Guess what, I am an introvert *gasp*
Yes I know, people don’t seem to believe me when I say that. The response is always the same: ‘You are TOTALLY not an introvert’
‘You talk to everyone’
‘You are always making friends with people’
‘You are too loud to be an introvert’
‘You’re too social to be an introvert’
Yea, I get it. I am VERY loud; I talk to strangers and I am always out. BUT I am still an introvert.
This is a definition of an introvert: “People who are introverted tend to be inward turning, or focused more on internal thoughts, feelings and moods rather than seeking out external stimulation. Introversion is generally viewed as existing as part of a continuum along with extroversion.”
I totally get that I am THAT person who always talks to people and tries their hardest to make everyone feel welcome. I am the person that people come to when they want someone else to feel comfortable etc. That still doesn’t change who I am as a person.
By all definitions and a couple of personality tests, I am actually introverted. Talking to people and interacting with people -even my friends- EXHAUST the heck out of me and makes me so tired that people are always asking me why I am so tired.
So let me tell you why I do these things and why people still argue with me about me being introverted. When I was growing up, I never had a big group of friends, in fact I started to volunteer at the library so that I did not have to interact with people and be social other than telling people to keep quiet because it is, well a library.
This carried out into high school where I had like 3 or 4 friends. I mean I hung out in a group but my best friend at the time was the sociable person who was invited everywhere and because we were connected at the hip, I was then invited too. I remember at a house party, I literally just sat on the couch and did nothing because I really did not want to talk to anyone but I did want to be there as I did not want to miss out on yet another party.
When I finally finished high school I realised I needed to do something about me not having so many friends. My high school was like 30 min from the area I lived in and if you know South Africa at all, you know that there is almost no public transport at all which meant I could not actually see my friends so I was left pretty much alone.
I was applying to move to America which was cool but I was so nervous. What if I make no friends? What if I end up all alone there? That was actually reasonably true which kind of sucks. I had one friend who was always invited out and thus, I went out with her but I really needed to get out of my shell, then one day something flipped inside of my head. I said you know what? Eff this, I need to have friends, I need to enjoy my time and stop being that person who sits at home and does nothing. So ever since that day in like 2014/2015, I have made an active effort to always try and do something that scares the crap out of me at least once a day. At first it was literally going and sitting at Starbucks by myself and reading a book then it was all about texting people who were also Au Pairs in my area to grab coffee or lunch. I then moved on to going to the mall by myself and then getting fast food by myself. It may seem simple to you but those things terrified the living daylights out of me.
Since then I have had some regressions where I would not be able to get out of bed because I was so terrified to do something or I would just say no and stay home. (anxiety is great lol) Other times I think about all the other people who have the same issues as me and I be that person who goes up to them and says: ‘hey, my name is Michelle, how are you?’ or I will compliment someone on their appearance or just literally say hi to someone on the street. Due to me being an Au Pair, I meet a lot of girls that are very shy because they don’t know too much English; they are in a different country; they are just as shy or introverted as me and I tell myself, how would I feel if I were in their position again? And that is what motivates me to be the person who says hi and makes conversation.
It helps that because I am in America, people are very drawn to my accent and they generally talk to me first.
So yes, that is the very long, drawn out reason as to why people always assume I am not an introvert, when I in fact, I am and I am shy, but don’t worry, I am actively working on it. You should totally try do something that makes you step out of your comfort zone every day, or at least every once in a while. You won’t regret it!
As a take away, what is something about you that people just never assume of you? Let me know down below.