Living and Loving as an Introvert

good advice

*stands up*

*shuffles nervously*

*clears throat*

Hello. My name’s Ruth and I am an introvert.

Would you believe that it has taken me 31 years to say that?

Most of those years have been taken up with saying other things. No, I’m not anti-social. No, I’m not shy. No, it’s not that I hate people, or that I hate you, or that I’m a badly brought up Awkward Annie.

I’m just an introvert.

What does that actually mean? I’ve been reading a lot about introversion recently. Susan Cain’s TED talk and accompanying book about the power of introverts in ‘a world that can’t stop talking’ have been featured on every website and in every magazine. It has become a bit of a buzzword, perhaps because social media has given us Awkward Annies a way of making our voices heard without moving too far from the comfort of our home offices.

It means that I need space. It means that I enjoy solitude. It means that I like my own company.

I also like the company of other people – really love it, in fact – but only the people I choose at a time that I choose. Whereas an extrovert actually draws energy from time spent with others, bouncing ideas around and talking it all out, an introvert finds large crowds and sensory stimulation pretty draining. We can do it, and we often have to, but we need downtime afterwards, and space to recharge.

It is not about confidence. Most introverts have a deep and quiet self-belief; they just don’t fit society’s preconceived notions of confidence. I spent most of my school life being told that I wasn’t loud enough or chatty enough. Even at university, I was always told in seminars that I needed to speak up more. So I started to push myself. I forced myself into positions where I would have to speak up – I was a class rep, a newspaper editor, a student president, and an MSP candidate. I marched, and hustled, and held a megaphone.

But stepping out of my comfort zone didn’t change what was fundamentally me. I was always very happy doing a prepared speech, where I could think about it and write it first, feeling sure that the words said exactly what I wanted them to. And I was always happy talking about any issue, to any person one-on-one, regardless of their age or background. I like to think I can find common ground with just about anyone. The bit I hated was the debate in-between; the situations that required an instant answer, where I had to think on my feet and say the right thing in front of a large crowd. It never felt genuine. It never felt like the best of me.

I love to be a small part of a large crowd, or a large part of a small conversation, but whatever situation I’m in I tend to observe for a while before I participate. I like to reflect on what’s in front of me before I form an opinion that I’m ready to share.

A drink with one or two friends is always preferable to a party full of friends. One diary commitment in a day is far better than two. A coffee, or a playdate, or a work meeting is fine – I will put on my best shirt and my least crumpled jeans, and have a happy, interesting time – but all three in the space of twelve hours would be pretty much unbearable. As Holly Klassen said in her spot-on piece in the Huffington Post last week, if you’re an introvert then being around people who aren’t your family is in itself an event.

Every Monday morning I do Pilates, and without either of us saying a word my instructor knows if I’ve been out at the weekend, even if it was just a quiet meal and a few drinks with DorkyDad. If I have, then my head just isn’t there. By the end of our hour together I’ve usually come back to Earth – that quiet sixty minutes is the recharge I need – but I always start flustered and weak, lacking co-ordination and focus.

The book that I’ve read that speaks to me about all this in the softest whisper – the one that doesn’t even know it’s a how-to text for introverts – is Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg. She talks with grace and wisdom of the way that women pour themselves into their family or their work or their homemaking, and the importance of taking time away from all that sometimes to recharge.

Which leads me neatly onto the challenges of parenting as introvert. What do you do when all the comfortable, quiet protective zones you’ve spent years building are suddenly taken away from you?

I know now that it’s why I found the first year or two with DorkySon so hard. He was always, always there. Even when he was asleep, he was there. I could never switch off. I couldn’t pee or eat or read or sleep without the constant threat of a head poking around a door, or a cry emanating from the next room. There was nowhere I could go to get away from that.

He is five now, and every day is good. We have found our equilibrium as a family. Like me, DorkySon is happy with his own company. Part of that is only-childism. But part of it is just who he is. When he wants to be entertained, I can barely get him off my lap. When he is happy to entertain himself he will disappear into his room for an hour at a time and I will peek in the door to see him with a line of cars or a pile of books.

We are gently encouraging him in the direction of friends and parks and parties. He goes, and he stands on the sidelines watching for a while before joining in with great enthusiasm. But when he is done with company he is done, and he makes no attempt to sugar coat it. ‘Bye now,’ he’ll say. ‘That’s enough playing for today.’ When his tank is empty, and he has nothing more to give, he is smart enough to remove himself from the situation.

As a family, we know each other’s rules. We love time with each other more than just about anything in the world, but we also love to pursue our own activities and interests. If any one of the three of us needs space – either physical or mental – we know how to provide that for each other.

People assume that it’s hard when DorkyDad travels for work. Of course it is – DorkySon and I both miss him like crazy – but it’s also fine. Being an introvert means that it’s not a problem to spend time on my own – solitude and loneliness are such different things. It means I can read and write for as long as I like, eat scrambled eggs at odd times of night, and dance around the kitchen with no-one watching. Then after two days or a week or ten days I get the joy of DorkyDad coming home.

We have often said that our house is something of a fortress, and that you’re only allowed in if you pass multiple tests. That’s a joke – no really, it is – but it’s true to say that letting other people in our house for any length of time can be hard. We do it, because we love our friends deeply, and when they fly across the world to see us it’s only fair to ask them in for a coffee. But as many of them are introverts too we know that when the door clicks shut on the way out, the sigh of relief they heave is just as big as our own.

(The only point of that paragraph really is to say that if we have ever asked you into our house for anything at all then you’re in the inner circle. And if you thought we were friends, but we haven’t asked you into our house yet, you’re probably in the inner circle too, but we’re just working up to it… Stick with us.)

I am slightly worried, in this new place, that people will think I am anti-social. Introversion is the emotional equivalent of the physically unfortunate phenomenon known as resting bitch face. It can be misinterpreted as being standoffish or unfriendly. It means you sit in the playground waiting for your son and really feel you should say something more than hello to the other parents, but you’re not quite sure how to. But then you see a familiar face and you sigh with relief. Someone else who you know has staggered out of the house and had to psyche themselves up for social interaction. A fellow introvert. A potential friend.

I am a little sorry I am an introvert. I’m sorry that I seem to have passed it on to DorkySon, and I hope that as he gets older he stays comfortable in his own skin, rather than trying to shape himself into something he is not.

But I’m not sorry too. It’s just who I am.

My name’s Ruth and I am an introvert.

273 responses

  1. You have just described me and I never knew I was an introvert. I always thought it was someone with no confidence who didn’t want to speak with anyone. Like you I love my own space I love having coffee with a friend and I’m a great talker but don’t ask me to do it two or three days in a row. I only like having people in my home that I love and I really don’t suffer fools gladly. I love it when hubby is away for a few days and I get to do my own thing. No one would ever know that if they read my blog. You have such a good way of looking at things and you know you’ve made me think that it’s okay being me and you’re okay being you. Thanks.

    • It is totally okay to be you🙂 The best person to be, in fact! Thanks so much for reading and commenting, I’m glad this struck a chord xx

      • This is SUCH an interesting post. (Btw I’ve recently joined WordPress and I’m finding my way around here.) I’ve never really thought about this before because, like a lot of introverts I’ve tried to compensate by pretending to be extrovert eg becoming a teacher and having to speak in front of people every day.

        But I was always shy as a child. I escaped into writing, reading and producing artwork. There are obviously lots of similar introverts on here, judging by the above comments! People think you are rude and unsociable, but really you are shy and feel awkward.

        I thought that as an adult one grows out of this, but maybe not. Perhaps, we just get
        better at disguising it!

