as shyness (what is it like for extroverts who are shy?), depression, and co-dependency. For me, it's not a matter of fear (unless it's someone who reminds me of someone who has made fun of me in the past, then I feel nervous, but it doesn't necessarily stop me.)

The two biggest sources of rejection I've had in my life were birth parents who, for whatever reason, left me behind, and a husband who left so that he could be with someone else. No other form of criticism, ridicule, or rejection has ever come close to chopping my heart into pieces like that (at least not yet.) You know how the Bible says that God works for the good of those who love Him? The one blessing I can say I've received from that pain is that it's made almost every other kind of cut-down or rejection seem tolerable by comparison.

It's not that it doesn't hurt, of course. It just means God has taught me to pick up and move on a lot faster, so the fear of rejection isn't really something that holds me back anymore. I don't get crushes that often (maybe 4 that I can think of in the last 15 years?) and what usually happens is that they meet someone else they like better, or want to kind of keep me in a line-up. In the past, I would have been devastated.

Now I just know it means God is leading me to move on, and it's gotten a lot easier to pick up and keep going. I do believe that being an introvert is real, and for me that means that I recharge when I'm alone (or with a few people who know me best) and not around other people.

Koji -- I really liked your advice about going to conventions! An event like that automatically gives people something in common to talk about. Kudos to you for working at all those interactions! I've had an idea for a thread that would hopefully help shy singles, so if I ever get around to writing it (or if someone takes the idea and runs with it, please feel free), you will see that thread and offer this tip again. Ben also hit on this when he said people light up when a subject comes up that they are interested in.

Going -- I understand what you're saying very well. I've always had jobs that worked with the public, and it took every ounce of energy to keep up. For me, the worst is having people cuss you out over things you have no control over. If you are the only extrovert in your family, how did you manage to realize you were different and tell them you needed to be alone?

Olde and Butterflyy -- I definitely agree that our most important priority is to follow God's will for our lives. Butterflyy, I understand what you're saying about the complication of how to serve people if someone doesn't even want to be around them! I struggle with this myself.

I think one of the ways God has used me the most is through correspondence, which always seems to be my default, even when I try to move away from it -- I just always keep coming back to the written word.

Thank you all for the contributions and I hope this discussion will continue. :)
 

BenFTW

Senior Member
Oct 7, 2012
4,833
971
113
31
#10
@cinder what did you disagree with in particular, if you don’t mind me asking? 🙂
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
3,940
1,996
113
#11
And so, I'm wondering how you all classify yourselves and how it affects your life.

* Are you an introvert or extrovert, and how did you realize it? What is your own personal definition of being an introvert or an extrovert?

* Did you grow up in a family of introverts or extroverts (were they the same as you, or the opposite of you), and did it help or hurt you?

* Do you feel uncomfortable around your opposites? (Are introverts uncomfortable around extroverts, and are extroverts uncomfortable around introverts?)

* How does being an introvert or extrovert affect your decisions when searching for a spouse, and would you want a spouse who was in the same category as you, or the opposite?

And, as a bonus question:

* Do you think being an introvert or extrovert changes over time? Sometimes back and forth?

This is something I'm pondering for my own self as well. I have often wondered if I started out as an extrovert but that some of life's challenges made it feel safer to retreat into a shell.

Thank you for sharing and I'll be very interested in reading your stories.
I'm an introvert and couldn't tell you when I first realized it or learned that term; I do know I prefer it to the inaccurate anti-social that people used to use to describe me. Being an introvert means several things to me but the ones other people need to understand are that my world and motivations are primarily interior. Most introverts have rich inner worlds and deep thoughts that the majority of the extroverted world won't shut up long enough to hear. And perhaps as the extraverts find sitting around talking about ideas boring, so the intoverts find the favorite pastimes of extraverts like going out to busy places where you can't hear yourself think or anyone else talking or relentless small talk about all these other inconsequential people thoroughly boring as well. The other big thing I know is true of me and I think of most introverts is that no matter how much we like you or how much fun we're having, being around other people is draining and wears us out. And because of that many of us need to mentally prepare to be around lots of people and socialize with them; it's work for us even when it's very satisfying and worthwhile work. If you want to get all sciency about it there have been studies that show that introverts are more sensitive to stimulation than extraverts and so get overwhelmed by stimuli easier (hence the feeling tired and drained).

