Apr 10, 2013

I is for Introverts !



I have been bestowed with many compliments by people who don’t know me too well. I have been labeled as shy, reclusive (well this one is not too incorrect!!), haughty and arrogant.

The truth is I am just an Introvert! And we Introverts are such a misunderstood lot! Introverts take a lot of time to open up and be comfortable with people, and till then we prefer to speak and interact as little as possible.And so we are misunderstood as being arrogant !
It is not as if we don’t like people. Off course we like people – from a distance!

Frankly we just prefer not to surround ourselves with all sorts. We are extremely selective about whom we want to associate with. An Introvert will always have a few close friends she is extremely loyal to rather than have a whole bunch of friends and acquaintances. We are intensely private people. We don’t like to share our feelings and emotions with everybody.

And it’s not as if we don’t like to talk at all. Off course we do! The truth is that we suck at small talk! Conversations about trivial things simply don’t interest us. Put us in a social gathering and ask us to make conversation and we fail miserably. Give us 1-2 people who share the same interests as us and look how voluble we get!

In social gatherings unless I know the people very well I will be the one speaking the least. People who speak too much actually irritate me and I generally remove myself from the surroundings as soon as possible.
We also hate getting noticed. We prefer to do things quietly in the background rather than try to be in the limelight.

Introverts live more in their inner world than the outer world. We like being with our own thoughts. I tend to feel drained and tired if I have been in the company of others for long. I then usually wander off on my own to get my few hours or even minutes of solitude. If that is not possible, I try to retreat inside and block out the others.Some people get recharged by being with others. We get recharged by being alone and by turning our thoughts inwards.

People don’t seem to understand how I can like being alone. But there is a very big difference in being lonely and being alone. I cherish my alone time. I can spend hours in solitude, reading, writing, dreaming or just watching the world whizz past. I love travelling solo, alone with my thoughts, soaking in the surroundings, exploring and doing things my own way!

We Introverts don’t have much use for words. Not for the spoken ones anyway. All our feelings and emotions come out though the written words. We are not too good about expressing ourselves verbally and sometimes that is not a very god thing !

It’s becoming more and more difficult for introverts to survive in today’s world. In these days of social media and instant friendships, we tend to feel a little lost. Having few friends is what is just not acceptable these days.
Over the past few years I have made an effort to be more vocal and expressive, especially over the social media. People who know me online tell me that I am a different person when they see me in person because I tend to me more reserved and shy when I am meeting someone for the first time, even if I know that person online!

I love being an introvert, this is the way I am and this is the way I feel the most comfortable. But over the years I have actually made a little effort to be more social. If I may borrow the words of Shail Mohan of Shail’s Nest  - I am now an “Introvert in the garb of an Extrovert!”

I don’t think I could have put it more succinctly than that!

62 comments:

  1. Introverts I think is a wrong word almost altogether... well maybe the definition I understand is wrong... its just that some people trust or relate a lot easily and revel a lot more ... some prefer to be completely sure before they revel or reveal ! :)

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    1. Not a wrong word at all !
      Its not about trusting and revealing things only ! Its a type of Personality !
      You need to read more about them !

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  2. My mother is like that and she is often mistaken for arrogant . And yes people do confuse between "Alone" and
    Lonely" ...I strictly guard my alone moments :)

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    1. Yeah introverts are often labeled as arrogant. Alone is good Lonely is not :P

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  3. What a great ode to the Introvert! I agree with what you say. Though, I also think that Social Media will help not harm this species. Because in Social Media you can be loud and boisterous when you log in to Facebook, and calm and at peace alone as soon as you log out! It is all under your control.

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    1. I agree. I am sometimes brash and boisterous on FB and say things I would never say face to face !

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  4. I cherish my alone time too and am more chatty on line.
    I have met you and you are not really an introvert but a warm wonderful sunshine person.

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    1. Thank you Alka ! I am warm and sun shiney with people I can relate to. With others - I am an Iceberg :P

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  5. I think, sometimes, many of us tend to be introvert or extrovert depending on the situation. Some people simply draw us out while others make us wish we were alone.