  2. Great post, I relate to so much of it. I am a bit shy as well as being a bit introverted, and often worry that people will think I am standoffish, but the plus side of having one of us as your friend is that generally speaking once you are in you are IN. I take while to feel totally comfortable and totally myself in someone’s company, but once I do I am noisy and a big old chatterbox who will be a loyal friend for as long as you will have me! I find solitude a rare thing in a house of 5, there always seems to be someone to step into the gap left by the absence of another, and I can sometimes get to the point of overload – my escape is long baths – the room has a lock! Xxx

    • Oh that is totally true and a very good point – I’m the same in terms of loyalty. Once you’re my friend there’s no getting rid of me! Thanks so much for reading and commenting xx

  3. This is perfect. You have described me so well. I do not look like an introvert. I am not shy and can be seen as outgoing, confident, sociable. The thing is, I need lots of time off in between social occasions to be that way. I definitely feel pressure to switch it on sometimes and it is so draining. I broke down in tears last Christmas after 3 days of people with no break in between. Thought I was going mad but that kind of schedule is not good for me and we have vowed to do it differently this year. I am married to an extrovert though, so he doesn’t always get my need to turn the noise down or understand what I mean when I say I need time to recharge and reset. He accepts it though and gives me the space I need when I ask for it.

    • Ohhh, I’m sorry Christmas was such a toughie, but it sounds like you’ve reached a better understanding now of your own limitations. I think an introvert-extrovert marriage is probably a really good match as long as you always communicate and respect each other’s differences🙂 thanks for commenting lovely xx

  4. Introversion and extroversion are massively misunderstood. I spent my whole life thinking I was an extrovert, until I took a leadership test at work, and nervously declared “Uhm, I think I’m an introvert.” My colleagues and my boss just laughed at me, but over the months that followed I realised that the test was correct. I can’t function if I don’t get time to myself, I can’t concentrate with lots of distractions around me, and I hate picking up the telephone. On the other hand, after a busy, stressful conference, my husband heads straight to the bar to recharge himself by being around other people.

    Introvert is not the wimpy shy person it has come to indicate. It is just someone who is perhaps more self-reliant for their energy.

    • Oh I hear you on the telephone! I almost never answer it – I let people leave voicemails and call them back when I’m ready to! I like your definition of an introvert being someone who is self-reliant for their energy xx

    • Yes. That is definately me with the phone. Especially if I’m not expecting it. I usually call back within a few minutes after I collect my thoughts.

  5. Don’t ever apologise for being an introvert – it’s a wonderful gift, and why you are such a talented writer my friend. I am an introvert too. I may come across as bubbly and enthusiastic sometimes (that is what I’ve been told) but the battery soon wears very thin and I crave and love my solitude. And you have really nailed something for me in this post – you have really made clear why I felt so exhausted and run down (aside from PND) those first two years of Little A’s life – it was so tiring looking after her 24/7; I really struggled without any me time….. X

    • I wonder if there is a higher percentage of introverts among writers than among other professions? You obviously need to be around people to some extent in order to pick up ideas, but more as an observer than a participator. I hope you feel like you have a better balance now that Little A is getting older, and that you’re getting a bit more sanity-saving you time! xx

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  7. I am an introvert AND I have resting bitch face. Hah. Over the years I have learnt to compensate for this a bit better than I did in my teens, but it doesn’t come naturally and the fact that I’m always thinking how to act in a social situation means it’s usually very exhausting.

    • Oh you love, it must be tiring😦 We introverts need to quietly stick together and try to gently re-shape the world so we don’t always feel we’re trying to compensate for the things we’re not. xxx

    • Oh! We should start a support group! I was constantly criticized when I was younger. ‘What’s your problem? You look miserable. Can’t you look happy?!’ And I was always fine, until people argued with me, and I’d inevitably *become* annoyed.
      It took years for my family to look around and realize, oh look at that, their mouths naturally turn down, and they’re completely happy! Oh…maybe Kittery wasn’t moping and lying all these years!:/
      I suggest a support group…and Grumpy Cat can be our mascot.😉

      • Same here! I got kicked out of a beginners’ language course at USC because the instructor thought my quietness was “bringing the class down.” It took a long time for me to realise that it’s OK.

  8. “If you’re an introvert, then being around people who aren’t your family is in itself an event.” YES. I’ve realized for a long time what an extreme introvert I am, but the “being around people who aren’t my family” bit only hit me recently. And I’m talking nuclear family – add any other piece of family into the mix and I I feel like I’ve got an out-of-control party on my hands.

    The ironic thing for this introvert is that in my job I truly have to push myself out of my introvert box on an almost daily basis, and often in very large crowds. I do it “willingly” because I know it’s important, but I also know I have to build time into my schedule to go home and collapse afterwards and be blessedly alone. I sometimes imagine that one day I will literally drop dead while having to schmooze in a large crowd at work, and the autopsy will declare that I died from having to talk to and be nice to people.

    Oh, and I’m pretty sure I have “resting bitchy face.”

    Thanks for this post! -Amy

    • Oh dear! It must be very tough having a job that pushes you out of your comfort zone all the time, but I bet with all the effort you have to put in you’re very good at it, and most people you deal with won’t even realise that you’d rather be at home with a good book😉 Thanks so much for reading and commenting, glad you enjoyed it x

  9. Me and Juniordwarf too. He loves his own company. I worried for a while. Still do sometimes. But he can interact with people if he wants to. Then he wanders off.
    Another good book on the subject is by Marti Olsen Laney called the Introvert Advantage. It helped me understand myself a lot.

  10. Love this, I read Quiet a few months ago and wanted to go back in time and give everyone who had ever made me feel bad for being quiet a copy and make them read it. It’s a fabulous book and i think everyone should read it, even if you’re not an introvert it will help you understand those of us that are. So interesting to read your perspective on parenting (wish you still lived in Edinburgh, I want to go for cake and discuss it!), it’s the lack of personal space and not being able to totally switch off anymore that I struggle with, although it gets better as Bagl gets older. Totally agree about having people in your home, I find it exhausting and even though I do enjoy it, I definitely need some down time afterwards. Anyway, I’ll stop wittering on as I only came online to look up a recipe…

    • Oh I know, I wish we could go for cake too! I promise it does get much easier as the little person gets older… more so all the time. You definitely start to reclaim some space back and that feels really good. It’s so important to talk about this stuff – I thought I was just an awful parent to begin with because I found it so hard, but it’s only now I’m out the other side I can really reflect on why that was. We need an introverts manifesto to distribute really, don’t we?! xx

  11. What a perfect explanation, especially about the recharging. I think I’m an introvert too. I’m happy to speak in front of 700 people, or with one person over coffee, or sing on stage, but I’m uncomfortable speaking up in a meeting. I thought it was because when I was a child I wasn’t allowed to speak when grown-ups were speaking, but I guess there’s more to it than that. When I walk to school to collect the boys I have perfected the art of staying just far enough behind my neighbours so that I can’t/don’t catch them up. Perhaps I’m a little anti-social too…

    • Haha, yes! That slightly slower pace you do to avoid catching up with someone and haven to make small talk! I’m so glad it’s not just me!

  12. Great post! We could be twins! Like Sandy above, I’m happy talking in front of several hundred people but happier in a coffee shop by myself or with one, maybe two friends.

    • Thanks so much for reading and commenting – I’m thrilled by the number of fellow introverts popping their heads up to comment on this! x

  13. My best friend is an introvert. It’s taken me a long time to realise it, but she hasn’t always reacted to things the way I would, or the way I’ve expected her to. She’s happy on her own, and I’ve always wondered if I wasn’t a good enough friend because she never seemed to need or want my company as much as I did hers.
    But now I realise we’re just different types. And it’s made me realise that instead of being sad that she doesn’t always want me around, I should be honoured that when she does seek company she chooses me.

    • Ahhh, that’s so interesting Donna. It definitely sounds like you’re in her much loved inner circle, and hopefully now you won’t take it personally if things feel a bit lopsided sometimes🙂 xxx

  14. I can so relate to this post. I am truly dreading the boy starting school and having to interact with other Mums. I am wracked with guilt that he is already being left out of playdates as I am not part of the ‘coffee mum’ circle on our street, something he is becoming more aware of. I use work as an excuse but tbh even when not at work I really don’t want to socialise with them. It has now got so bad I am literally pleading with Mr B to let us move away, away from the city and away from terraced housing. I am not having too much luck with that right now.

