I heard a talk show on the radio recently where they were talking about introverts and extroverts. And it really bothered me. One of the speakers talked about being an introvert “but getting better.” The host used the word philosophical about 18 times in the span of 2 minutes as a way to describe his introvert ways.
Basically they came at it from the viewpoint of extrovert good, introvert bad. Being an introvert obviously means you hate people, being around people, and have to force yourself to talk to people.
I really don’t think this is true at all. I’m certainly no expert, but I do have 30 years’ experience in introvert ways. I think it all comes down to how you process.
Introverts process internally, while extroverts process externally. Introverts recharge with alone time, while extroverts recharge in a crowd or group of friends.
Are either of these things inherently bad? I certainly don’t think so.
Both have their ups and downs, in my opinion. Sincerely needing alone time is difficult when you’re a parent of small children. I think that’s why I can get so frustrated after a day at home alone with the kids while some moms may be able to carry on for days without a second thought. When I can’t collect my thoughts and spend time considering why I am angry, why I react the way I do, etc, the frustrations really build up.
What I want people to know, though, is that being an introvert does NOT mean I hate people or dislike being around people! I strike up conversations with people at the grocery store or the park. I love to dig down and hear people’s real stories.
But I do NOT make small talk easily. I don’t just talk to talk. Which is probably why being in a huge crowd of people I don’t know is enough to make me want to go dive under my covers. I have trouble making friends, I think, because maybe I come on too strong. I will tell anyone anything.
Which is probably why I blog. I can process first, or as I write. And I can tell you anything without any notion of small talk. So there.
So yeah. Some days I wish I were a little more extroverted, but not many. I think it’s OK to be an introvert, and I’m sorry there are people out there who don’t think that.
What do you think? Are you introvert or extrovert?