No, I’m Not Broken…

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Do you ever like to do things by yourself? Like go to the movies, lunch, dinner, Starbucks…  the list of possibilities goes on and on. I’ll confess, I love my alone time and always have. If I had a dollar, for every time someone thought my solitude was weird or odd, I wouldn’t need to work anymore…

But why is it weird?

If you’re a fellow introvert, you’ve had to explain your CHOICE to do things solo, once or twice. For us, being on our own is actually a quite pleasant experience. There’s no one to worry about but you, you can go and do what you want to do. There’s no need to force social interaction, or god forbid… make small talk. To me these are just a few perks of a solo adventure.

Society, doesn’t see any of this as beneficial. In the public eye this self-imposed solitude borders on indecent. “How could anyone enjoy being alone,” one might ask. “You’re going to the movies alone, don’t you have any friends?” Says another. To most people, introverts are people that are just antisocial and dare I say rude. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

You see most of our society views human interaction from an extroverts point of view. We’re conditioned to think that being outgoing and social is the normal way of being. Think about this for a second. As a parent what would concern you more, a child that doesn’t talk to anyone or a child that’s a social butterfly? Exactly, a quiet child would raise the most concern in a parent. If your kid’s not being social there MUST be something wrong…

But nothing is wrong, here are 5 things you need to know about introverts:

1) Solitude is how we recharge our batteries.

A common misconception is that introverts are antisocial. I guess because of how much time we spend away from people. The thing is, prolonged social interaction leaves us drained. An introvert SPENDS their energy listening, concentrating, and processing what they hear. In a setting where there is a lot of conversation, it’s common to find an introvert near the outskirts of an event. Or out for a quick walk alone. It’s not that we don’t want to interact, introverts are easily overstimulated. Once this happens they will slip away for a quick recharge. This can also manifest as staying in for days after a social event. Even while at home they might slip away to their own space within a house of people.

2) We have a small circle of friends.

While you won’t see us with tons of friends everywhere we go, you can bet that we have a small close knit set of friends. As stated above socializing drains our energy so we prefer to have a handful of friends. We desire deep and meaningful relationships over friendships that only scrape the surface. We like people that we can have lasting conversations with and not feel like we need a week of sleep afterward.

3) We’re great listeners.

Conversation IS draining. While we talk we’re listening and looking for cues to your interest in the conversation. We’re self-conscious about what we say and don’t want to come off as strange. Thus as we listen we’re thinking of the ‘right’ words to use for the perfect response. This is also a huge issue when approaching a stranger to strike up a conversation. Even approaching a potential partner in public.

4) We actually like doing things alone.

So, this is kinda related to #1 but alone time is so important it needed a second mention. If you asked an introvert what a good time would be for them, chances are, they say a quiet day in watching Netflix. Or reading their favorite book. It didn’t even cross their mind to go out with some friends for drinks or to a movie. Even if they did think to go out it would have been solo.

5) Social media is our haven.

A lot of people these days say social media is causing a disconnection between people. You’ve seen it before, a few people go out together for coffee, dinner, or to a friend’s house. Instead of conversing with with each other, they are their phones browsing FB or Insta. Chances are these friends are introverts. Social media provides us with a potential for connection that we don’t have in a public setting. First, It wont drain our energy. Second, we can be selective of who we talk to. Third, we can stop replying at anytime without offending anyone. Fourth, we can take our time to think before we respond. Fifth, there’s no awkward silence that accompanies thinking before we speak.

And this is just a quick list of things that come to mind for me. If you are an introvert or you have an introvert friend, I hope this helps you understand some of our quirks. No, we are not broken we just experience life “differently” than the world thinks we should and that’s OK. Until next time…

Oh hey, before I go! I would love to get some feedback about this post. Be sure to give it a like or drop a comment. And if you REALLY liked/hated it gives us a share! See you soon…

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