18 People Talk About What It Feels Like To Be An Introvert

7. Elin Grimes

I do my best thinking when I am on my own, and feel at my most relaxed on my own.

This means that I’m more productive working on a project by myself at a computer (for example) than I am bouncing ideas off others in a meeting. It’s not that I can’t contribute, but I can only think deeply and laterally about a problem when I’m away from the pressures of general social interaction (which has so much else going on at the same time, including listening and thinking about the contributions other people are making)

I’m unlikely to start the conversation. But if you start one with me, no problem. Remember that introverts are not aliens or challenged behaviourally. What it comes down to is how much you value ANY kind of social interaction, and where you do your best kind of thinking.

I do not crave social interactions. I’m very happy doing my own thing, on my own. If I go to some major social event that a friend is holding, I usually keep a whole day free to myself to relax and recharge afterwards (usually Sunday) just because I don’t find it relaxing to be around others, even if it’s just a film night or something. I find it exhausting. What’s more, I basically never get bored or lonely when I’m on my own.

Once at Uni, I was talking to a classmate about how boring and tedious I find clubbing, as an activity, and how annoying it is that it’s the only accepted activity for students to do – which is so unimaginative. He said he didn’t like it either, so I asked why he went? He said “Better than sitting at home staring at a wall all day”. I was absolutely dumbfounded. It just never occurred to me that you could sit surrounded by so many things to do, arts and crafts, games, books, films, poems, TV, chatting on the net, learning something new, playing an instrument, writing music, puzzles etc. etc. and still feel like you had nothing better to do than an activity you hate – just because it is considered “social”. That may tell you something about the difference between the introverted mind and the extroverted one.

8. Shah Wharton

Labels are difficult to live with. But if I have to, I’ll say I feel good about being introvert, at least in the sense that I don’t need a constant flow of people around me to feel good. I also enjoy that I can enjoy my own company and don’t need to be stimulated by fickle conversation or entertainment.

I feel bad that other people make wrong assumptions about me. That because I don’t speak (unless there is something to say and then watch out), this might make me seem uninteresting, unsociable, unworthy. When the truth is, I’m just uninterested in petty things. I don’t have the energy to invest or waste on things I cannot abide. Why should I? Why should anyone?

But I see that other’s love that petty has become fashionable and it depresses me. I see that being loud is something to reward – Big Brother and Celebrity Get me a life (and such) prove this — and I have to walk away.

I’m not saying all extroverts are loud, shallow, or petty by the way. But perhaps they have an inexhaustible appetite for all social stimuli, where mine is limited. :)

I have felt lonely in my past; isolated within my own mind, even. In fact, the only person that ever got me (and is cool with it) is my husband. Before him, I lived a half-lie, pretending to be amused by things while internally yawning, looking over shoulders longingly at exit signs, wondering how long it would be till someone noticed the conversation suck the life from me.

Something about having at least one person in this great world who understands me, and perhaps because I’ve grown into myself with age, allows me to walk away, where before I’d have suffered in silence, even joined in on a misguided attempt at extroversion.

I’ve learned that more than anything, it doesn’t matter how we feel about ourselves in terms of labels. What’s important is to be true to ourselves in any terms.


About the author

Michael Koh

Follow Michael at @UghHugs.

More From Thought Catalog