5 Things I’ve Learned About Myself as an Introvert

posted by Andrea | 08/25/2014
Print pageEmail page

watering the yard with nora

Growing up, I NEVER would have described myself as an introvert; and I’m fairly confident anyone I knew would have laughed if I said I was an introvert.

Even now, most people who know me personally would not classify me as an introvert — but I definitely am. Yes, I am very involved in many groups and activities, I’m quite social, and I frequently spend time with family, friends, neighbors, etc. However, I love my alone time and I need that alone time to “recharge” – which is essentially the definition of an introvert.

To put it simply: Introverts are people whose energy tends to expand through reflection and dwindle during interaction. 

So yes, that’s me… and Dave too!

Neither Dave nor I are extreme introverts — but we both lean to that side of the spectrum. I also think that both of our introverted tendencies have become more ‘pronounced’ after having kids (being around kids all day really makes you realize how much you crave alone time!)

I really enjoy learning more about different personality types… so I had to laugh after I took this mothering personality quiz as part of the “Mother Styles” book I’m reading. I realize we can’t be classified by one little quiz, but it’s amazing how accurately my personality was described!  (see below)

responsibility mother

Sound a bit familiar? 🙂

So yes, part of my personality is that I am somewhat introverted, or ‘I’.

I do not feel less than, or worse, or slighted, or restrained in any way simply because I lean more towards the introverted spectrum of personalities. I find it fascinating to learn more about my personality type, what makes me “tick”, and also, how I might possibly be perceived by others.

Over the past couple of years (mainly since having children), I’ve spent more time looking into different personality types… and I’ve learned a lot about myself as an introvert. Today, I’m sharing a few of those observations.

introvert

photo source

1. I am not naturally rude or standoffish.

For me, one of the hardest parts of being more introverted is the fact that I’m sometimes perceived as rude or standoffish. I am not naturally this way and I don’t like it when I act this way.

There are many times when I think ,”Why did I just act that way?” or, “I shouldn’t have said _____.” or, “That didn’t come out right.” but I often feel like I don’t have full control over how I react in certain situations.

I do not dislike you nor do I think I’m better than you — I’m most likely just overwhelmed with the current situation (read below fore more clarification on this point).

2. When I ACT rude or standoffish, it’s almost always because I feel overwhelmed.

I know for a fact that I have wrongly acted rude and standoffish many times in the course of my life. And while I know I’m still the one to blame, in most situations, the reason I act the way I do is because I feel overwhelmed.

Again, I want to clarify that I do not think it is acceptable for me (or any other introvert) to justify bad behavior — but I do think this is a HUGE factor to consider if you have a relationship with an introverted person, which I’m guessing many of you do!

I could share story after story when I realize (after the fact) that I probably seemed very rude to someone — and almost every single time, it’s because I’ve just had enough. Crowded grocery stores with extra-long checkout lines and an over-chatty cashier might cause me to get all bent out of shape when one of my coupons doesn’t work. Do I really care that I’m not saving that $1? Nope… I’m just done with the grocery store and need to get out ASAP.

One more person stopping me to “catch up” as I’m trying to leave a gathering (church, party, family get-together, pot-luck, etc.) might cause me to unintentionally act very rude because I’m just so ready to leave I can’t even bare the thought of having another extended conversation.

Entering a room with lots of people already there will often make me appear very standoffish. Although I’m not shy or nervous at all, I just need a few minutes to process everything, to find a spot I feel comfortable, and to (hopefully) find one other person to chat with for a bit.

3. I am not shy or afraid of people.

Being introverted is not synonymous with being shy… and if you’re shy, it doesn’t mean you are also an introvert. Contrary to what you might think, most introverts (myself included) really DO like people 🙂

Growing up, I was a part of many different sports leagues and musical groups, I went to camp, I played 3 sports in high school and 2 sports in college, I was in band, choir, the musicals, and always participated in all of the fun school spirit days. I had lots of friends, I had a boyfriend, and  the teachers liked me.

Now, as an adult, I can easily enjoy myself and have a great time hanging out with large groups of people for several hours or more, as long as I have a chance to prepare for lots of personal interaction and as long as there is a specified ending time. However, if the gathering was supposed to finish at XX:XX time and it’s already 20 minutes past that time, I start to get antsy fast! I don’t want to stick around longer than I planned… and I don’t want you to over-stay your welcome at my house either (see, I start to get rude again!)