    • Oh you love. Big hugs. It’ll get easier as he gets older and can be dropped off with his friends for a playdate, rather than you having to stay there and socialise when you don’t want to. I hope you find your happy place to live very soon xx

  15. Ive never thought to describe myself as an introvert, I just thought I myself was a bit weird around people, a bit odd that I could spend so long happily on my own and a bad mother for feeling like sometimes even my own beautiful family make me feel overwhelmed with their noise, their prods pokes and demands,their faces in mine! Now I realise I am different but a good different. From now on I will use this word introvert and I will use it proudly🙂 thank you x

  16. I love this piece. I’ve known since my mid-twenties (and been happy with the fact) that I’m not shy or awkward, but that I simply like my own company a lot of the time. In a country where extroversion is part of the national character, it makes for some pretty interesting experiences! Interestingly I’ve never thought about how introversion affects your parenting. Must think about that some more.

    My husband is an extrovert, but for now it’s still to early to tell which way my son is going. One thing is for sure though: if it turns that he’s an introvert like me, I will never, ever push him to behave in ways that don’t suit him. I remember being forced to be sociable as a child, which simply reinforced my sense of being ‘out of place’. I know his journey will be harder if he’s an introvert, but I do think there’s a beauty in quiet confidence. So yeah, never apologise for it🙂

    • It has taken me a while to get my head around it with my son – when he was younger I was totally guilty of excusing his behaviour to people by saying ‘ohh, he’s just feeling shy today’ – and I feel terrible for that now, but I suppose I just hadn’t realised that he was like a miniature me! Thanks so much for reading and commenting x

  17. My name is Vicky, and I too am an introvert! I’ve always just thought I was shy and awkward with no confidence! And always pretty much apologised for that to my more outgoing friends and collueges. Well no more! I’ve always looked at these traits of mine to be flaws, but you have just made me realise that it is who I am! And that, that is just fine! It’s more than fine, it’s great! I knew I wasn’t shy or awkward or lacking in confidence!!! I’m always on the karaoke fgs!😉

    Thank you for this post! It’s made my day!
    Vicky x

  18. Beautifully written. My husband and I are both introverts and our son, 2, is already showing some signs of introversion. I do worry a little for him as we both found our teens quite difficult and took some time to find peace with ourselves but hopefully we can help him to be himself and not try too hard to “fit in”. As for me, I’m already dreading “the school gate”!

    • Ahh, I hope the school gate isn’t too traumatic – it won’t take you long to find a few folk you’re comfortable with, I’m sure. I can recommend moving to a small island – people here are much more respectful of each other’s space than they are in larger city. Thanks so much for commenting x

  19. I am an ambivert so a lot of that rang true with me. Especially, the things you said about parenting, particularly, and the needing time out. On the flip side, I am pathologically unable to shut up in a social setting and McMini is also an ambivert. Chatty, sociable, a bit of a live wire but needs time out and alone to recharge. Needs time alone to arrange his thoughts. Lovely post.

    Cheers

    MTM

      • It’s a pleasure. It was a really interesting post. It takes a lot of mental energy to be me but otherwise… well… I don’t know any other way of being so it’s not so bad.😉

  20. I think it is quite fascinating how many bloggers are saying they are introverts. Maybe that’s why so many write. I have found as I’ve got older that I am happy to be on my own for solitude and peace.

  21. I have the Susan Cain book to read and I am fascinated by it as I have no doubt that I am an introvert and like you I can see the signs in two of my boys; that need for space, time and that sheer happiness to be left alone sometimes. It’s not a bad thing, it is part of what and who we are and you shouldn’t apologise for it

  22. This must be all such a great insight and reassuring to know. I haven’t read any of it so cannot comment on which I believe I am. I don’t think you should have to apologise for who you are, and if people do not like the way you behave then that is their problem.

  23. Beautifully written, I was nodding the whole way through. I definitely recognise the reluctance to accept people within the fortress (or as I put it ‘my bubble’).
    I accepted a long time ago that I am an introvert. Actually neither of my siblings are ‘social butterflies’ either. On the rare occasion that I make eye contact with a fellow Mum while waiting for my son its obvious that they would call me stand off-ish or stuck up, but thats fine.
    When I had started blogging last year and entered the social media world I thought it would be easier to speak to people, as I would be virtual, still doesn’t feel right to jump into/strike up a conversation.

    • I think the thing with the social media world is that it’s so huge it can be quite overwhelming, and as you say when there are a lot of people who have obviously been there a long time and know each other well, it can be just as scary as the school playground! But I think it just takes time, and over a year or two of commenting on blogs, and chatting on Twitter, you’ll hopefully find a small circle of folk that you’re comfortable chatting with. Thanks so much for commenting x

    • Great writing. I am an introvert. I love time spent alone and use it to recharge. Im glad to see I’m in such great company! I’ve noticed that the one thing that will get a introvert to shine is when you find out what they are passionate about. I mean truly life’s calling can’t live without passion. Myself included🙂

      http://erikconover.com

      Erik

  24. It’s been really interesting to read this Ruth, just recently I’ve been pondering this spectreum and all my life I had assumed I was an extrovert, because I am generally fairly noisy but I dont at all draw energy from being in a mass crowd or with lots of people. I’m far happier alone or just with my close family/ friends. I must do some more exploration on this. Thanks, Mich x

    • Glad it has provoked some thought Michelle! I’m sure that it doesn’t have to be an either/or – there is probably a spectrum of extroversion and introversion, and depending on a whole host of factors you may fall more to one end than another on any particular day. It’s just nice for me having a recognisable label I can slap on myself so I feel like less of a weirdo😉 xx

  25. You know I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately…My close friend and family always said about me that i am an extrovert but deep inside i know that I’m not. They probably think that because i always say what i think but new comes hard to me. I find it hard to speak in public or present myself to someone new and i really enjoy just spending time with myself…And my eldest is the same. She loves having friends but she doesn’t like when they get into her space. Like your son she spends some time with her friends and then demands to spend time by herself. I was worried at the beginning as the others seem eager to spend time with her and she just refuses. But on the other hand I like that she doesn’t mind spending time with herself. Plus now she has a little sister she loves spending time with her…
    I find it hard that only after 9.30 pm i have some time just for myself but…i am trying to enjoy time with my girls as much as possible as they will soon grow and let me go.
    Thank you for not making me feel alone xxx

  26. Its great that we understand introverts and extroverts in terms of energy at last! I had a personality test, like Helen did. But I am a borderline extrovert, but the assessor thought this was because I trained as a drama teacher and it forced me down the other end of the spectrum. So I find I crave people and love company but wind up strangely exhausted within minutes.

  27. I could have written this, every word. I’ve spent a lifetime feeling that I should feel inadequate (but really don’t) about not craving company the way that many people do. I cherish and protect my ‘alone time’, but I love my family and close friends dearly.

  28. I really do think that Kitty is an introvert too, I think of myself as one only one that comes over as extrovert. An odd one, hang on , maybe I am that Awkward Annie .. Liking the sound of Gift from the Sea – I do need to read more offline, maybe I’ll start there.

  29. Ruth – I really get this. You haven’t met me live yet but, if you ask you husband, “Is David an introvert or an extrovert?” I would be really curious as to how he answers. I am seen by everyone – not the generic everyone but EVERY person I know – as an extrovert. It is what I do for a living and it is the part if me I dislike most. I sometimes stand beside myself and look on, and think, “Who is that?” It isn’t me, for sure. Because my name is Dabid, and I am an introvert who is paid to be an extrovert.

  30. Until I had read Susan Cain’s book, I had always thought I was an extrovert.Having not really understood what each truly meant, it took to reading a lot of the book (I found it quite a hard read towards the end) to realise I am the opposite.I guess as I have my ‘front’ of being extrovert but really I like my own company.I have had to really work hard on being comfortable with others wanting to be with me, especially as I’m a lone parent of 3 children.

  31. I’m an introvert too, and it was definitely noticeable when I was young and shy. My mum would always say ‘people will think you’re rude’ when I didn’t really talk to them, rather than knowing I was shy. But now I think a lot of people would be surprised to hear me say that because I talk a lot and I love being round people. But I like people watching. Yes, I’m fine in smaller groups, but put me in a networking event or at a party and I quieten down – I’m rubbish at small talk.

    I think a lot is confidence. As long as I know what I’m talking about, I’m fine. But yes like you, put me on the spot, and I’ll not be able to think on my feet as quickly as many others.

