My Introvert Life

olive chan —  May 8, 2012 — 7 Comments

Hello there!  Welcome to this series called My Introvert Life.

On the vast continuum between Introversion and Extroversion, I happen to be on the far introvert end of the spectrum. By definition, being introverted means I gain my energy from being alone. Activities such as sleeping, painting, reading and writing are all solitary endeavours that recharge my soul.  The Introvert/Extrovert dynamic is only one part of what makes up my personality, but it plays a pretty significant role in my understanding of myself and how I carry about my life.  That’s why I think it’s a worthwhile endeavour to take a closer look at it.

my introvert lifeThe seed for this series began with this post, where I replied to my friend’s open letter to Introverts. As I thought about it more, I noticed that being introverted affects so many areas of my life.  So I decided to write more posts.  And it turned into this series.  It’s an exploration of introversion and my attempts at integrating my personality into the society around me that is typically structured more suited toward extroverts.

Before I dive in, I wanted to mention a couple resources that were instrumental in helping me know I am not crazy gain perspective and insight into this quality.  The first, is The Introvert Advantage, by Marti Olsen Laney.  And the second, is The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine Aron.  While the second book is not particularly about introverts, it helped me understand myself.  I enjoyed both of these immensely.  I have also heard good things about Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain (all affiliate links).

So whether you are extroverted, introverted, or somewhere in between, I invite you to explore with me.  I’d love to hear your perspective too.  What are your experiences and observations?  I’m also open to suggestions, if you are wondering about the interplay of introversion and a specific area that I haven’t listed below.  Just leave me a comment and I’ll see what I can contribute in response.  Thanks!

Welcome to My Introvert Life!  Posts by topic:

Dear Extroverts (an Honest letter from an Introvert)
The Postpartum Weeks
– As a Single
In Marriage

photo credit: bingbing via photo pin cc
  • Karen

    I was excited to see you posting about being an introvert, because I too am an introvert and have started trying to understand it myself. So I’m going to share an experience.

    Recently I got married, and I was bracing myself for a full day of “happily” interacting with hoards of ppl all day. I knew I would get exhausted, and didn’t know if I could smile and be friendly to all that came to congratulate me. I’m also a feeler, so just being in a room with a lot of ppl, their vibes would exhaust me even if I stayed in the corner alone. It’s like a double whammy. I discovered during rehearsal the ceremony portion wasn’t too bad, but the reception portion was where I would get overwhelmed and exhausted as an introvert.

    Fast forward to now after the wedding, I never got exhausted once during it. How? I had 3 dress changes during the reception. After the ceremony and outdoor photos, I spent time in the bride’s room alone eating a bowl of noodles, changing, and getting my hair done. And pretty much this happened all through the night, so the bride’s room visits to change became my recharge periods all night. I could go out, smile, talk to ppl, socialize, and then recharge for 15-25 minute intervals.

    A book I thought really helps me understand me (much like your book The Highly Sensitive Person) is “The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity”. It talks about more than just being sensitive, it talks about childhood, and how important a father is for a daughter’s upbringing (Tim can read that part).

    • olive chan

      Thanks, Karen, for your encouraging words; and for sharing your wedding experience! I did a similar thing at my wedding and took breaks throughout the day. The book you mentioned looks interesting too. I’ll have to take a look!

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  • Judy Omans Bilyeu

    I just tripped over your blog and just love it! At this moment my husband and I are working on our marriage. After 6 years the vast differences in our personalities has taking a toll on us. Because of this, I am learning so much about myself. I am not the always Extrovert people think I am. Yes I do talk to perfect strangers in the grocery store etc. My first husband called me a flirt. I desperately need my alone time. I’ve always called it ‘an only child syndrome’ but I see it is that Introvert part of me. I hate chaos and confusion. I am care giver to my Gran who has colon cancer at age 99 1/2. I have that and of course the family dynamics to deal with. When I am not at Gran’s I don’t want to leave my house. I am not 100% either an I or E. I am loud, talkative, and friendly. My husband seems like a social cripple next to me. BUT when I need to pull back, let me. I don’t mind being alone at all. I love my dogs more than most people (outside of my family) in general, but I also have so much love to give that I would not fair well as a single.

  • Apple

    I also stumbled upon your blog today. My wonderful therapist told me I was an introvert today; not crazy. I began to research and found your blog and I could not believe that there was someone else like me…someone who was warm, funny, smart, and compassionate…someone who was not “broken”…someone who is perfect just being herself . Thank you for sharing. I am so grateful.

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