In my business world, I’ve been asked to speak in front of hundreds (and even thousands) of people… and I don’t get nervous! In fact, I REALLY enjoy this part of my job. However, I always ask for as many details as I can get — mainly to figure out how long they want me to stick around after I’m finished speaking. I usually say I’ll stay to answer questions for 30 minutes, and then make up an excuse to leave. This has worked very well for me and seems to be the perfect amount of interaction before I start to feel overwhelmed.

Because I am not shy (in fact, sometimes I’m overly confident) most people think I’m joking when I explain that I’m an introvert — and then assume I’m just being rude or standoffish when I don’t fully participate in a conversation or activity.

4. For me, my life is not boring.

I have a sister who is an extreme extrovert — and she married an extreme extrovert! Dave and I could not be more different from them in the ways we choose to spend our free time.

Growing up, she always thought I was boring and I thought she was a people-pleaser who tried too hard. She still thinks Dave and I are boring and I still think she’s a people-pleaser — but we realize and accept that we are VERY different. I had to laugh a couple months ago when she and her husband had a bunch of people over for a cookout one night. She invited my other sister and both her husband’s siblings, but never even asked me. I found out later when she told me, “I knew you wouldn’t want to come and didn’t want you to feel like you had to come up with an excuse to say no.”

She knows me so well 🙂

To an extreme extrovert, it might seem like my life is very boring. However I can assure you Dave and I do not think we have boring lives. Just because we don’t like going out to do things or always spending time with other people doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy ourselves and do fun things.

We both love spending time at home, working on house and yard projects, watching a movie on Netflix, catching up on school and blog work, etc. Those are things we really enjoy doing — just as much as extroverts enjoy being out and about with friends every night (which sounds TOTALLY overwhelming to me!)

Although Dave and I often joke about our ‘boring lives’ we really wouldn’t have it any other way.

5. I am NOT lonely when I’m alone.

I LOVE being alone!

I think this is probably one of the main reasons motherhood has been so challenging for me. Not only do I have small children touching me and vying for my attention every waking moment, I also have more people coming to visit, more people requesting play dates, and more activities during the day.

For the most part, I do enjoy all the playdates and various activities — but they can start to feel like a lot of busywork after a while.

And if you want to make me really mad, call me or unexpectedly stop by the moment I finally get my children to sleep! Although I can’t do anything about unexpected guests, I’ve learned to just let the calls go to voicemail if I feel even slightly irritated when I hear it ring — I figure that’s better than sounding rude to the person on the other end.

I love my sleep, but you better believe I’ll wake up at 4:30am or stay up until midnight just to be alone for a little bit. I also prefer to shop and run all my errands alone (even clothes shopping). Obviously, this doesn’t happen much these days, but when it does, I feel like a huge luxury has just been given to me (yup, I’m easy to please!)

Looking back over the past 29 years, I think I’ve always been an introvert to some degree. I can see time after time, from early childhood on, where my introverted tendencies played out.

For me, just realizing what personality type best describes me, and then knowing the common positive and negative characteristics of that personality, have helped me to feel like I’m not so weird compare to everyone else.

When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I can recognize that it might be because there is just too much going on for my liking — and then I can remove myself from the situation instead of letting all the frustration build up inside of me.

.

As you can imagine… blogging is THE PERFECT job for me 🙂

Also, does it make sense why I detest shopping so much? And why I’m literally sweating by the time I get to the checkout lane in the grocery store? And why I prefer to do almost all communication via email? And why we don’t go on many vacations?

Yeah, family vacations are probably the craziest thing for me. On one hand, I’m super excited and really look forward to being gone with family or friends. But on the other hand, it’s so overwhelming to be with people 24/7 — especially when I’m not in control over the daily and weekly schedule (yes, I know, I’m a control freak!)

Fortunately, I can almost always come up with an excuse to get some alone time — even on the busiest family vacations. And of course, I’m getting better at dealing with those overwhelming feelings (like snuggling a baby in the shade on the beach instead of going somewhere with the rest of the group).

One Final Thought:

Roughly one third of the entire population exhibits introverted tendencies — so I’m sure you know at least a few introverted people.

Here are some ideas to make life less overwhelming for the introverts you know:

  • Respect our need for privacy.
  • Let us observe first in new situations – and then let us try it for the first time in private.
  • Don’t punish or reprimand us in public.
  • Give us time to think.
  • Give us a heads-up if the plans are going to change.
  • Give us a few minutes of warning before moving on to the next activity (this is especially helpful with children).
  • Don’t push us to make lots of friends.

