I’ve been very outdoorsy in the last two weeks, which is awesome (because I get to do stuff and see peeps and awesomeness and yeah) but also quite tiring because despite how I present (Le Outgoing, enthusiastic and gift of gabby), I am an extreme introvert.
I must admit that until a couple of years ago, I didn’t quite understand it either. I thought that people who were shy were the introverts, and people who babbled and babbled and babbled were the extroverts, which, since I never shut up, made me an extrovert by default. I never felt very extroverted though. When people commented on me being so naturally sociable and gift of gabby and witty and bla, I always felt uncomfortable, because it doesn’t come easy to me at all.
People hardly ever believe me when I tell them that all of my witticisms are the result of years of practicing in front of a mirror. Yes, I actually think of things that I can later use in conversations. I get extremely nervous when I need to talk to people (not to friends obviously), but I’ve trained myself to take a deep breath, put my game face on and go bla bla bla to the point that I often think “Oh, shut the fuck up LP!” Exhausting, but I can’t NOT do it, because then I’ll panic completely and start crying and disasters happen and I don’t even know. Which probably isn’t true, but that’s what I feel would happen.
People also have a hard time believing that I often have to force myself to go places, especially things where there are Lots of People. It’s even worse if it’s Lots of People I Don’t Know. But even apart from that, I know that if I wouldn’t make regular appointments Outside (with friends for example), I don’t think I’d leave my house often. Hell, if I could do my studies online and have both the library and the health food store deliver stuff at my door, I’d never leave my house.
It’s not Other People, it’s me. Well, sometimes it’s Other People, but it’s mostly me. It wasn’t until this topic came up during a talk with a Professional Person, who explained to me that an actual extrovert person is energised by interactions with others and that while introverts are often able to interact with others in an outgoing way, it actually takes them a lot of effort and depletes their energy, that I understood why I feel/behave the way I do. She then asked me about what my favorite activities were (showering, reading, sleeping, writing, taking pictures with no people in them and dancing-all-by-myself), which pretty much sealed the deal: I, LP, turned out to be an extreme introvert. The more you know! 😀
Fortunately it’s not a hard “condition” to manage: I just have to make sure that on one hand I get enough Alone Time and that on the other hand I don’t get too Hermitty Hermit. And I must say that the older I get, the better I get at balancing the two. Something tells me that my Grown Ass Mature Adult-badge is coming in the mail soon! 😉