There’s been talk about introverted children with extroverted moms. But, what about introverted moms?
Does anyone else feel like they are part of the silent minority, sitting off to the side, away from the group, and perfectly content with that fact?
I have been an introvert my entire life. Minus some social awkwardness in my middle school years, I feel that I have learned to live with this trait in a largely extroverted world. However, I think there are a few things that need to be clarified about introverts. My one request is that all of you extroverted moms take a minute to hear me out, and introverted moms, please feel free to chime in.
1. We aren’t shy.
If I had a nickel for every time I was dubbed shy, I could probably put my son through college. While shyness and introversion are usually intermingled, that is not always the case. I can address large or small groups of people with no problem. In fact, my job requires regular interaction with people. I can take the initiative to introduce myself to someone new without hesitation and engage in small talk. Contrary to popular belief about introverts, I do not have social anxiety! I enjoy a good social event, but it wears me out faster than it would an extrovert.
2. But, we’re perfectly content just people watching.
While I have no issue or anxiety with talking to people, there are many times when I am perfectly content not doing so. If you see me at a social gathering, sitting off to the side, by myself, please do not think I am lonely or having a bad time. I like people watching. I prefer to see the hustle and bustle of things without having to engage in it. Come to think of it, this is what probably leads you to believe that I am, in fact, shy. The larger the group, the more likely I will find myself moving towards the outskirts. But, you know what? Sometimes I prefer to be in my own company.
3. We are really good listeners.
Seriously. I am the person people gravitate toward if they need to rant, chatter, gibber jabber, or if they just need someone to listen. I like to think it is because I have that warm, inviting presence, but in reality it is probably because I’m not a chatterbox, so you don’t have to worry about me interrupting. Yes, I am there for you if you need someone to bend their ear, just know that after a while listening can become tiresome–paying close attention really takes up energy!
4. And occasionally we screen our calls or texts.
Interacting with people can be exhausting, especially at the end of the day. If I do not respond right away to your text, or if I do not answer your phone call immediately, I am not ignoring you. I probably just need some time to collect my thoughts. I think better when I don’t have other people distracting me, and sometimes I can’t recharge unless I have some time to myself. Honestly, just sitting in a quiet room for five minutes does wonders (OK, it may be in my car in the driveway before walking into my noisy house, but you get the picture).
5. We like to be included.
I will be the first to admit that I am the worst when it comes to arranging play dates. Usually if I decide to do something, I grab my keys and kid and head out the door. If you hear about something fun I did over the weekend that I *could* have invited you to, please do not get offended with me. It honestly did not cross my mind; social events are not my forte. On the same note, that does not mean I never want to hang out or join in on a play date (or coffee date or dinner date or whatever). Friendships are important to me, and I certainly will not jilt an invitation to socialize. Even though I am perfectly content staying home, that does not mean I am immune to feeling left out.