It almost makes me feel like I’m in some sort of anonymous support group, if they had one for introverts. It would most likely make us run for the hills…in different directions…away from each other….back home, on our cozy couches either reading a good book, or in my case, on their computer, blogging!
Of course, I have found myself comparing myself to other introverts, wanting to figure out where I fell in the spectrum. I simply don’t talk much at gatherings. I like to listen and observe. But I love social gatherings…not too many of them, however. I think my own mom was as introverted as they come. It took me fighting her tooth and nail to go out in public. Her Saturday hour-long grocery shopping trips were her mingling-with-society time. I’d often join her when I was a kid – to keep her company, and to possibly talk her in to buying me that box of Fruit-by-the-Foot that I often craved. Then, we’d go home and continue the day being crept up in our little house.
But as I said before, I love social gatherings…not too many of them, however. I’ve compared myself to one of my sister-in-laws, who is also an introvert – but not as much as I am. She seems to be able to handle conversations way better than me, and I’m okay with that. We can let her take one for our team of misfits! I am fond of observing. When my husband’s family interacts, it’s enjoyable to watch where the talks go, and anticipate where they will end up next (they’re a bunch of extroverts, loud and proud).
I’ve tried to broaden my safe, little introverted bubble to expand my horizon. Sometimes, to me, being an introvert can be a pretty lonely place, and it may be worse for us parents. The majority of our interactions come from singing Old MacDonald to a 2 year old while nursing a 5 month old. Mine come from making a huge deal that my toddler ate a bite of her lunch, so that she would get excited about eating and finishing her food. My husband noticed that situation the other day, and replied with a chuckle, along with, “Oh, that’s why you want me around more often. You’re in need of adult interaction!” Yes, absolutely – but not too much. I’ll get overwhelmed, I thought to myself.
While yes, it’s hard to admit that it personally puts a stress on my body if I’m around a large crowd for an extended period of time, I do crave SOME kind of grown-up time. It helps me unwind, and to be reminded that adults (for the most part) can hold meaningful conversations. I’ve allowed myself to live safely in my little world for quite some time, but I’m not going to let myself miss out on being social and having fun.
Where do I fall in the spectrum? I’m a pretty average introvert, and am loving life!