What are you doing here all by yourself? Why don’t you go out more? Why do you always look so serious all the time? Why?

Image from the blog ‘Introvert, Dear’

Before I came to know the term ‘introvert’, I thought that I was just a really shy kid. To me, you were either shy or you were not. I hated the way I was because I couldn’t understand why I would rather not be like the rest of my classmates. You cannot imagine the relief I felt when I learned about introversion and extroversion. I mean, I am a shy person – I get anxious when I’m around people whom I don’t know; heck, I’m anxious around people I do know. But oftentimes, I choose to be alone, or do not very social things. Those were the times which I was left confused as to why I acted the way I did. But now I know that I am both shy and introverted, and when you are able to at least give a name to what you are, it’s a huge relief. It’s as if everything you couldn’t understand all makes sense at once.

An introvert is viewed the same way as a shy person, from an external person’s perspective. He’s that person that looks like he doesn’t belong at that party. That girl who would rather read than join the group of people gossiping in break time. Introverted or shy, it looks the same. But inside their minds, it couldn’t be more different.

I am introverted because I oftentimes choose to be alone, or do things by myself rather than with that group of people. Whenever I interact with too many individuals, I literally feel so drained by the end of the day. It was a bit different when I was at school though; I was so used to seeing my classmates every day that they became a part of my day-to-day life. And I didn’t really talk to many people anyway. Don’t get me wrong – I thoroughly enjoy spending my time with people, especially when I get to have a one-to-one interaction with those that I particularly like interacting with. But it gets exhausting if I do this too often. It’s like I need to ‘recharge’ myself.

I am shy because I am also very insecure about being around other people. I worry about how people look at me, what they think of me, how I should act around them, and what I should say to them. This is usually when it’s around people whom I don’t really know, or when I’m in an unfamiliar situation. Again – at school, I was used to the presence of my peers, so most of the time it was fine.

Until just a few years ago, I believed something was wrong with me. During that time, I wasn’t very familiar with personality types. I knew I was shy – that was something I had to learn to accept about myself and work on. I tried to do what everyone else was doing: go to parties, reunions, hang out with my group of friends more, etc. But I don’t know if I was doing that because of peer pressure or because I thought it was the right thing to do. Because most of the time, I did not enjoy going to these social events unless I had one or two close friends by my side.

People constantly made comments about my behavior to me. The ones that bothered me the most usually came from adults, because I actually believed them. I believed that I should be like everyone else: more social, happier, more talkative, etc. I know they meant well to me. They wanted me to be able to get along with people. But the way they put it… how they said it… it made me feel like something was wrong with me. Like I didn’t belong with them unless I became more social. Outgoing. Interesting. Normal.

Fast-forward to today, I have made some peace with myself. I am still working on who I am (obviously), but because I understand myself better, I can learn to deal with a lot of things concerning with what ‘kind’ of person I am. I understand that I can often feel out of place, and that’s okay. I am able to have a good time with others, and I am being a more socially-aware person. And I still enjoy spending time to invest in myself, and sticking to have a few close friends to share my thoughts with. Because that’s who I am.

 

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9 Comments

  1. Love this! I can totally relate to this. I grew up thinking there was something wrong with me, because I wasn’t the life of the party, and rather stay home reading my favorite books than waste hours with total strangers. My siblings being outgoing and easily able to make new friends didn’t really help me feel normal. “…When you are able to at least give a name to what you are, it’s a huge relief. It’s as if everything you couldn’t understand all makes sense at once,” couldn’t agree more! So from your About page. you mentioned being born in September? I’m born in September too. I wonder what your zodiac sign is? I’m a Virgo and some of your tendencies and way of thinking seem very Virgo-like to me. 🙂

    • Man, I wish someone had told me (and every other shy and/or introverted kid out there) that it’s completely fine to be and feel like this. Thanks for your lovely (and absolutely relatable) comment! And my birthday’s on the 23rd, so I’m actually Libra! (if I had been born a day earlier I would have been Virgo). But I have also been told that I’m similar to Virgo, so I don’t really know!! haha 🙂

      • Same here, and you’re welcome! Your blog is so lovely and inspiring. And that Gap Year Bucket list makes me want to go accomplish a lot more in life, haha. You seem like a really cool person. And oh wow, your a Libra like my sister. 🙂 She can be a little more introverted than my brothers, but still knows how to turn on her social self. Maybe you have Virgo somewhere in your natal chart?

        And thanks for the follow!

        • Aww thank you Tiffany, seriously! I didn’t think anybody actually read my Gap Year Bucket List hahaha xD But I put it up anyways (and keep it updated) so I feel ‘accounted for’, if you know what I mean. Writing it down is one thing, but letting it be public is kinda a step to putting yourself out there. I guess the same could be said for the rest of my blog.
          I don’t really follow astrology as much anymore, as I feel that it classifies people too much, when in reality we can be soo different from each other. But it’s nevertheless a fun thing to delve into 🙂
          Anyway, I also checked out your blog too! Welcome to the blogging world!! I like how your posts are so rooted to your interests. It took me a while to select the ‘type’ of posts that I like to blog, and even now I still can’t narrow them down to what I truly like. It seems like you are enjoying blogging though – I hope you continue doing so 🙂

          • You’re welcome! And I totally understand the whole idea of wanting to feel accountable, it helps with keeping the motivation alive. And it can help spark motivation in others! Like me xD And oh…well I can relate to not wanting to be put in a box and labeled as something, as if your definable. Nobody really is. I just love it for psychology reasons. I feel that it’s like a layer of a person (beyond horoscopes and sun signs) and it’s helped me understand people a little better, including myself. I believe in freewill though, so I don’t read horoscopes. And I don’t always agree with everything written. Thanks for the warm welcome! 🙂 I am enjoying blogging, it helps with sharpen my writing skills. Showing your work to the world puts you in a whole different mindset, than just keeping it hidden. I think your blog is perfect, it does show a little bit of what kind of person you are. These different topics mean different things to you, and yet it’s somewhat still a part of who you are as a unique, complex human. 🙂

          • I like the aspect of psychology in horoscopes too! And talking about astrology… I actually contradicted myself before because I do kind of follow the Chinese Zodiac, mainly because that’s part of my family’s culture. But it’s nevertheless just to some extent, as it really varies from individual (like I said before).
            Thank you for your kind words! One of my goals in blogging was to sharpen my writing skills, and even though I’m uncertain about my progress in that aspect, blogging has opened my mindset to a broad range of topics that I have to research about every time I write a post. I like to focus on the creative and cathartic part of blogging 🙂

  2. That’s interesting and true. You’re welcome, really you deserve it. And pssh, girl your writing is fabulous. I’m taking notes from you, haha. And I totally relate to wanting to research different things that generate different topics and ideas and then expand on those through writing. It’s a really long but rewarding process. 🙂

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