When I first read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, I found myself nodding along in agreement. I breathed a sigh of relief as so many things clicked into place. I saw parts of my life flashing before me and I was ecstatic that someone else actually understood the workings of my brain. For many years, I struggled with parts of my personality (I still do if I’m honest), but at least after reading Quiet, I understand myself a little more and know that it’s okay to do the things I do.
Here are 10 things I’ve finally accepted about my introverted personality.
I’m a thinker
I can happily sit in silence for hours with my own thoughts. Daydreaming about the future and pondering over questions about life, love and the universe. Think Walter Mitty, and you’re part-way there.
I like to observe
Just as I can happily sit with my own thoughts, I also enjoy silently observing. From watching the birds in my garden to enjoying a spectacular landscape, to people watching in a coffee shop. I’m happy to take in the world around me and just be.
I like to be quiet
First thing in a morning and last thing at night, I like peace and quiet. Give me a good book over T.V. any day. Sometimes I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day for my reading obsession. Some days if time allowed, I could spend all day reading with my cat curled up on my knee. Learning new things, filling my head with information and drinking endless cups of green tea while happily ignoring the outside world.
I’m a listener
If I’m with company, some people may find me rude or despondent. But I’m not: I’m a listener and a thinker. I don’t believe in making noise for the hell of it just to fill the silences. Sometimes I’m just happy listening to other people talk.
Social situations leave me feeling drained
I can feel uncomfortable in social situations that involve large groups of people, especially people I don’t know. It leaves me feeling drained and wishing I was sat at home reading, cuddling my cat and drinking endless cups of green tea.
I’m okay with silence
I’m okay with uncomfortable silences. Some people feel unnerved, feeling the need to fill the gaps with idle chit chat. But forced conversation isn’t my thing – I’m just happy to observe. And to be honest, I’ve probably not even noticed the silence because I’m too busy daydreaming and pondering over the questions to life, love and the universe.
I like solitude
Walking in nature and meandering with my camera helps feed my creativity. I can lose myself for hours wandering around National Trust gardens, following trails and photographing flowers. This is perfect alone time.
I don’t always want to talk
I frequently don’t answer the phone because 1) I don’t like using the phone, and 2) I don’t always feel like partaking in idle chit chat. The catch-up call that’s the equivalent of filling an uncomfortable silence and involves empty questions. Not my bag. If you have something specific to talk about or want my opinion on something, by all means phone me. If not, leave me be. There’s only a small number of people I can have mindless conversations with.
Writing is my therapy
I can write in my journal for hours, losing myself in the words as I pour out the contents of my head and my heart, trying to make sense of my life and the world – past, present and future.
Alone time recharges my batteries
When I say I need alone time, I mean I need to be alone. It’s not because I just don’t feel like socialising, or I can’t be bothered, it’s because my mind and body are craving down time – alone. Much like you would crave a piece of chocolate or a slice of cake, I crave space away from everyone. This is my way of recharging and bringing my energy levels back up. This is especially true after spending time with large groups of people.
Are you an introvert? What things do you do to recharge your batteries after your energy has been drained?