    I’m not sure what N is going to turn out like. He likes to take time to assess when going somewhere new, but he’s never had an issue with settling at parties, or going to nursery/changing rooms. He’ll also get really chatty with people. But he’s also really good at playing on his own and just chilling. I’m hoping he’ll be a bit more confident than we were growing up – because the OH’s a lot quieter and less communicative than I am (although strangely I think he’s better at small talk at parties).

    I think if you understand what you’re like, and what your son’s like, then you’ll be better empowered to help guide him through life as you’ve understood what it was like for you.

  32. This is a great post, thanks for sharing. Both my partner and I are introverts and we’re at that stage now where we’re discussing having a child. We’ve gone beyond ‘if’ to ‘when’ but the thing that most terrifies me is that I will struggle to have a loud, screaming, demanding little baby and that I won’t be able to deal with it and my partner will find it stressful too. We both have a lot of love to give but the idea of having absolutely no space to ourselves is terrifying! So articles like this are somewhat reassuring – it’s good to know introverts do manage to find a way to survive the stresses of parenting. Part of our discussions about becoming parents is handling space such as making sure we each get regular time alone and not feeling too pressured to do things like playgroups! As introverts we both want to make sure our future child gets a chance to socialise as we know there is a risk of our family becoming an isolated little gang who doesn’t socialise with others, but we also want to find a way to do this with just one or two other other parents we know rather than going to large play groups or soft-play centres (shudder).

  33. Ruth.. That was just awesome!!! You are You. Great that you enjoy being quite you…. I am an ambivert. I respect people who are self – content. Great Buddy!!!! Love 🙂

  34. Being almost equal parts introvert and extrovert, I get it. In fact, I get everybody. Problem is, it doesn’t tend to work in reverse.

    The extroverts label me weird and stop inviting me on adventures when they realize I’m not kidding when I say, No, I don’t want to hit three pubs afterwards because I intend to be home in bed by 10 PM. They don’t understand my sensitivities, deep empathy, and abhorrence of all things violent or negative. They don’t find silence delicious like I do.

    The introverts think I’m a Commie and a turncoat when I relay my fearless blood and guts extroverted adventures to them and they seem to have issues with my loud, unabashed laugh. They usually disbelieve my 50/50 explanation because they don’t get to see the introverted side. When I’m in public, I’m up. When I’m not, the phone is off and the door is locked, literally and figuratively.

    But I AM both. It’s a hard line to walk because I don’t really have a full membership anywhere. I can buck myself up about having the best of both worlds and being able to fit in with everybody but the truth is, it’s always a limited time engagement. It’s hard not to feel lonely.

  35. This is a wonderful post. Hugs from a fellow introververt whose life has forced social interaction outside of hubby and kids almost EVERY DAY. its very hard to stay sane. I watch four hours of TV a night and don’t want to be interrupted. Its my meager recharge.

  36. I think introverts should be celebrated. we are all pushed to be extroverts. But without a little of each, there would be no balance; and no one would get a word in edge-wise! Thank you for sharing.

  37. Wow…. Dorkymum, you hit it out of the ball park with this! I’m 57 and I didn’t realize I was an introvert until about 4 or 5 years ago. I have since realized that a LOT of writers are too. Maybe that’s why I gravitated to writing. Your descriptions are perfect! You put into words what I have been feeling forever, but didn’t know how to say or tell people! I’m reblogging this with zest! 🙂
    Thank you Dorkymum for this great point of view!

  38. I really loved this, and I thank you so much. Now I don’t feel so bad that my intense efforts to try and be more social haven’t worked. People are exhausting, even if you love them. I really would like to share this with my family so they know that I’m not trying to be mean. And yeah, I’ve had to work on “resting bitch face”, people kept telling me I was intimidating. I’m 5’2″.

  39. Over the years I have struggled to not take things so personally. I’ve forced myself out of my comfort zone frequently to engage people that spoke with less enthusiasm than I did. It would make me feel like they resented me personally for some odd reason. But I’ve since realized that they’re simply introverts and that even I myself identify somewhere in the middle.

    Excellent piece. One of my favorites that I have read so far.

  40. Well this is something that describes me almost accurately. Though I am just 20 and finding a way to be more bold and confident.
    I feel introverts are generally more self-reliant and always introspective. We observe whats happening around us. We perceive those things.
    But sometimes, I tend to over think that might cause stress.
    But being an introvert is totally cool. When it comes down, we have the best company, i.e. ourselves

  41. Great….I am an introvert myself. I can relate myself so well to this article. Going to order that book named QUIET as soon as possible…

  42. It’s totally okay to be yourself.
    When I was reading your blog…its like someone is saying the story of some part of my life.. Being an introvert is something self-struggling… It’s like you appreciate yourself and at the same time you start offending yourself but it’s a part of life.
    Introvert people have that philosophical bent in their life.
    So no matter what we are.. How we are..how much erroneous we are..but its us.. human beings and our mistakes…imperfections make us the most beautiful persons…

  43. Reblogged this on claimingmyego and commented:
    This is has given me a lot of insight as to what I am. Everything she mentioned I can totally relate. Only thing that worries me is if in the future I’m married am I going to feel like my husband and kids are invading my personal space?

  44. I want to Thank YOU, for sharing your thoughts.
    This was my first Read, as I just joined Word Press; and I loved it.
    Reading your story gave me vivid insight to you and your “DorkyFamily”, and it made me feel connected to you, and your thoughts.

    Thank you!

  45. “Introversion is the emotional equivalent of the physically unfortunate phenomenon known as resting bitch face. It can be misinterpreted as being standoffish or unfriendly. ”

    This is SO true. I’m an introvert AND I’m also very shy (although I think I do a reasonably good job of hiding it), and I’ve gone through life with people thinking I’m “stuck up” or unfriendly because of it, which really sucks, because I’m not actually like that. Like you, I really enjoy social activities (well, most of them), but I find them absolutely exhausting, and I need to space them out between long bouts of “alone” time, which a lot of people just can’t understand. I married into a very large, sociable family, who put a lot of emphasis on having “all the family together”, and who just can’t understand that someone can be perfectly happy to NOT be talking all the time. I get a lot of “Look, Amber isn’t talking! Why isn’t Amber talking?” which just makes me want to retreat further.

    Anyway, sorry for the long ramble: I just wanted to say thank you for this post. It’s good to know there are other people who “get it” – I just wish more people did!

  46. Reblogged this on The Grandmother Club and commented:
    Hello. *eyes downcast* … *kicks stone with foot*
    My name is dayspringacres, and I am an introvert. I, too, have been coming to the conclusion that my shyness is just a manifestation of my introversion. I do desperately want to have meetings and teach my friends how to spin wool, but after reading your lovely post, perhaps i will just work with one at a time. I won’t feel bad that I really don’t want big events at my home … but I really do want them, too. I really love my online school.
    As grandmothers, we are in a great position to look for signs that a child is an introvert. We need to know how to support them/us.
    Introverts Unite! Quietly.
    When I am in a crowd of people, especially with children, I tend to recognize what I call the watcher. She is the one who is part of the group, but prefers to watch what is going on, rather than participate. She still has fun, but on her own terms. Just like me.

  47. Hi Ruth,
    I’m an introvert, too, and I really appreciate this post. When I was a kid, my mom (classic extrovert) never really understood that if I wanted to read a book instead of talking to her, it didn’t mean I was upset, it just meant that my sociability battery was low and I needed to recharge.

    Now I’m married to another introvert and, thankfully, he gets it. We’re different types of introvert, though, which has its own challenges – I socialize more often & with more people, where he socializes primarily with me, so I don’t always have the same energy he does by the end of the day when I’ve been talking with lots of people and he’s been waiting all day to talk to me. But, we’re getting that figured out.

  48. I can so relate to this. I’m glad to know that I’m not the odd one out. I like people but I’d want to be with them only when I Want to.

  49. Love this! I was and pretty much still am told I lack confidence, need to speak up more etc. Always remember one of my worst school reports described me as an ‘enigma’ and ‘too quiet’ which affected me badly. Instead I always try and remember a card my previous employer gave me thanking me for my ‘quiet confidence’ – probably the best thing anyones said about me! Loved the Susan Cain book and love your writing. Thank you!

