On Sunday, I did something that I would normally never do. By never, I mean that I would hesitate on making a decision until it was too late to make a decision in the affirmative. Any way, this decision was to hang out with people that I love and I didn’t set a “leave” time. This is something other introverts can identify with – we feel completely out of our element when we are around people too long so we always develop an extra strategy. So our exit strategy is to always have a “leave” time set in stone. You know? Because our favorite shows coming on at a specific time is an actual emergency and even though we DVR it, there’s no feeling quite like watching it at the time it’s supposed to air.
Whew! Being an introvert is a challenge. Trust me.
In true introvert fashion, I became a bit overwhelmed while I was having fun and being “social.” At one point, the energy in the room was so thick that I practiced a technique of reflecting while in a crowded space. In hindsight, I really think I was only overwhelmed because of that long delay in the Saints vs. Buccaneers games. During a particular moment, I came understand something so simple about myself, but it was profound.
My realization: – I’m personable but I’m not a people-person . . .and I’m completely okay with this.
Why is this such a big thing? What does it mean to understand this distinction? How will I move forward because I get this now?
To be personable means that you are “having a pleasant appearance and manner” but to be a people-person means that you are “a person who enjoys or is particularly good at interacting with others.”
To answer that first question, it’s a big thing to realize because many people don’t understand that there is a BIG DIFFERENCE THERE. I now understand why people assume that I’m a people-person and this is something that I have to get over (it’s also easier to get over because I can explain this now). On the other hand, people need to understand that being personable does not mean you love interacting with people. I can now explain why this assumption is incorrect in a way that isn’t off-putting. The biggest obstacles I continue to run into is that people will say to me, “WHAT! You’re such a people-person!” The reality is I want nothing more than to stay home and read a book because interacting with people gives me the heebie-jeebies. The take-home point: being personable means you are nice.
I can finally understand how to explain to others that they perceive in a way that’s different from my actual reality. I’ll no longer get upset when people say to me, “Oh! I would never think of you as an introvert” or suggest that I can’t be an introvert because I come across as being comfortable around people. Since humans are creatures that judge how others experience a situation based on their own experience, I feel more confident about engaging with others. I can essentially control the experience a bit more and exert some influence after the fact in a way that’s comforting to me.
*takes deep breath*
In all of this, I am now looking forward to sharing how I continue to work the “challenge” of being an introvert in extraverted spaces.