OK, so there you have it — my thoughts on my introverted life!

Have you ever taken a personality test? If so, what did you learn?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Filed under: LifeFamilyHealthDaily Life

 
 

Leave a comment

45 comments

  1. Abby Teunissen

    04/03/2015

    Andrea,

    Thank you for this post. I’ve re-read it multiple times, and each time I find myself feeling more and more justified. Though I am not an ISTJ, I do relate to all of your points above. I find myself becoming more and more introverted as life goes on. And, as a new mom, it’s been especially pronounced. I love how you note that being introverted revolves around how one’s energy expands. I jump for joy when I have a full day to be home alone (with the exception of my daughter…) to get a bunch of things done and feel fulfilled and rejuvenated. Many people I know just don’t understand. A few of my friends do, and it helps our friendship in many ways.

    It’s great to know that there are more people out there spreading the word about introversion and addressing many misconceptions. Thank you for all you do!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — glad to help! but seriously, don’t feel the need to justify your somewhat introverted tendencies. We’re not bad or weird… just different 🙂

    Glad you have a couple friends who can relate!

    [Reply]

  2. Angie

    09/23/2014

    WOWSERS! You hit the nail on the head!! This is soooooooooooo me! Sometimes I think that since I retired 9 yrs ago, I’ve become a recluse. I much prefer staying home and piddling around than going out to parties, gatherings, etc. I do enjoy lunch with a friend now and then or an evening with a few friends, but not real often. I prefer to communicate by texting or email rather than by phone calls. Thank goodness for caller ID. If I don’t feel like talking to someone, I just let it go to voicemail. Sometimes I make plans to go somewhere with friends or family, but as the time gets closer, I find an excuse not to go. Hate the thought of going to all that trouble of dressing up, make-up, etc. I feel guilty a lot. Maybe I am just an introvert and shouldn’t feel so guilty about being a homebody or being alone with my 3 cats. My hubby still doesn’t “get me” sometimes. He also likes to be home but is much more willing to go out more often with his
    one close friend. Thank you so much for this post. Just wish folks wouldn’t get mad at me for saying no. They take it personally. I adore you, Andrea!

    [Reply]

  3. Kim

    09/19/2014

    Great post Andrea! Like you I am an ISTJ. I don’t have kids but I’m sure if I did I would act just like that article said an ISTJ mom would act. I’ve always known I was introverted, even back in high school. While I was in college and all us girls would go out to bars, I was usually the one none of the guys wanted to talk to, and one of my friends told me it was because I seemed very stuck up and stand-offish. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was never comfortable in those situations and felt overwhelmed. My husband is also an introvert, even more so than me. He could seriously be happy only leaving the house once a week! We are happiest when we are alone together at home. We both need our alone time too and understand the need for it. Thank you for writing this post.

    [Reply]

  4. Ang

    08/29/2014

    Thank you for your post! I am probably an extreme introvert. I did take a personality test about a year ago but never really looked into it. But after reading your post I think I will. I now understand why sometimes being in crowds (work, running errands, cookouts, malls, etc.) for a long period of time makes me feel overwhelmed. I LOVE my alone time. And my idea of a good weekend is doing things around my house and watching a movie with hubby and our daughter. People have always made me feel as if there is something wrong with that. But it’s what brings me joy. So, it’s good to know that there are other introverts in the world! 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. Brandette

    08/29/2014

    Oh Andrea, we are twins!! I knew by reading your quiz results and your post that I exhibit at least some of your traits. I went to take the quiz and it came back exactly as you, ISTJ.

    My husband has explained this to me in the past, he has always recognized it and accepts it. He knows what will make me antsy or uncomfortable so he will try to compensate for it. For instance, something that use to upset me greatly was when he worked lots of late nights or long hours at the spur of a moment. It would bother me because it wasn’t in “my plan”, it messes up dinner time, etc. He learned that when that was going to happen, he would try to tell me as far in advance so I can switch my gears mentally. That helped tremendously. He doesn’t work those type of hours much anymore, but we know how to adapt now.