  50. Well written! I too learned acceptance with the help of Susan Cain. For the longest time I would think… Once I lose weight then I’ll be more outgoing , once I get my nose fixed I will be more social and on and on! There are times when I wish I was like the majority if people who thrive in crowds and recharge that way but overall I’m more accepting of myself and being introverted

  51. Yay for introverts! Being an extrovert is is kind of unhealthy when you think about it. Needing to thrive off of other people sounds so unattractive to me. You need to be able to listen and trust in yourself before you let the actions of others control your personality.

  52. Thank you for that wonderful article! For a great part of my life I got berated by my friends parents for being ‘too shy’, and told time and time again by teachers to speak up. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I really understood I was an introvert and what that really meant. I always love hearing other introverts points of view, I find them quite refreshing.

  53. I love what you said and how you said it, because that’s exactly what happens to me. The fun part is when the people you love are extroverts and have large social circles, so they keep trying to get me to come out and meet all their friends. It drives me up the wall, and they don’t understand why I make them throw a big party, I drive my own car, and then I leave early. Then I tell them, “Well, you wanted me to meet them, and I met them!”

  54. Perfect. Some of the things you mentioned here, I never really put together with my “introvert-isms.” A lightbulb just went off!

  55. So I have always considered myself pretty much an extrovert, you know how you do those personality tests etc. like Myer Briggs? Well I always tended to the extrovert side of the spectrum, but there was a lot of things I was on the fence about and the questions are not absolute, “would I rather – catch up with a coffee for a friend or stay at home and have a coffee by myself with a book?” I’m kinda like that kid in the taco commercials… why not have both?
    However I do not like filling my weekends. Last weekend for example we had something on all day everyday and the nights.. come Monday I was just completely drained! To be honest I always wanted to be one of those people with boundless energy whose weekends are full of activities and fun, I just figured I was fat and lazy🙂

  56. Hello Ruth,
    Reading your article has opened up a new world for me. I’ve always known that I was not the most outgoing person, and taking those personality tests that’s the main thing it says that I am an introvert and after reading your post I have those same traits that you mentioned…when being out among a crowd it takes me a while to weave my way into a conversation with other’s. I too love to have quiet time and after being around my family I just want to be alone. My daughter loves to hug and kiss on me, but it drives me insane because I feel like I’m bwing smothered and I feel so bad that I can’t be that affectionate towards her when she is crowding me. I am happiest when I can sit and read, write, play my games its what keeps me calm. I’m glad to know that there are others like me. Thanks for sharing!!!

  57. I have friends who get really upset with me for not anwering the phone when they call. They can’t understand that I don’t enjoy talking on the phone at their convenience. Great post, well written, and I can relate to every word. I don’t normally paste and run, so please forgive me, but I’ve recently posted something on this subject here: http://wp.me/p130NL-Qt. It addresses introversion in conjunction with social anxiety disorder.

  58. Most of the world’s great thinkers and inventors were introverts. I think that’s good company to be part of.

  59. I am an introvert too. Yey!🙂
    It is important that members of the family (and friends) know and understand the situation. Like we are not mean, we just don’t know how to start a conversation or we are just comfortable being with ourselves. We love alone time. But if they don’t understand, well at least we understand ourselves. The best part of being introvert is that we are fine with being alone, we are not too dependent with people.🙂
    I’ve read The Introvert’s Way by Sophia Dembling. You might want to read it too.
    Also, I like to salute you for being a really understanding mom, not trying to change your son but embracing him for who he is. Salute to you!
    Cheers all introverts!🙂

  60. It seems unbelievable to me that 40 years of my life have passed without me identifying these same characteristics! I always struggled to pinpoint why social interaction has never been easy for me. Suffice to say my sister calls me a “hermit”. It was always masked because I’m a “functioning” introvert i.e.. I can be confident and social but then I do need the recovery time and solitude. Amazing insight, thanks.

  61. Thank you for sharing this blog and helping me understand exactly what I’ve been feeling all of these years. I never really realized how introverted I am, but that fits me to a T. I always felt weird for sometimes wanting to sit home and curl up with a book rather than going out with friends, it’s not that I wouldn’t have fun it’s just that I’m even happier at home. I always linked that to my anxiety. Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your knowledge as I’m sure it affected many more than just myself. Great blog by the way!

  62. Beautifully written, Ruth! I like your last line, as if at a 12-step meeting for introverts:0). I’ve read Susan Cain’s “Quiet” as well – it served as a silent message to potentially chatty seatmates, as I read it on several flights during a trip:0) Thanks for the share about “Gift from the Sea” – will look it up. There’s an older book written not too long after Prozac came out (“Listening to Prozac” by Peter Kramer M.D., a then-young psychiatrist) that you might find interesting. It has a lot to say about how we have lost a lot of our roles for more introverted people, possibly influencing the massive number of people now taking SSRI’s and other medicines to treat depression and anxiety that also make people more socially outward.

  63. Love it, Hello Ruth my names Tracey and i’m an introvert too, i will check out Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg. Thanks

  64. You making improvements in yourself during university sets a great example for me to follow. The part “I am slightly worried, in this new place, that people will think I am anti-social. Introversion is the emotional equivalent of the physically unfortunate phenomenon known as resting bitch face. It can be misinterpreted as being standoffish or unfriendly.” This is exactly what has been on my mind lately. I’m going to study abroad in less than 10 days, have just finished high school with a lot of things i have done differently and if only people had known my intentions were purely good. I am worried that i’m going to be misunderstood again, just like in highschool, and only after everything do people see the real me. Thanks to you, i will practice speaking up, and still remain to be the fundamental me. My name is Quynh Trang, i am a fellow introvert, and thank you for writing such inspiring words.

  65. This is a wonderful piece. Sometimes my husband invites me to socialize with him and his friends (who are perfectly nice people) and usually I would rather stay home and write or watch a movie with the cats. I am not depressed, I just prefer my own company.

  66. This post really resonates with me. In the past I’ve considered it a dull aching struggle to be an introvert. For years I had to work on it, trying to keep my thumping heart from bursting out of my chest every time I had to speak in front of an audience. It is also a challenge to raise a toddler who seems to be an echo of my introverted self. “What do you do when all the comfortable, quiet protective zones you’ve spent years building are suddenly taken away from you?” Right now, my daughter is 2 and I ask this question every single day.

    Thank you for this post.🙂

  67. HSP – Highly Sensitive Person, is another area similar to introvert, but has subtle differences.
    Thanks for bringing up a topic like this – it certainly generates plenty of discussion🙂

  68. Really enjoyed reading this.
    My wife is always suggesting that we socialise more, meet new people etc… Howver in general, I would rather stay home and read, write, watch TV or do other solitary persuits
    I just prefer my own company.

  69. This is a very accurate description of an introvert. I always thought- like many others I see in the comments- that being an introvert meant that you were antisocial and this made me very upset because I didn’t want to be antisocial (however I am socially awkward). But I didn’t realize that that’s just the way introverts are, not antisocial but finds comfort in their company.
    So I can stop worrying and enjoy being an introvert now🙂

  70. Can I just tell you that thank you as you spoke not for yourself but for many. And me being one of them. To live in this world sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, but at the end of the day you cannot fake yourself. So rather be contended of what you are. I am definitely following you….if you get time , visit mine..

  71. I love this post! My very first post I ever wrote was about my own experience of being an introvert. You nailed it calling it the equivalent of resting bitch face. Thank you for sharing!

  72. I’ve always known that I’m an introvert but you have expressed what I desire to say to others so clearly. Thank you for sharing🙂 Great piece!

  73. Love it, very well explained -introversion is not the same as being shy and it doesn’t mean we hate people or their company!
    I’ve also recently discovered that I’m an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) and realized that some of my personality traits that I’ve associated with introversion are actually due to my body being physiologically different and more sensitive to stimuli. I encourage everyone to check it out now, it’s possible to be introverted and not an HSP, or an HSP who’s extroverted, but it’s made a huge difference in the way I do life knowing that about myself (you can take a self test to see if it’s you http://www.hsperson.com/). 20% of the population is HSP!