I am my father's daughter and my dad is also very much an introvert, so much so that one of the creative gift tags is often something along the lines of contrasting my extraverted mother as Mrs. Let's go somewhere with my dad as Homebody. I think it helped both my brother (who is far more extraverted) and me to have a parent who understood and to some extent shared such traits. There's plenty in the world to tell introverts there way of doing things is wrong that I think if I were the only introvert in the family I would be much more inclined to think that that was something wrong with me.

I think my parents have also set a great example of how to manage opposite personality types in a relationship. And it basically boils down to Mom goes out and does a lot of activities on her own and when there's a special event for one of them that she really wants Dad to go to, he will go even if it's something he's only doing because mom is involved and wants him to. Mom appreciates Dad for his deep and thorough thinking about things and knows and trusts his conclusions because she knows he's a better thinker than her and Dad appreciates a lot of things about mom, but he's the introverted one so he doesn't talk as much about what those are.

I think a lot of being comfortable or uncomfortable around people has more to do with character than with their vertsion (i or e). I don't like pushy extraverts and if I get in the clutches of one, I will extricate myself as subtly as possible and decide to not be around them again if I have that option because they're just too stressful. If I have to be around them again, well too much pushy and the brutally honest canon fires and that usually resolves the issue because no one likes to be blasted with unpleasant conclusions in an introverts mind that can't be refuted. It can also be awkward for me to be around introverts since it's harder to get the conversation started until you hit it off on the subject of shared interest and knowledge. Once you hit that, you usually have a conversation animated and energetic enough to be the envy of all the extraverts around.

And no I don't think our basic preferences change over time, but I do think we learn to live in our personalities and limitations better as we age and we may well be able to push some of those limitations to become more capable, well rounded people.
 

Solemateleft

Honor, Courage, Commitment
Jun 25, 2017
4,015
2,449
113
#12
@cinder what did you disagree with in particular, if you don’t mind me asking? 🙂
Brother Ben... I'm not going to try to answer obo @cinder - as I trust she will respond accordingly...
While I will concede @seoulsearch 's ability to acknowledge your insightful contributions and while you are careful to suggest that you do not mean to offend 'introverts' by inferring that they have a problem that warrants a solution...
It's just that the assertion 'don't let fear...' comes across as an assumption, and I suspect that even the self-confident introverts will struggle to not see this as a flawed assumption...
Not with standing the well intended spirit and intent of your insights...
Here is a scientific based article on the differences between introverts and extroverts - and no where in this article does the term 'fear' come up...
Why Introverts and Extroverts Are Different: The Science
just some food for thought on the subject...
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
2,194
1,264
113
#13
I'm more a people magnet. I guess that makes me extroverted.
Wherever i go people seem to follow. Might call me a Pied Piper too which is very flattering.
Im a dog magnet as well. My poor old dog cant get enough of me. I do make a fuss of him though. My dog is a natural extrovert.
 

Going_Nowhere

Well-known member
Nov 10, 2019
1,510
675
113
#14
Going -- I understand what you're saying very well. I've always had jobs that worked with the public, and it took every ounce of energy to keep up. For me, the worst is having people cuss you out over things you have no control over. If you are the only extrovert in your family, how did you manage to realize you were different and tell them you needed to be alone?
I think I started to discover how introverted I was at the beginning of adolescence. That's when you start to discover who you really are, you know? Or at least that was the case for me.

As for my family....I think they just kind of caught on after a while, if that makes sense. They started to realize how comfortable I was being alone and how uncomfortable I was being around people. And they accepted it. They understand....I think.

Some people say there's a whole different world out there for those who are willing to step out of their comfort zone. But I happen to like my comfort zone very much. It's....comforting. :p
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
2,194
1,264
113
#15
I think I started to discover how introverted I was at the beginning of adolescence. That's when you start to discover who you really are, you know? Or at least that was the case for me.