    I am in the process of starting my own blog, slow going as we are building our house and moving soon, but still doing it nonetheless. Your last bold sentence “that is why blogging is the perfect job for me”….resonated with me profusely! Whenever I need to conduct some type of business, I always ask if email is an option. I have never been a phone call type of person, I would rather have time to write things out than have to think of the words on the spot. I need time to think and rephrase if necessary.

    I always grew up feeling like I was different and needed to try more, it was always hard for me to make friends as I cherish alone time. With a little one in our lives now, I don’t get much alone time. Some days by the time my husband gets home I am kinda batty, I need time to recharge.

    [Reply]

  6. Ofelia, from Mexico City

    08/28/2014

    Andrea: This post touch my heart. Im an introvert too. Im pretty much feel the same way as you. Im a mexican girl and in my country by tradition my people is perceibed like extrovert, very social and warmth. Im not that way, so I have been percibed as rude. Im not a very social person, but, like you, Im not shy at all. I even got a very social career: Im a formaly journalist and Im working at a magazine. Im a totally funtional and I can interviewed an ample spectrum of people, but at the end, I need to be alone, not lonely, some hours. Im a single woman and I really enjoy somethings like you do, and yeah totally boring activities, but not for me! And that, just like my mother use to say, is the important thing. Greeting from MExico! Oh, and by the way, let me say your babies are gorgeous!

    [Reply]

  7. Lynn

    08/26/2014

    This was an awesome post Andrea! This made me realize that I too am an introvert as I crave my time alone and need it to recharge. My husband and I often get told we are boring, but that is okay, we like it that way! Thank you again, this helps me understand myself as well.

    [Reply]

  8. Tracey

    08/26/2014

    Cool map of an introvert’s heart here:
    http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/adorable-map-introvert-heart.html

    [Reply]

  9. Verty

    08/26/2014

    Love this!!

    First, I am so tempted to send this to all my extrovert relatives who get frustrated with my husband and I! (It’s very tactfully written!)

    Also, I find it really interesting how writing is an easier (and often better) way to communicate for introverts. I’ve found that I can write things in a blog post or email or even text way better then in person. I was discouraged because it is so hard for me to have face to face deep conversations despite longing for them – but give me an hour alone, and I can express it perfectly in writing! I had never made the connection – so thank you!!! That realization was almost like a sigh of relief!

    [Reply]

  10. Sarah

    08/26/2014

    I’m so glad you shared this. It was like reading my own thoughts. You have a real talent for expressing your thoughts and ideas clearly.

    [Reply]

  11. Jennifer

    08/26/2014

    I’m an introvert and can relate to all your points. It was such a relief to learn through a personality test long ago that I’m not “flawed” and don’t need to “try harder”–this is just who I am and it comes with its own benefits. Also, when you have children, it forces you out into the world much more than you would normally choose as an introvert (especially when they get very involved in school and extracurricular activities). Consequently, I protect whatever time I have left fiercely–I love those rare breaks in my calendar where nothing is planned and I can just stay home and recharge! Don’t leave me much energy for getting together with friends, however.

    [Reply]

  12. Chris

    08/26/2014

    I can totally relate to point number two… There are countless moments in my life and my relationship where I was rude to my boyfriend or friends just because I was overhwelmed and did not realize this. A while ago I discovered that I am an HSP which explained a lot to me.

    [Reply]

  13. Karen

    08/25/2014

    Awesome post!! Sounds like me. Introverts can be social but we also need our space.

    [Reply]

  14. Tracey

    08/25/2014

    I LOVE that you wrote about this!!! I feel pretty much the same way you do.

    Introverts are finally being recognized (and hopefully more understood) lately! Extroverts are more celebrated in our culture, and it seems like introverts are perceived as needing help socially, when in fact we’re just fine – and thrive – on our own!

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. It’s helpful for extroverts to read and reassuring for us who are more introverted!

    [Reply]

  15. Lindsey T

    08/25/2014

    Andrea – this post just made my day. When I tell people I’m an introvert no one believes me (even my husband!) because I’m social, outgoing and not shy at all. But in many situation, I need a moment to process, I need to have end times at events, if sudden changes happen I’m not thrilled and I also can make rude comments out of being overwhelmed (I’m working hard on that!). I sweat in the grocery store and actually have cried before when I got home because it was so terrible. My husband and I grocery shop together now and I’ve found that it helps (we don’t have kids yet though, so that’ll likely change when we do!). Point being, there are so many stereotypes when it comes to personality types and I’m glad you’re talking about it!

