From Our Readers
July 02, 2012 2:00 am

Yes, that’s right, I’m an introvert.  And no, that doesn’t mean that I dislike the human race, that I’m anti-social, or that I’m weird (okay maybe a little weird). It simply means that I have a different way of going about my life. And you know what? That’s okay! I am perfectly happy now, although for a long time I used to think that there was something wrong with me, and that I needed to learn how to be more “social”.  A wise man once said “Now, you can fight it, or you can rock out to it!” (That’s right; I just quoted Corny Collins from Hairspray) I think that the moment that I started to be okay with who I was, was when I finally realized that this is the way I am, slightly introverted. It’s been a recent acceptance, so I still sometimes feel a little shy and insecure, but I am working on that.

Now that it’s been established that I am an introvert, here are some characteristics that explain what it means to be an introverted person.

1. Introverted people need time alone to recharge. Sometimes I need to be by myself. Being around a lot of people all day is exhausting, so when I come home from a stressful day of work or school I need some time to re-energize and clear my mind. Living with five other roommates can sometimes be a challenge, because if I just so happen to be experiencing this, they become overly concerned and constantly ask me if I’m okay.  I am not mad, I am not sad; I just need some space.

2. Introverted people tend to not like small talk. Although small talk is a necessary evil, I absolutely hate it. I mean, how many times can one person have the same conversation? “What’s your major, where are you from, have you seen any good movies lately?” Boring! Who cares? I love getting to know people on a deeper level and I thoroughly enjoy having meaningful conversations. I like to get past the façade and truly get to know a person and find out their “story.” I understand that I will not connect to everyone that I meet on this kind of level, so as much as I hate it, small talk is something that I must learn to do.

3. Introverted people are better at listening than talking, and think before speaking. Like I said before, I enjoy listening to others talk and getting to know who they are. I like to help others in any way that I can and find that being a listening ear is one of the best ways to do this. I think that this is why I have chosen a career path in psychology.

4. Introverted people are described as being reserved, quiet and calm. 5. Introverted people are sensitive to their environment, and get overwhelmed by too much external stimulation. Going to Wal-Mart in the middle of the afternoon is one of my least favorite things to do.  There are tons of people crowding the aisles, screaming babies and general unpleasantness. Social situations, in which there are too many people, noises and lack of structure, are too overwhelming to my sensitive little soul and leave me feeling anxious and emotionally drained.

6. Introverted people are very observant, and notice small details, which allow them to read people and situations well. Even though I am quiet, I pick up on what is going on around me. Sometimes I think that people assume that just because I don’t have a lot to say, I don’t know what’s going on. False. I am smarter than the average cookie(in my humble opinion).

There you have it, introversion in a nutshell.

 You can read more from Lauren Byron on her blog.
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