As for my family....I think they just kind of caught on after a while, if that makes sense. They started to realize how comfortable I was being alone and how uncomfortable I was being around people. And they accepted it. They understand....I think.

Some people say there's a whole different world out there for those who are willing to come out of their comfort zone. But I happen to like my comfort zone very much. It's....comforting. :p
heres my 2 cents
part of you wants the company of people but mainly with ones who are sensitive to who you are.
the other part is quite happy alone
 
Feb 28, 2016
11,311
2,964
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#16
a particular place in hub's and my service at this time, is and has been for a while, reaching-out to those whose
families that call themselves 'christians' but have rejected a particular loved one, such as in feeding them,
or doing their laundry, or most of all, giving them place of refuge in their homes, not necessarily IN their home,
but even on their property, (tent or other wise, or putting out the energy to find a shelter where they can
feel safe and fed and warm) = we are over-come with grief, for we have known many of these people for several decades
and know their families not so nice history, besides just the one that they are shunning -
even so, 'as I come up with all of my own ideas to make a way for them to 'make a better life for themselves',
Jesus keeps stepping-in, and reminds that I have to follow 'His lead first and fore-most', even though our hearts are
breaking in two -
we have to do what He Commands and wait and see if He makes a way for us to help, but,
He won't allow me to change the paths that they have chosen, at least, not at this time in our Ministry...

Grief just doesn't quite describe what our hearts are feeling, especially when we realize just how, no matter what,
we are not allowed to interfere with others 'choices' and must always wait on our Saviour's Will, directions,
to be able to help-act;
we are still learning how to wait upon Him and honour His time frame for His Grace to come into place...
we've been at this for many, many years, and are still learning each and every day how to obey and serve
our beloved brethren in the ways and the time that our Saviour demands of us...
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
13,300
3,502
113
#17
heres my 2 cents
part of you wants the company of people but mainly with ones who are sensitive to who you are.
the other part is quite happy alone
This is a really good analysis, More. I know it was written for Going and I'll be looking forward to reading his reply, but this summary applies to me very well, too.

Another good example of my "recent" (in the past few years) discovery of myself as an introvert is that I question myself more often about what I should and shouldn't share. In the past, I would just write whatever came to mind, but these days, I seem to be a little more reserved.

The reason why I wonder if people can change from one thing to another is because I think before my divorce, I was more of an extrovert and perhaps grew up as one. I had always lived around family and other people, so I didn't even realize introvertedness existed. Looking back, I think my then-husband was more introverted than I was and maybe that was part of what drove him towards someone else.

After he left, I would come home, throw my keys on the empty kitchen counter, and listen to the hollow echo of the sound ricocheting off empty walls (and, what it felt like my empty heart.) I went from always being around people or a husband to lying on the couch literally listening to the clock ticking on the wall. At the time, I was dying to be around someone.

For the first several years, I thought it would kill me. I hung on to the hope that he would eventually change his mind and we would get remarried. But when that didn't happen, and the years turned into decades, something happened to me that changed the isolation from draining my life away to starting to restore my energy (I just didn't know it at the time.)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I think a lot of other things came into play, such as co-dependency, depression, and the extreme fear of being alone forever. Now I think I have a fear that even if I did find someone, he might not understand that I might need to lock myself in a room for a day just so that I can read and write in an attempt to organize my thoughts.

As Sole adeptly pointed out, most people seem to see being an introvert as some kind of sickness that needs to be cured.

I see it instead as the way God made me. As long as I'm following what He wants and making the effort to be around/reach out to people in the doses that He prescribes for me (and not what others try to dictate), there is nothing to be cured (improved upon, yes, of course, but nothing to be forced into being like anyone else.)

Ben, I do understand in that sometimes it CAN be a matter of people being afraid to talk to others and needing to face their fears, but for some of us, we just do much, much better if we have more alone time with God and less time around people. :)
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
3,940
1,996
113
#18
It’s just a matter of comfort zone. If you step out of your comfort zone, it only expands. Step out Seoulsearch. This way the Lord can use you more.