    I LOVE alone time. I crave it, I wait for it and there’s nothing wrong with that. Kudos, to another phenomenal post from you!! 🙂

    [Reply]

  16. JoDi

    08/25/2014

    My husband and I are both INTJ’s so I can really relate. I am sitting on our deck with the dogs enjoying the solitude right now! I’m sure our life seems boring to some, but we really do enjoy our house projects and just hanging out a lot of the time. We do schedule fun outings, but if we had something like that to do every weekend after working all week, we’d both soon be exhausted. If we have a busy weekend, I like the next weekend to have nothing scheduled so we can recharge!

    [Reply]

  17. Debby

    08/25/2014

    Once again Andrea, I love this post. So me. I didn’t even know I would be classified as an introvert. I LOVE and value my alone time. I always thought it was because I grew up an only child. I like to shop alone merely for the fact that I am in control of when I leave. Especially if I get overwhelmed. Plus it’s quiet and I can think instead of chatting. I cannot believe how many of these traits are me. I am quite social, I am a caregiver so I interact with strangers and have to talk to them. thanks for the insight. I am married to an extrovert so we balance each other!!

    [Reply]

  18. Erica Martin

    08/25/2014

    This really resonated with me, especially numbers 4 and 5. I don’t consider my life boring – I may not like to go out all the time, but I have plenty of projects that I keep busy with, and Kevin and I also enjoy watching movies or TV shows on HBO, Netflix or Amazon Prime. I also don’t feel lonely when I’m alone – I think maybe because I grew up as an only child and learned how to entertain myself.

    [Reply]

  19. Alicia

    08/25/2014

    I am an introvert, too! So let me ask you this…what do you do when you’re an introvert married to and extrovert? Yeah, after 7 years of marriage I still don’t have the answer for that! It can be difficult at times, that’s for sure.

    Thank you for sharing, I resonated with all of your points. I’ve always been this way, and while in some ways I do think I’ve gotten a little more “flexible” after having children, in other ways I’m more apt to need and want to have alone time.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha, thanks Alicia! And I agree about being both more flexible and needing more alone time after kids!

    As for your hubby — I don’t know what to tell you. Dave is quite introverted as well so we don’t have this issue. Sorry!

    [Reply]

    Lindsey T Reply:

    Alicia:

    I hear ya! We’ve been married for 6 years and together for about 15. We’re just now getting to a point where we understand the personality types of each other. It’s taken a lot of work and frustration, but it feels really good to understand that side of each other.

    I used to hate going out with groups because he would want to stay until 2 in the morning. But now, we compromise, set an end time and stick to that.

    He used to hate staying in and watching a movie, but now he loves it, it’s relaxing to him and he knows that we’re still going to go out and meet friends another night. It’s not all or nothing, we can have both if we work together.

    We’ve worked really, really hard at it (likely with some ugly fights!) but I love the place we’re in now, that we can understand each other, see why we are the way we are and work with that. Compromise 🙂

    Good luck! It’s hard, but worth it. But again, I hear ya girl. There are times when I’d like to rip my hair out!!! 😛

    [Reply]

    Alicia Reply:

    Thanks Lindsey! It’s good to know we have hope! I agree in that we definitely understand each other more after 7 years of marriage, and the fact that we realize it’s just the differences in our personalities. But it can still be still challenging!

    [Reply]

  20. Bianca-MamaWijs

    08/25/2014

    Ok, this is about me. I never even knew the words introvert and extrovert, until someone called me an EXTROVERT. It was only after my third child was born, that I realized that I am actually an INTROVERT. Or did I turn into one? We are the people with the boring lives, and at the end of the day I NEED some alone time to wind down. Like you, I am really not nervous when I have to speak in public.

    [Reply]

  21. Roxie

    08/25/2014

    There is a training technique called “drawing out”. The basis of this technique is to encourage buy-in from all members of a large training course/class. The instructor will call on a person who is not speaking, raising a hand etc. with a specific question. “Roxie, could you please give an example of number 4?”
    As an introvert, this has the opposite impact. It feels like #3 of your final thoughts – punishment. The second my name is called out, my mind goes blank, I feel the substantial weight of everyone in the room staring at me (whether they are or not), and time stands still. Question? What question?
    I hope your article reaches many non-introverts as well as us introverts to help understand and learn. Thank you for educating all of us.

