I spent so many years, too many years, thinking I was just antisocial. The term ‘introvert’ was thrown around as someone who is lazy, boring, just not good at making friends. This was until I finally learnt that being an introvert or an extrovert is all about an energy balance; it’s not just who’s good at making the room laugh and who’s not, it’s bigger than that, it’s deeper than that.
If you’re, like me not all that long ago, unsure on what the difference is; an extrovert is someone who gets their energy from people and being within a social atmosphere and an introvert is someone who that very scenario drains their energy. You can be the loudest person in the room but if you’re exhausted from doing so, that’s the introvert in you. You can be silent in the corner but thrive off the atmosphere, that is extroverted.
People who are neutral or extroverted tend to find the concept so strange but when I finally discovered the difference, everything finally made perfect sense. I love spending time with those closest to me; but you bet the next day I need nothing more than a quiet time with my headphones on or a long bath with the door closed. My favourite days are exploring and being adventurous but I start early to be home by early evening so I have plenty of time to calm down before attacking the next day.
I have a customer facing day job, where I manage people and am managed, at the end of the day I sometimes get home and physically don’t have the energy to make conversation for a while. The complexity of balancing those roles takes its toll; the pull from internal and external demands is a lot. You think you’ll grow up and grow out of these things but it doesn’t happen. With most things in life, you just get used to handling it.
You see a lot these days online, people pleading to normalise saying you don’t want to do something or cancelling just because. That never really feels like it’ll fly though and to be perfectly honest, I don’t want to just say no. If an introvert said no to everything they didn’t want to do, you’d get no where. It’s not that you don’t want to do it, it’s just at the time not doing it seems like the easiest option; as they say, you never grow from staying in the same place.
Here’s to no longer staying in the same place; and just ensuring I get a good nights sleep afterwards!