    Love your post, Ruchira. You're my reco today!

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    1. Vidya, here is an interesting write about the myths surrounding introverts: https://plus.google.com/u/0/107693662881777185668/posts/DqZyE4HWcB6

      Maybe you should link it in your post, Ruchira :)

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    2. Thank you for recommending me Vidya !

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  6. Ruchira I kept nodding my head all through the post. There are too many lines I want to quote and underscore in this post. I was always thought to be arrogant, even in school, and that too without ever opening my mouth. Well, one grows up and learns to interact with others, that's all. At heart I am still an introvert.
    Meeting people drains me, even close ones. I need my few hours of solitude. And yes, the social media gives others a different impression. After all we are not interacting with people directly on it, only at our own time and pace and from within our own space. That makes a lot of difference.

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    1. Shail - you and I - kindred souls :P

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  7. Hey Ruchira , A Hyfive from an introvert to an introvert
    I dont know if its same with U but Introverts usually r more comfy with introverts. Am not an extrovert and neither a big introvert . I draw some line in middle I guess but most times I shun the extrovert lime light. U r far more better . I cant even attend many social gatherings due to same reason. Am not sure if it always helped but I am sometimes happy in my own cozy nest !! I recently am trying to TALK a lil more over social networks though not as much as extroverts coz what ever extroverts do is extra to me ;)

    Last line by Shail makes sense
    great post.
    Could instantly feel connected

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    1. Glad you like the post ! I am also more voluble over the social media !

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  8. actually I tend to agree with Vidya. There are people and situations that bring out the introvert and the extrovert in us. I am shy too but will be talking nine to a dozen with people I can connect with. But, I am really quiet in a large gathering of unknown people. And I hate attracting the limelight. Vulgarity and attention seeking really puts me off a lot. But I can be warm and boisterous in the company of those I like. Have you read the book "Quiet" by the way? And I see my younger son really clamming up in public places. And it is irritating when people try and get close to him too soon because he revolts, feels embarrassed and retracts further. Sometimes being an introvert is considered to be something wrong, strangely!

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    1. Bein shy and being and introvert are different things, Rachna :)

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    2. And where did I say that being shy and being introvert were the same, Shail :)? I went back and read my comment to see how you got that impression. And the latest theories say that each person is both an introvert and an extrovert.

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    3. Your 'I am shy too' gave me the impression. Apologies if I got that wrong :)

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    4. Hmm .. yes we are introverts or extroverts depending on situations .. but even when introverts are surrounded by like minded people .. they do start craving for their own space after a while !

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  9. Large crowds also drain me. And I also like my quiet time. Nice topic for I and very well written.

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    1. Thank you Suzy ! I just cant handle crowds !

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  10. This write up should be framed under the term "Introvert" - Bravo!
    Cheers
    Laxmi

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  11. Ruchira, that is a pretty long conversation with the world for an introvert :) there is no doubt that one should cherish the private moments he/she gets to contemplate on their life, actions and thoughts. how ever that surely does not minimize the importance of the 'social' time one should have. why? a perception is a tricky thing you gather from your surroundings and develop through your life, learning from your experience. agree? now when you spend time alone or with people with SIMILAR thoughts, you are shutting down yourself from trying out new thoughts. there might be people who disagree to you, who puts you off, who makes you feel irritated - trust me, at times they make you rich. it necessarily do not mean that you should 'seek attention' or 'blabber around'. I am an advocate of observation and observation only gets complete with being at different situations and crowd. just a thought. God bless!

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  12. I get lost in crowds, I love to have few people around me, where I can have some meaningful real conversations. I enjoy "me time" and as you rightly stated, it does not mean, we were are lonely, its the time required to recharge oneself, good post, thanks for sharing !

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    1. Glad you liked it ! Me Time is precious for me !

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  13. I can so relate to this post. This is my story to the last T, Ruchira! :)

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    1. Shilpa, good to met a kindred soul !

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  14. I understand every word of this post. My brother is an introvert and he is exactly the way you have described in your post, whereas I am an extrovert. It is really amazing that we still get along so well with each other.

    Bhavya from the AtoZ Challenge blogging at Just Another Blog

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    1. Welcome here Bhavya. Sometimes Introverts and Extroverts tend to get along very well together !

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  15. Now, that is the second thing you and I have in common, Ruchira. First we are both B for bookworms, and now it turns out we are also I for Introverts. Great knowing this facet of your personality.

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    1. Good to know e have so much in common !

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  16. Hmm reading ur blog, I would hv never guessed u to be a introvert!

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  17. I was born a shy girl. I remember I used to dig into books/homework or whatever I could manage to get hold o,f when there were guests at home and silently hoped no one disturbs me since I was technically 'studying'. It was a mammoth task to bring me out of my room just to greet the guests with a namastey.

    Now, I fluctuate between the shy girl and a not-shy girl as per mood and convenience. I am not a party person and given a change I would rather be with close bunch of friends rather than a room filled with noisy strangers. But sometimes, there isn't a choice. :(

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    1. Ohh guests at hom were such torture .. I just didn't know how to handle them ! I agree sometimes there is simply no choice .. that is when retreating in your inner world helps :P

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  18. From one Introvert to another, I loved your post :)

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  19. I can be the crazy life of the party, but I'm ever the introvert, Ruchira. I can so identify with you and Shail here.

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    1. :P Good to know another Introvert !

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    2. Good to know another Introvert !

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  20. Ruchira, this is a gem of a post! I know what you mean by recharging by being alone, i do too :) Remind me to talk to you at length next time we meet.

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  21. I love you just the way you are! Agree with Vidya.

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  22. What's interesting is that while I am quite the chatty, bubbly person, I take far too much time to share my feelings with others. So usually only facet of my twin personality shines through. And I live with 2 introverts - the husband and son.... so I do know now to enjoy companionable silence, without marring its beauty with inconsequential words :)

    May your tribe live on!

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    1. companionable silence, without marring its beauty with inconsequential words - So well said !

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  23. Hi Ruchira ! That's a very nice post. I've got to know you better as a person. I've visited here for the first time and loved your post :)

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    1. Thank you Diana and welcome here !

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  24. I was born a very shy girl . Little interactions like talking to a shop keeper terrified me. I can so relate to this post in many ways.

    But many things that happened lately changed my perception and ever since teenage, I became too outspoken for my own good. Some people think it's rude and some avoid me altogether, but I don't think I can change. Most situations bring the extrovert in me, I can't seem to help it.

    But attention-seeking is one thing that really puts me off. I could so relate to that para when you said you distance yourself from such people. I don't understand what makes people do that. I see that women do it a lot when compared to men and especially around men ;)

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    1. I cant handle attention seeking. If you notice people do ti a lot on social media too !

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  25. Nailed it, Ruchira! Yes, most people have called me arrogant, until they've started associating with me properly! Also, I have used that phrase often, "I'm alone, but I'm not lonely!"
    Actually, I'm much more comfortable in today's world! I wish I too had a smart phone while growing up so I could just write instead of talk, and not have to bother with eye contact! lol!

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    1. Introverts are often labeled as arrogant. Writing is so much simpler than talking !

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  26. Funny how many bloggers totally identify with this post! I definitely do too. I've been called all of those things too--shy, reclusive, arrogant. I just did a workshop in which no matter how much I talked (more than many others) the instructor labeled me "the quiet one." *sigh* Something in my aura I guess.

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    1. Yeah I think we Introverts have an aura :P
      Welcome here !

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  27. Just read your post and every single word resonated within me. I think we bloggers have this thing in common :)

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  28. Introverts are often misunderstood but glad that you shun all inhibitions while writing.

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  29. This post is intersting. I think I know what you mean, Ruchira. I consider myself rather introvert than extrovert though I am lively and friendly. I enjoy my solitary time and I’m not lonely when I am alone. I consider myself getting more assertive as I get older and my English speaking experience gets longer but when I was younger, I was more quiet, though my mind was full of ideas, thoughts, and imagination. Never mind the label given by other people. I like you just the way you are.

    Yoko

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