    [Reply]

  22. Chris k in Wisconsin

    08/25/2014

    Also an Introvert. Nearly all of my life I have loved my alone time. I need it and I plan for it. I didn’t truly figure out I was an introvert until a few years ago (I am 64!!), and now, for the past few years, as I read about it, I am a classic example. Also, I am married to an Extrovert for 43 years. So many times I have had to tell him I simply couldn’t attend a function with him, and he thought I was just being crabby or difficult. I wasn’t, but when it was planned on a weekend after an especially busy week at work, with the kids, etc. I simply HAD to say no. I wish I had understood it back then like I do now. I have always said I was a “simple person with simple needs”, it really is true. I do like to shop, but really only on my own, and just once every few weeks or so. Finding amazon and other on-line options over the past few years has been wonderful. We recently had about 5 days of out of town company, put on an 80th BD party, and had a Memorial Service for a relative all in those days and I truly thought I couldn’t breathe another breath after about day 2. Several times I simply had to come in the house to be by myself and gather my thoughts to try to head back out and be the gracious hostess. I think knowing this about myself, and reading about it over the years has been wonderful for me. Sometime if you have a moment, query “Introvert” on Pinterest and see some of the postings. They truly made me almost gasp the first time I saw them because it was as if I was seeing myself and expressing those thoughts I had never put into words previously. Great post!

    [Reply]

  23. Anna

    08/25/2014

    I loved this post! I am an also an introvert and although I love people, I have to have lots of time at home by myself. I also feel like I’m viewed as boring; my husband is an extrovert and he’s always telling me how boring I like life! I just find lots of time with people overwhelming. Church can make this difficult too, as we attend one that is ALWAYS doing something and unfortunately has a lot of people (my in-laws included) who don’t believe you are serving the Lord unless you participate in everything. I don’t agree with that and don’t apologize for the way I am, I feel like I’m a much nicer person to be around when I do what I can and nothing more.

    [Reply]

  24. Katherine

    08/25/2014

    Yes, yes, yes. I was nodding as I read this post. My favorite part was that you and Dave enjoy your “boring” life at home. I’m ISFJ, and my husband is INTJ, and we love our boring life at home. People think he especially is extroverted because he’s good at being around people and being social, but we’re both homebodies at heart.

    [Reply]

  25. Mel

    08/25/2014

    I love this article because I, too, am an introvert even though everyone around me thinks I’m really outgoing. I THRIVE on being alone and I need my alone time. That’s why motherhood has been so hard on me at times; I love being a mom more than anything, but there are moments in the day that I have to remove myself from the constant noise. One of my self-imposed rules is that I don’t answer the phone when my kids are down for naps. Even though I really do love talking to family and friends, I NEED my space and this is one of the only times I get it. I also go to bed way too late just because I need that space to be alone. I find it incredibly hard to be efficient and productive during the day while my kids are awake because I get overwhelmed since I’m such an introvert. Ahhhh, this post could have been written about me. 🙂 As always, I love your blog!

    [Reply]

  26. Kristy Farrow

    08/25/2014

    I want to thank you so much for this post. My oldest daughter is 23 years old in college beautiful girl. I am always on her about calling old friends to get together or setting her up on blind dates. She doesn’t want to go or do any of it. She will always find excuses not to. My husband and I were very social when I was her age and could not understand why she is like that and her sister is very extrovert. She tells me she is happy staying at home. I appreciate the list at the end it will help me to understand. I am so a introvert myself now.

    [Reply]

  27. Avia

    08/25/2014

    Fellow introvert here. It has helped me a lot to studying about introvert tendencies in order to understand how I tick; but more importantly to realize that not everyone “ticks” like me. DH is an EXTREME extrovert so the pairing has been really interesting and we have learned a lot over the last 16 years! I have many times read an article on introverts and had an aha moment; “you mean everyone doesn’t feel this way?!!”

    [Reply]

  28. Kelly in Oregon

    08/25/2014

    Funny – I’m also an ISTJ. No wonder I always resonate so much with what you have to say!

    [Reply]

  29. susie

    08/25/2014

    This is a great post. I am from an extroverted family and married into a family that is all introverts… post like these help me understand them better!

    [Reply]

  30. Christy

    08/25/2014

    Figuring this out was so liberating to me a few years back. I took the Myers-Briggs test and I am a ISFJ which is Introverted Sensing with Extraverted Feeling. It’s just nice to know this about myself so I can understand why I feel the way I do sometimes! 🙂

    [Reply]

  31. Debbie

    08/25/2014

    This is me to a T! I find it interesting though that when I was single I craved for being out and about with friends. Now that I’m married I enjoy being a homebody with my also introverted husband. Lists, schedules, event time constraints are all a must for me so I can prepare myself mentally and emotionally to be in a sea of people.

    [Reply]

  32. Jan

    08/25/2014

    This explains me and also my daughter in law. Since son lives out of state they visit each summer for a week. We live in a rather small 2 bedroom condo. Makes it a difficult week for both of us. Your post made me realize why the week is so tough. Food is also always just as hard or harder since dil has lots of food she doesn’t like. Last summer I tried hard and was a mess, this year I didn’t fix much and they ate out (that is what my son suggested). I felt guilty but at least I wasn’t a nervous mess. Glad it is only a week or so a year! Next years goal is a combination between food and no food! People are all very interesting and different which is good. Thank you for this post!

    [Reply]

  33. Kate @ The Beautiful Useful Project

    08/25/2014

    Learning more about my personality type (I’m an INFJ) was such a relief for me. I always thought there was something wrong with me because I got so worn out after spending time with big groups of people. I’m so glad that you mentioned that being an introvert isn’t the same as being shy. That’s such a common misconception about introverts.

    [Reply]

  34. Jen

    08/25/2014

    I am an ESTJ but “E” is my lowest score and I know I gravitate toward “I” at times too! I do, however, enjoy shopping! But I’m with you on the vacations. I can’t relax because all I can think about it what I’ll have to do to get everything back in order when we get home! :-/

    [Reply]

  35. Jessica

    08/25/2014

    So interesting!! I never thought to research my personality type to understand myself better, especially as a mother! I have been feeling very drained lately and just reading your article today (and taking the quiz) has me feeling more energised. I just ordered Mothering Styles and look forward to learning more. Thank you!! 🙂

    [Reply]

  36. Carle

    08/25/2014

    I think Myers-Briggs personality types are a very interesting way to look at yourself and others…I’ve heard of many companies that require employees to take this test and then discuss the results in order to help people work better together – some places even post your “type” outside your office!

    Thanks for explaining well what “introverted” means in this context, as you said, it depends on what energizes you. I’m an ISFJ but am often on the line between introverted and extroverted…the actual test provides more of a scale for each category and is great to do if you have the time.

    Thanks for sharing – very interesting! 🙂

    [Reply]

  37. Paulette Smith

    08/25/2014

    Oh.my.word…now I understand the things I do! I also abhor shopping (any kind), collapse after out-of-town company leaves, scoot out of any gathering like my tail’s on fire (even church!), and have wondered if I’m boring. Another thing, when others talk about having “fun” I’ve wondered if I was weird because although I enjoy myself, I don’t have “fun.” I’ll seek out people and talk but after a while,I’m spent. Thank you, Andrea!!

    [Reply]

  38. Jane

    08/25/2014

    I just finished Quiet – have you read it? It really resonated with me. I’m not sure where I fall on the spectrum, but I think I fall toward an introvert. I love people. I also love being alone!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    no, I have not read this book — but sounds like one I would like!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    I read Quiet recently and loved it. I would highly recommend it!

    [Reply]

  39. Jennifer

    08/25/2014

    What you say resonates with me SO MUCH! I am a very pronounced introvert, but was always called ‘shy’ when I was younger. I now realise why that felt like the wrong word – I wasn’t shy, and I didn’t dislike having friends or talking to people, I simply felt overwhelmed by big groups and took a while to make friends, and being alone didn’t bother me. Simply learning that I was an introvert, and since then learning what that might mean, has helped so much in understanding how I operate instead of just feeling incapable, judged, or like ‘something was wrong’ with me.

    The most helpful tactic I’ve learned over the years is to recognise when I’m overwhelmed and why, and simply self-manage to address the problem so I can remain calm instead of going off the deep end 🙂

    I now feel more comfortable turning down invitations if I simply have too much going on that week, leaving a party when I feel I’m ‘done’, purposefully carving out some alone time during a family holiday, even just going into the bathroom and breathing for a few moments if a big group event is getting too much. This helps me feel happier, and also makes me much more kind and patient with others. What you say is so true – often my rudeness is because I’m just completely overwhelmed!

    [Reply]