  74. This is wonderful. I too am an introvert and mom to two very extroverted little toddlers. It’s a new spin on the new mom conundrum that I don’t think many people think about much less speak about. Thanks for the post.

  75. I am an ambivert with a strange mix of both introvert and extrovert. I do gravitate towards being introverted. What’s strange to me is I love facilitating workshops regardless of the attendance. And a few times a year, I want to go that big party. Other times, you can’t pay me enough to go. Great post!

  76. So many comments! So many introverts! I’ve been aware of my introvert proclivities for a long time, and got some validation for them when my ex was in seminary and the whole community took the Myers Briggs Personality Inventory. Almost everyone studying for the ministry was an extrovert, feeling type; My ex and I were introverted intuitives. That dynamic explained so much about the different ways we approached religious life. Perhaps you have seen this picture on Twitter; it may make you smile. pic.twitter.com/VfaiCqKK2B

  77. Nothing wrong with being an introvert. I am definitely one… which amuses people as I am also a psychologist and my job is to talk to random strangers. But when it’s not work related, I’d prefer to be at home, doing my own crafty stuff or avoiding the outside world… with the exception of my nearest and dearest. Great post.

  78. I recently came to terms with this. I’ve known it in part for a long time, but recognizing/identifying it and accepting it is my first step in allowing myself to feel less guilty about how I am being perceived and derive more pleasure in each moment. I am an only child, with no children of my own. I can empathize with some of your sentiments about needing space from your son and appreciate your honesty. I’ve always felt that if I am able/choose to procreate it is my intent to have many, giving them every opportunity at socialization at an early age; though procuring space and time for myself may prove difficult.
    I have read on various platforms that the world needs introverts and dyslexics and all sorts of people that think or perform in a way that may not fit society’s expectations – because while the way may not be standard, the results may exceed standard expectations.
    I’ve actively caught myself with ‘resting bitch face’ lately. Believe me, I enjoy good company; but I resolved to (try to) allow myself to enjoy my own for a little while.
    Good for you for doing the same. Well put.

  79. wow! This could be describing me, and my life. I knew I was introverted, but always thought there were extrovert tendencies, too. However, not so sure now. You have described things so eloquently that it seriously could have been written by me! Thank you!

  80. Just to clarify – I didn’t mean that I am eloquent, just that your way with words completely echoes my thoughts and feeling so completely that I could have written them🙂

  81. Reblogged this on Setting the world to rights….. and commented:
    I have never re-blogged anything before, but this just had to be shared. I have tried often to describe the intricacies that make up who I am, but this completely sums up how I feel. I was particularly touched by it, because I have spent nearly a week in the company of my kids; just us, away from the rest of the world. It’s hell. It’s torture. I get no break – they are there when I wake up, and when I go to sleep. I know why it’s tough for me, but reaffirmation that I am not just mean or nasty, is always good. Anyway – enjoy the read, I did!

  82. What a fantastic post. You have just written what I’d love to be able to say but wouldn’t have been able to cobble together so expertly. Thank you from one introvert to another!

  83. Pingback: Yes and No « dorkymum

  84. Hey. Your article is just perfect. I’m an introvert too. I’m a 20 year old college student. I hardly talk to anyone in college. Just interact mostly for work purposes as i’m a dental student. Attending lectures is interesting. I love attending lectures but the breaks in between when everyone is chit-chatting with eachother. i just feel like escaping. I do not want to talk. I just need to be alone. People in my class tease me on my back. I’m a robot and things like that who cannot move who doesnt talk. but that’s just me. I’m an introvert. And there’s nothing bad about it🙂
    Couldnt express myself right as i just came back from college and read this article. i just wanted to comment on this one. I’m new to the blogging world🙂

  85. This is the best article (post) I have read on introversion. When I tell people that I am an introvert, they typically scratch their heads. I am outgoing, enjoy leading projects, and often work with others, but on a limited basis. It exhausts me. I love my time alone. I am very comfortable with my own company.

  86. Yes I am an introver too.During college I feel like i have to learn to be an extrovert.But in recent years I learn to be myself.And I feel more energetic.My weekend plan is to read at a cafe and then have simple dinner by myself.It had taken me many years to accept that I like it and that is what I need.

  87. This post defines me in so many ways! I also learnt things about myself I never knew before. I guess it’s never too late to learn though, especially if it’s yourself! Many thanks for writing this post!

  88. Reading this post, and then the comments, I am so glad to discover so math others in the same boat. I am an introvert too, but many people find that hard to believe just because I am not exactly a wallflower although I would also happily sit alone by a corner, and I can be opinionated and expressive when something/someone I care about is involved. I love people and I love my friends and family, but I would be drained without enough solitude.

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  90. Love this post! I have learned to be outgoing when the situation calls for it, but I am an introvert by nature. I love solitude. I crave it. I used to be a teacher, and my first year I had to really get used to being out of my comfort zone in so many ways. I did so successfully, but it doesn’t change who I am fundamentally, as you pointed out. I am rather petite and female, and as a child I was very quiet and shy. Though I am confident, I have never seen myself as intimidating or a “force to be reckoned with”. My former students say otherwise, due to my resting bitchface syndrome. 🙂

  91. I am DEFINITELY an introvert, but people often refer to me as being weird, crazy, just shy of the mental ward, etc. Blogging is my way of getting out more. I force myself to go out, even if it’s simply for a cup of coffee. However, I’ve started seeing behaviors in my son that lead me to believe he’s an introvert as well. He doesn’t seem to mind though, and instead of using the term introvert, his doctors have classified him as a “Highly Sensitive Child.” Different, but very similar in quite a few ways. Anyway, I just came across your blog and I love it. Thanks for sharing!! Life is so much lighter when you know you aren’t alone.

    ~Kate

  92. I am just realizing I’m an introvert… and sometimes it feels like I’m becoming more and more of a hermit because I am tired of things and people barging into my life and messing it up like an annoying cousin giving you a noogie and disheveling your hair. Wow the kids sure seem to stir that pot too, don’t they? As I read about your son I realized that our 2 year old Velcro child is probably an introvert too since she is primarily happy with me and me alone in her own little comfort zone. Thanks for writing, it made me feel like someone shined a light on how I feel most every day. Now I have to get my husband to read this!

  93. Great description of myself! How did you get to know me so well?!🙂. I know I am and I’ve always been an introvert. Although I enjoy showing off from time to time, and even talk in front of a crowd, I really need to keep the balance you were so clearly talking about and recharge my introverted batteries. Thanks for helping us, introverts, to know ourselves better!

    PS: Just a thought now – I wonder how an introverts party would look like?

  94. I’ve read and re-read this a number of times. I’ve shown it my husband who has done the same. I am an introvert, for years it’s massively frustrated him that I struggle with being social, that I need a bit of quiet time to recover and gather strength. He’s now read you blog and he understands why I am the way I am. Why our son is similar to your son. He now knows it’s normal and I’m not deliberately being difficult, I’m just being me. Thank you. Truly. Thank you x

  95. Wonderful post, You have nothing to be ashamed about🙂
    This post relates to more people than you’d believe😉 haha

  96. Wow! This was my first visit to your blog and you just nailed me and my life. I knew I was introverted but I also thought I was just a bit weird on top of all that. My husband and all is family are extroverts and they hold the societal norm which roughly translates to “Extrovert good. Introvert bad.” So when I am outside of my close family circle I always feel pressure to conform and be what they expect of me. I have suddenly realized I am not alone. Thank you!

  97. This is such a great and interesting post! I am an introvert and really enjoy having quality time to myself. My partner is the opposite and he needs to be around people 24/7. It’s really nice to know others. Go through the same emotions and thoughts 😊

  98. Dear Ruth, thanks a lot for such a wonderful article! Reading about your life is like seeing myself. Everything you said sounds so familiar. As a kid I’d prefer to stay in with books than to go out and play with my friends. Even as an adult, I prefer to have a few quality friends; I’ve got a few childhood friends for 33 years. I don’t like going out much and spending time in crowded and noisy places, especially with strangers. All my life I’ve been called a “weirdo”, a “lonely wolf”, and shy. Thanks to Susan Cain book “Quiet” now I know that there is nothing wrong with me, now I know it’s all about me being an introvert.
    God bless you and your family!