This whole idea of introverts and extroverts, is just a facade to some degree. People are people, with unique personalities and introverted-ness is fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, and fear of the unknown. It’s all tied up in fear, and while justified due to circumstances or events that have happened in their life, they have allowed such things to define them. To limit them. I myself have moments of being introverted, and it all goes back to being self conscious.

It seems that the answer to being an introvert, is finding peace in the mirror. Confidence in who you are, acceptance, and walking as the person God has made you to be. Now, granted, not everyone is meant to have charismatic stage presence as we all have our own personalities, this doesn’t mean that we can’t be expressive.

Any person I’ve met that they are super shy and quiet immediately open up when you make them feel comfortable, ask them questions and let the conversation go at their pace. If it becomes quiet, then you start talking making points and then again ask them what they think. People just need to feel comfortable.

Certain topics light people up. Find that topic and let them shine. They will smile, their countenance changes.

I am not saying people aren’t an introvert or extrovert, or have tendencies towards one or the other, and I am sorry if me suggesting introverts need a solution is offensive. My point is that what some people define as being an introvert, is really just fear.

Don’t let fear run your life. Sometimes introverts need a kick in the butt, and once they get going they realize it’s actually a lot easier than anticipated. They think “Oh they are laughing at my jokes” and “I keep making them smile” and you realize that what you were worried about you actually enjoy, because love is fulfilling. Walking in love with friends, family, and people just makes the air you breath that much fresher. The grass that much greener.

Don’t let fear rob you of love.
@cinder what did you disagree with in particular, if you don’t mind me asking? 🙂
Well I think you're wrong about a lot of things in your post, but I'm going to try to be nice and gracious about it because I know I've had my moments of airing an opinion on things I didn't really understand either.

Introversion is a real thing, and a lot of the things you said in your post are common misunderstanings / accusations that extraverts have toward introverts. I think much of it comes from the fact that extraverts are absolutely miserable when alone and so assume that being alone must be miserable for everyone and so people would only choose to spend time alone if there were some other issue (like fear) hindering them from wanting to interact with people. So they often equate introversion with fear, shyness, social anxiety or something similar that is a problem to be solved. But there is a huge difference between longing to be around people and being afraid to and the healthy introvert who doesn't really want to be around people all that much and their greater confusion is why they aren't like everyone else (who seem to really enjoy being around each other). And for those of us like that, usually there's no place more lonely than being in the middle of a room full of extraverts and feeling the fundamental difference between us.

So try to imagine that there really are people out there who enjoy spending time alone just because they enjoy it. And they usually enjoy their own company (often better than that of other people who tend to seem shallow and make demands). I'll set myself up as an example of an introver and certainly anyone who's been around me on CC for any length of time knows that my introversion does not translate into any lack of confidence or self esteem (usually there's just enough humility to put a disclaimer when I'm giving advice which i've tested with 0 real life experience, but it sure doesn't stop me from thinking my advice is good and worth giving). Bottom line is introverts experience and view interaction with people differently than extraverts do, and for introverts usually that interaction, however good or fulfilling, is a net cost. That's fundamentally different from fear or shyness or lack of self confidence or a problem that needs fixing; it's simply a different way of being with it's own advantages and challenges.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
13,300
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#19
@BenFTW -- I want to give you major kudos for being willing to listen to others' explanations of how they define being an introvert. Do you see yourself as an extrovert? And did you grow up around extroverts, introverts, or a mix?


@cinder -- Really enjoyed your explanation of your parents, and how an introvert and extrovert can come to a compromise. Very useful information, so many thanks for taking the time to write that out.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
18,097
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#20
This is something I'm pondering for my own self as well. I have often wondered if I started out as an extrovert but that some of life's challenges made it feel safer to retreat into a shell.

Thank you for sharing and I'll be very interested in reading your stories.
From your own descriptions of yourself, I'd say you're an extrovert by nature, but with a central nervous system that can't handle the strain for long. And when you're too flippin polite for your own good and let people run over you, it puts more strain on your CNS. :cautious: