My greatest secret
Every now and then, I like to mix up our formal topics with something personal.
A little slice of me …
My take on the world …
And how I survive it.
This is going to one of those posts. These last few months have been amazing to reflect on our communities & how we interact with them. We have had a chance to realise that people are important and not meeting with them … is, well, hard when there is no choice in the matter.
I can only imagine that on the other side of this, we are going to see all the pent up months of social isolation convert into party time!
So this leads to one of my biggest overt secrets …
I AM AN INTROVERT!
For those of you who haven’t stumbled into this term before I can hear you asking:
Is this a disease? No … although it can be crippling.
Is it contagious? (We often wish it would be!)
How do I spot these strange beasts?? Hard to tell … but it will mostly be those LOVING our current social isolation.
So … what is an introvert?
Introvert is a psychology word used to describe:
- shy, reticent person
- a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.
As this definition makes us sound like silent, selfish narcissists, it is even better to think of introverts like this:
“… introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating.” – Susan Cain
An introvert will be someone who needs more time without, than with, people to recharge their energy. Introverts give out energy in social settings. Extroverts gain energy in social settings.
And while I can’t claim this for all introverts, you may find that introverts are …
your deep thinkers
your peace keepers.
So, what I do … if I am one?
“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.” -Susan Cain
Start by learning about what it is.
Aside from the Myers-Briggs resources, my favourite and most recommended book on this topic is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain. It is a book filled with practicality, research, and loving compassion. Worthwhile buying!
Be counter culture.
Our world is designed for the extrovert and our social expectations are so messed up. The FOMO (fear of missing out) leads many introverts into social situations that end up adversely affecting our ability to function well in other aspects of our lives.
Because remember: introverts give out energy in social settings. Even worse is the overwhelming guilt when we (the introvert) don’t participate. So be counter-cultural. Don’t rush social interactions, don’t push them, don’t try and force them.
As the joke goes: introverts are like cats. And just because we don’t talk to you every second … does not mean we don’t love you. Have patience, we will come when we are ready.
Party survival hacks
“Telling an introvert to go to a party is like telling a saint to go to Hell.” ― Criss Jami
So another myth is that introverts don’t like people. We do!
Which leads to the problem of parties. This was a nightmare during school and college for me where the expectation was that social interaction should be happening any time sleep wasn’t happening.
So these are my top party survival hacks:
- Accept your introversion! It is what makes you unique and leads to deep thinking, compassion and insights
- Be picky about the parties you go to. You are an exclusive product. Go for quality over quantity
- Turn up with someone. This can be a friend, a sibling, a partner … or a niece/nephew/godchild you have borrowed for the party
- Before you go, set yourself a time limit. For me, I usually say an hour or two. If you are in the groove and the conversation is flowing at your hour mark, you don’t HAVE to leave … you can stay longer
- Find something to do at the party … help put out food, get a drink for someone, hold a baby … it will give you a conversation starter
- Finally, another amazing conversation starter is a compliment to the person. Make it something meaningful (guys, worth avoiding personal/physical compliments unless you are flirting). A great one is the simple “You have great friends” which can lead you to mutual friends, how you both know them, why you like them etc
I wish you the very best on your adventures! And remember:
“So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race.” – Susan Cain
Dr. Carmell’a Guide to Understanding the Introverted!