  99. Pingback: Birthday for an introvert | Rambling On

  100. Dorky Mum you nailed it. I have what I call Self absorbed Bitch time, before and after having to soacialize..I never have anyone in my home. I answer the phone but rarely call anyone. Apart from that I am a fine, happy person .Just an introvert and always have been. Great post thanks.

  101. Ha, yes, this! So much this! Wonderfully written piece on being an introvert. A decent number of years feeling fragile and worrying about how I was perceived until I started to realize it’s just a difference in how to interact with people. All those awkward comments from people thinking I don’t like them but I’ve weathered that and found my own place. Thanks for the beautiful post.

  102. My favorite years are those that allowed me to step away from my mistaken identity and spend time with myself. I enjoy your writing very much, and I very much like this post.

  103. LOVE IT! Couldn’t agree with you more! I too am an introvert. I totally agree with all but mainly with the friend thing. If I call someone my friend that’s a big deal… they have my trust. I can talk to complete strangers in a grocery isle or what not, perhaps due to it being one on one and the fact that I don’t have to reveal anything about myself to them.

  104. You don’t need to be sorry for being an introvert. I think an introvert is a person who feels deep! Introverts are not overtly confident and rather silly to think that they are the best. They think before taking a decision and the consequence of that decision holds relevance for them. Your story reveals your thought process and I appreciate that🙂

  105. I have always known I was an introvert. I was asked a lot if I was bored or didn’t want to be in that situation. To be honest I was always nearly perfectly happy. I don’t need a lot of chatter to feel involved. I am fine just sitting back and watching the interactions and having a few conversations with different people. My Mum was always confused as to why I just wanted to be alone and couldn’t work it out, as she is more of a social butterfly. I am much happier in myself now, as it is who I am and I am unapologetic for it.

  106. Oh yeah, seems like there are a lot of introverts out there, we do love the camaraderie of the internet though.
    I call our house The Fortress of Solitude. Growing up my parents called me Solitary Sam and I was always happy as a clam just being by and with myself.

  107. This is me! But I don’t think people would recognise me – as I’m quite good at pretending to cope with it. I will go to the parties, and be the life and soul, but then I need to disappear and regroup. I feel like home is where I can properly enjoy my hermit tendencies. I felt the same when my kids were little too, especially my youngest who was a total cling on and never left me alone. Now he’s at school, I go home and relish the silence and my own company. Thanks for writing this x

  108. Hi. I’m Abbie. I’m 36 and just coming to terms with my introversion after a lifetime of labels being put on me. This post is amazing. Thank you.

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  110. Loved this post. I am an introvert and the mother of introverts who is married to an introvert. We all are perfectly happy being at home doing not much in particular but also love being with friends and out and about…as long as it is on our own terms. You described our lives so well, thank you!

  111. Thank you. Just thank you. I love my kids and I get exhausted so much more easily because I don’t have the alone time I need because naturally they’re always around. Also, I am driven crazy by the other moms who are desperate for adult interaction and want to get all chatty at the park. I feel for them, but man, I just want to hang out with my kids not create another extraneous friendship.

    I have to tell you that becoming a part of a cooperative preschool has been a lifesaver. I was concerned that it would tire me out, but being able to have a regular group of people to interact with and learn parenting stuff with mitigates my introvert social anxiety. Plus with all of the rules that go along with being a cooperative you know where you stand and how to negotiate social issues.😀

  112. Well done! I love this post. I am 20 and an introvert. But, I’m continuously in denial. One day I will want to go out with friends or go clubbing like a normal 20 year old but as soon as I am out and far from home surrounded with people I just want to crawl back into my own little bubble. I really enjoyed reading your post. Have a look at mine, just basically abiut my self developments through the year. I would hugely appreciate some feedback!

  113. This fellow introvert sincerely thanks you for articulating your ‘introvertism ‘ with such accuracy, precision, insight and wit! I was in the process of writing on the same topic, since I’m often labeled “conceited” or “anti-social”; however, I doubt that I could say it any better than you did. Thus, I’ll simply refer them to you… LOL! Thank you.

  114. Reblogged this on My future is my past -gloriously perfected. and commented:
    I’m often labeled as anti-social, a hermit, anti-people, or conceited, when the reality is that I’m simply an introvert (which is NOT synonymous with those labels)! It’s simply an innate personality trait which is nothing to be ashamed of or to be mocked. I invite any who fail to understand the working mind and behavior of an introvert to feast and educate yourself on this article, written beautifully be a fellow introvert…. she took every word right out of my mouth. Thank you Dorkymum!

  115. Great post. I love being an introvert, though it took me a while to embrace it. Some of the best people I have met are introverts, so I have a lot to aspire and look up to.

  116. I’ve been aware that I’m an introvert for many years now, but explaining it can be difficult until I read your post. You’ve described my life (minus DorkySon), my work requires me to work with people and to always be around them so I’ve learned to adapt. My husband is an extrovert, he often struggles to cope with my introversion at times, my preference for quiet time and spending time alone but more so my inability to think and respond quickly to questions, comments and events. There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert, it is perfectly normal and by the looks of all the comments there are plenty of us to go around🙂

  117. I love reading about introverts because as a poster child extrovert, it’s hard for me, sometimes, to understand how to treat my absolutely-an-introvert husband. I think, at this point, I mostly understand why a small dinner with just me would be the preferable way to celebrate his birthday than having over a house full of friends with games and cake and punch (even if that’s still alien to me since that’s what I’d want). The gentle reminder that he, and other introverts, do not hate people is always a comfort to me. So thank you for the insight into the mind of an introvert – it’s always appreciated.

  118. Thank you for your post. There is a big difference between solitude and loneliness. Solitude is very important to me. It fills me and replenishes me. I am glad to be who I am as well as to know others benefit from solitude.

  119. As so many have already said, you described me perfectly. What a relief to know that there is really nothing wrong with me always wanting my own space! Like you we recently moved from the UK to Australia, but there seems to be this pressure to go out and make new friends, something which I find quite difficult as an introvert. I am wondering how best to manage this. I am happy with my own company and my OH (although I even need space away from him sometimes!). I don’t want to be a complete hermit and without some sort of support network, but how do you choose who to let in and how do you make this contact? Sometimes I find it is too much effort and can’t be bothered and so thought that this was wrong of me but now know it’s just the way I am.

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  121. Great post, you really hit the nail on the head! Introverts are generally so misunderstood.. yet some of the most intelligent and inspiring people were introverts, for example Einstein and Ghandi.

  122. I love this🙂 So well-written and I feel I can totally relate! I feel like society has attached this negative stigma to being introverted and it’s great to see you not describing it as this hideous and incurable disease – so thank you!🙂

  123. Thank you so much for sharing – this post explained me so well in ways I didn’t even realize until now. For me, I feel like one of the challenges of being an introvert is that others just don’t understand my need for space. It’s not that I don’t love spending time with my friends and family – I just need my “me time”! I hope your posts not only empowers introverts, but helps extroverts to understand as well.

  124. I am like you and yeah i also got into the phase where i tried to speak out and stuff. But that simply doesn’t work out for people like us. Because we really need to think and then put our thoughts out. This post is so relatable and makes me happy to be as i am🙂

  125. I loved this post. I have always been an introvert, and need days to recharge on my own. I really enjoy being alone and doing what I want. I can only handle so much of people, and the only person I can be with most of the time is my boyfriend.

  126. Thank the introvert GODS for your post! I am 100% full blooded introvert and it can be quite the challenge sometimes. I have a 1.5 year old daughter and some days I’m having a full on introvert melt down but all she wants to do is jump on me and play with me and ONLY me. I am so thankful I am not the only mom who has dealt with this kind of struggle. Often I get down on myself for being this way and I feel like a bad mom for needing my me time at the most inconvenient times possible.

  127. Great post. I recognise so much of myself here. There’s nothing to be ashamed of with being an introvert – we tend to be more intuitive and sensitive. I do enjoy the company of others – just not too much. I need time alone to recharge. And, like you, I don’t mind speaking – as long as I’ve had time to prepare. I’m no good at off the cuff, which can make me seem standoffish, which I’m not. I’ve accepted the way I am.

  128. Be proud of who we are. yes , its usually easy to be judgmental about people who may introvert. How about people who just do not keep quiet? How do you explain of people changing for extroverts to being introverts?

  129. I thought this article was for me but I am glad I am not the only introvert. I am not saying being introvert is a bad thing. I just want to express myself more often. I always have doubts to speak up although I have good ideas. The feelings of being noticed is the most annoying part. I feel some kind of transformation is occurring in my personality lately. At times being anti social and alone frustrates me. I try to find people with similar interests and hang out with them now.

  130. What a lot of comments! I will add one, simply because this really did touch my heart, yes, writing is my favorite form of expression, because I can do it alone, ponder it’s impact, and still speak to others. And judging from the huge number of responses here, I’m far from the only one. I love my own time, my own space, and get terribly flustered if I can’t work to my own agenda, but I do love people!. I think this is such an important thing to remember about all of us introverts. We probably do love people more than most, that is why we give so much, even if it is less frequently than others. That is why we need to recharge afterwards, because we really DO care. I will raise my glass to all of us, who have all these special qualities, that make us the great and caring introverts that we are😀 And for other introvert mums, like myself, just remember, for a child, quality time is so much more important than quantity, and we do quality very well.

  131. Thank you for writing this. It is perfect. I have known for years that I am an introvert but that was it. I have never studied it or read anything about it. You have brought perspective to me regarding this. I have a friend and coworker that is also an introvert. I will be directing him to your article. I am re-posting this on my blog Disquisition Libertas.

  132. I didn’t know that I am an introvert until i read this post of yours! One of the reasons why i engaged myself to blogging is to find someone to talk to or I can relate myself to. Honestly, I don’t have friends nor close friends aside from my twin sister. It’s not that I hate or i don’t like people, I just don’t like the crowd. I only have this “hi ” and “hello” friends. I tried to make friends when i was in high school but it turned out that I was their laughingstock and they just used me ’cause they said I had lots of money. It all ruined my confidence. Thanks for such a wonderful and inspiring post. Little by little, I try to bring back that “confidence” of mine. Hope all introverts out there will read this post and extroverts ALSO🙂

    • I feel a bit like you. Blogging is a great way to interact with others – without actually having to feel overwhelmed🙂
      The confidence appears with the right people, I have found my group of people to be with that don’t drain me – that helps🙂

  133. In many ways, not all, you have described someone with Aspergers Syndrome. I always thought my need and ways were just a bit weird. You describe them beautifully. Then I was diagnosed with Aspergers at age 60. WOW what an eye opener for me. It explained so much and I was able to connect with myself without thinking there was something terribly wrong with me. It gave me confidence.

  134. Hi. I’m Maggie – I’m an introvert too!
    Sometimes I believe there is something wrong with me – but then I read blogs like this and hear about others and realize I’m just me the introvert.
    Thank you for sharing🙂

  135. Reblogged this on My Life Ain't EZ it Just Looks That Way and commented:
    This is the first time I’ve read an article on introverts that I truly agree with and explains how I feel. I’ve always known I’m an introvert but could never properly explain myself in a way others would understand. Antisocial, shy , & stuck up were a few of the words outsiders used to describe me that are completely false. My sisters & brothers are all extroverts every where they go they attract a crowd & thrive in that atmosphere & I’m always the one standing away from the crowd. I don’t mind being in a crowd I just don’t want to participate with them. In any large event that isn’t primarily family & close friends I’m always the one sitting at the farthest table in the back by myself & I like it that way.

  136. “I’m an introvert” you say. Well, I don’t think you are, you are just the same as anyone else. You’re a bright, articulate person that doesn’t seem to have any real problem, apart from the fact that you’ve given yourself a label. We all, from time to time, enjoy our own company. Nothing wrong with this. Sometimes I like to go for a long ride on my motorbike, get some alone time, have my own space. Sometimes I can be with a few friends, or many. Sometimes I’m more comfortable with a few friends than many, it all depends upon how my mood carries me.

    As human beings, we are a social creature. We naturally digress towards other humans for interaction. Occasionally, we like to be alone. Perfectly normal. I think there’s too much stress in modern society and we all have the belief that we must fit into a category, or we’re insignificant. Too much emphasis is placed on trying to finding out who we are, when really we should be focusing more on how much we can give.

    I’m 51 years old now and I still don’t know who I am, but does this matter to me, of course not. We go through life changing all the time and never know what’s around the corner. Life has many challenges and we each deal with these in own way. I behave how I behave, not because I’ve given myself a label and then changed my behaviour to suit this.

    We’re all as individual as a fingerprint or DNA, unique. It’s this uniqueness that distinguishes us from other creatures and makes us behave in a non-conventional way. We are rather like the Chameleon, we can adapt to any environment or situation.

    Cut off your label and stop being the person who you’ve categorised yourself as. Be comfortable with the person you really are. Be unique.

    Chris Just

  137. I am so happy to see many introverts here. I think introverts are the best friends. They don’t just hang out on occasions but stay in relationship for longer or indefinite time. I have few friends but they are my best buddies. I think I got an asian introvert girlfriend lately😉

  138. Reblogged this on PARCHMENT CADENZA and commented:
    Oh the power of owning our God-given character traits! This woman speaks truth into what it’s like to be an, ahem, an introvert. It seems silly to even talk about, like, “I thought introverts don’t like to talk about anything!” Well. Dorkymum, as she calls herself, writes a clear article on what it really feels like, and I loved every word she wrote. Introverts, breathe a sigh of relief, because you are not alone! (Unless you need some space😉 )

  139. Its just amazing to read the confessions of an introvert and later realize that you too are the same. Yes!! i consider myself an introvert and i’m proud of it, not because i love myself but i love the few ones who are always there for me to push me up when i’m low.Really thankful to get such people in my life:)

  140. Thanks for this post. I’m not a mom, but it gave me some insight into my own mom, and also on why I so rarely invite people into my home. My home is the place I go to get away from people! One outing a month is about right for me🙂

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  142. Thank you for this. I too am an introvert and am only just learning to acknowledge this and give myself the space I need. I am visiting from the Digital Parents Carnival and have had this post open in a window for so so long. I am so glad that I finally got around to reading it.

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  144. Love this post. Being a fellow introvert, its nice knowing I’m not the only one. It can be tough living in an extraverted world.

  145. I too am an introvert. I just don’t know if the people around me has come to terms with it nor understands for that matter. But knowing that I’m not alone in this, makes me feel a bit stronger.
    Thanks.

  146. I love this! I can relate to everything you said. I have been told at times that I come across as a b****, unfriendly, or intimidating. This really cracks me up because anyone who knows me, knows that I am none of those things (Ok, I suppose I can have my catty moments, but who doesn’t?), but people are usually way off in their initial impressions. I think it is a HUGE blessing that I get to choose who to let into my life, who I get to spend my time with, and which relationships I get to devote my time and energy into. It is strange, I have no problem speaking in front of large groups of people, but get me in a small group or one-on-one setting and I just find I would rather listen than speak.

  147. “Introversion is the emotional equivalent of the physically unfortunate phenomenon known as resting bitch face.” YES. I reference “resting bitch face” all the time to explain how others can perceive my introversion; you’ve phrased it quite wonderfully here.

  148. You’ve described me perfectly. I’ve never included introversion as a description for myself. I thought of introverts as being people who were pessimistic or suffer from depression, neither of which describes me. Thank you for sharing this light. I don’t have to feel so awkward now. That moment when you speak to someone and then there’s nothing else to say and you try to strike up impressive small talk, but you know there’s no such thing….that’s crucial and everytime I have to be around people I don’t know I dread going through the ritual. Thank God I’m not alone.

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  150. I am an introvert. I love people but I always need my alone time to recharge. Some people just don’t get it. I need to process things by myself. I don’t like big parties, I love one on one conversations without small talk.

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