An Outgoing Introvert

It’s only over the past few months that I’ve realized I’m an introvert. All through high school I identified as an extrovert, even though I was always content reading in my room by myself, or hanging out with one or two friends instead of big crowds of people.

When I’d have company over, I’d be okay for a few days but then I’d just want to hide in my room to recharge. I honestly thought I was an anti-social extrovert. It turns out I’m actually an outgoing introvert. Like many people I had confused shyness and being an introvert. I’m not shy; sometimes it’ll take me a while to feel comfortable with someone, but I’m certainly not shy. I truly am an introvert.

I’ve recently started reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts and it’s been really eye-opening for me. If you aren’t sure if you’re introverted, you can take this quick quiz by author Susan Cain here. According to this quiz, I’m a moderate introvert.

I also recently read a HuffPo Living article titled 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert and thought it would be interesting, especially for those reading who have known me for a while, to break down the 23 signs as they apply to me.

1. You find small talk incredibly cumbersome.

Yes, I do. Very much. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to you – I do, I want to get to know you and have conversations with you, but small talk is so formal and it just has an air of uncaring about it. No, I don’t give a shit about the weather, we can all look outside and see what it’s doing, I want to have a conversation with you.

2. You go to parties -– but not to meet people.

I used to regularly bail on social outings where I’d only know one or two people. This has significantly improved, but going to a party or gathering where I don’t know people is very uncomfortable for me. I’ll do it, and it’s never as bad as I think it’ll be, but it’s taken a LONG time for me to get here.

3. You often feel alone in a crowd.

Heck, sometimes I even feel alone when I’m hanging out with 4 or 5 people.

4. Networking makes you feel like a phony.

I really dislike networking. To me it feels like pretending to be interested in someone just to accomplish something. Now, I realize that’s not exactly how it is, but it sure feels like that sometimes.

5. You’ve been called “too intense.”

Me? Intense? Nah. I doubt either of my parents would call me intense. [insert sarcasm font here]

6. You’re easily distracted.

What’s that? Over there? Something shiny?

This is true. I need an organized work space and home otherwise I find it distracting. I organize my office and home a few times a week just so I can remain focused. Now, I’m certainly not the neatest person in the world (if you’ve been my closet, I’m sure you’ll agree!) but disorganization, or too much happening at once is no good.

7. Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive to you.

Oh man. I LOVE my downtime. I really do. I try to schedule a day of nothing each week just so I can sit and relax. I realized that I was 3 issues behind in Runner’s World, Women’s Health and O magazine. This means I haven’t had enough downtime this summer!

8. Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards.

Yup. Definitely. I’d have no problem giving a talk, I’m not shy, but conversing afterwards? Definitely scary. I try really hard to find opportunities to move outside my comfort zone, but I can only do so much.

9. When you get on the subway, you sit at the end of the bench -– not in the middle.

Yup. Definitely. And I definitely prefer it if no one sits next to me. This is where bitchy resting face comes in handy 🙂

10. You start to shut down after you’ve been active for too long.

Right now I’m so busy during the week the last thing I want to do is go out on a Friday. When I was in Vancouver, I had the perfect balance between social interaction and being on my own. I’m pretty sure if I had four full days of go-go-go I’d have crashed especially hard.

11. You’re in a relationship with an extrovert.

False.

12. You’d rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything.

Yup. Want to talk to me about running and health and fitness? I’ll talk your ear off. I don’t really have any desire to be a “jack of all trades”. I admire people who are able to dabble in everything, but I’d rather be intensely interested in one thing (before running it was swimming and horses) than a million different things.

13. You actively avoid any shows that might involve audience participation.

Being called on to participate at a show is my nightmare. I am certainly the person averting her gaze and hiding in my seat at much as possible. Ugh. No thank you.

14. You screen all your calls — even from friends.

Yup. Heck, I’ve even screened calls from my own mother. Sorry mom.

15. You notice details that others don’t.

I think so? I’m absolutely awful at remember things and coming up with examples on the spot, but I do know I’m quite attune to my surroundings.

16. You have a constantly running inner monologue.

 Sure do. I’m sure other introverts can relate and all the extroverts will think the introverts are insane. I just wish I could transfer the blog posts I compose while running to the screen – I swear everything sounds so much better in my head!

17. You have low blood pressure.

I sure do! However, my insane running schedule may have something to do with this 🙂

18. You’ve been called an “old soul” -– since your 20s.

Yup. 10pm bedtime on a Friday? Yes please!

Running and sleep seem to be the big ways that I recharge for the next day.

19. You don’t feel “high” from your surroundings

I can truly enjoy my surroundings, like when I’m in nature and running or hiking, but if I’m in a crowd of people who is busy and noisy I can feel my anxiety start to peak. Even Stampede, which is one of my favourite times of year, can get too much for me with all the busy and go-go-go.

20. You look at the big picture.

I do this to the point of sometimes appearing contradictory because I try to look at all sides of an issue. This is something I’ve been working on because looking at the big picture really doesn’t mean I need to make others feel less.

21. You’ve been told to “come out of your shell.”

I definitely was not told this in school, but throughout my jobs I’ve noticed that is takes me about 6 months to feel comfortable in new surroundings and will then start to engage more and become more social. I’m actively working on this as no one wants to befriend the anti-social new girl.

22. You’re a writer.

Barely. I mean, yeah, I have this space, but I’d say I’m anything but a good and creative writer. I’m probably just narcissistic and think people care about what I write.

23. You alternate between phases of work and solitude, and periods of social activity.

Absolutely! I find the summer I’m very socially active and come the end of summer (like now) I crave time alone to just be.

Tell me, are you introverted?

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