An Introvert Speaks Out

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I live in Germany but for the past five weeks, I have been traveling the States. At the moment, I am visiting my big sister. This morning we skyped with the family back in Germany, and something my mother said hasn’t let me go for a bit. “It’s a drag to skype with [insert my real name here] because she never says anything.”

I am totally cool with her saying that about me. We joked about it. She’s my mom and knows me well, but it made me think.

I know that I’m an introvert and shy, but the truth is that doesn’t mean I don’t like talking. It doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to say.

introvert

Source: Pinterest

I have people comment on my quietness all the time and honestly, it annoys me. And sometimes it hurts. A lot.

I’ve had people say to me, “Am I talking to much? Well, you don’t like talking so I’ll just continue.”

You know, I’m not asking for all the attention in the world, but maybe it will help for people to know how an introvert can tick. So here’s a random list of my thoughts.

  1. Don’t assume that quiet people don’t like to or want to talk. Especially in large groups, it is so, so hard for me to say anything. I may have something I would like to say, but I sit there and seriously wonder why everyone else gets the chance to blab but I can’t get a word in edgewise. I just can’t.
  2. So if you catch that quiet person carefully watching whoever is talking, if you see them holding their breath, they’re probably waiting for their chance to speak. Why not stop and ask for their opinion?
  3. If your quiet introvert brings up a topic, that probably means it’s very important to them. Ask questions about it and don’t change the topic too quickly. Most likely, he or she has a lot to say about it.
  4. I know I’m quiet. You don’t have to tell me that. If you would like to talk about it, you can ask me why I think I am so quiet. But then please be interested in the answer; and it sounds selfish, but don’t turn the conversation back to you so quickly. You may need time and sometimes a whole lot of patience to get things out of us. But you know, we take the time to listen to you talk and sometimes that requires a whole lot of patience on our side too. So are we even?

I don’t mind being an introvert. Sometimes I don’t mind not having to say anything. Most times, I prefer being by myself; but I do enjoy getting to know people because the better I know them, the more comfortable I feel around them.

Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, quiet or talkative, shy or outgoing, I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below. Please share your experiences and if you have any helpful tips for getting along with people, feel free to share!

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19 responses »

  1. As a child I was afraid to even answer a question in class. I would stand up and only a whisper would come out. Though I was still extremely shy in high school and college, I forced myself into situations that would require me to speak to groups – it was really hard. Now I love speaking in front of large groups, but it took a lot of work on my part to reach that point.

    • Thank you for sharing! For me, I think speaking TO groups of people isn’t as hard as speaking WITH or in a group.
      I was a really shy kid too. I’m glad you feel more comfortable now. 🙂

  2. I’m technically an introvert, but I have extrovert tendencies. I talk a lot when I’m around other people, and when I’m in a group setting, I tend to take on a “class clown” role, cracking jokes/telling funny stories.

    However, being social DRAINS me. I’d much prefer staying home or hanging out with close friends/family. When I go out/find myself amongst strangers, I immediately feel like I’m on stage and have to “perform”. Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I have fun on that stage, but yeah. It’s a lot of work, and I usually can’t wait to sneak off and be alone for awhile.

  3. An Introvert gets their energy from being alone. That is where they are most comfortable. When they interact with others, they lose that energy, which is why being around people for a long time tires Introverts out. Extraverts, on the other hand, get their energy from people around them. They are most comfortable in a social situation. A group of introverts are like an energy buffet to an extravert. (That’s why being social drains you Jenspenden, you are feeding your extravert friends.) Introverts are not friendless unsociable loners; being social and talking is not an ‘extravert’ characteristic. The difference is purely where they get their energy/where they are most comfortable. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Shyness is something completely different. You can be an extrovert and still be shy. You can be an introvert and not be shy at all (like Jenspenden and I).

    Personally i think you are a little of both, but maybe it’s just that you like to consider what you say, and it’s meaning, before you say it. There is nothing wrong with any of those things. It’s just the majority of people don’t understand something unless they have experienced it themselves, which makes them brush it off or make flippant remarks like the ones you have had about the amount you talk (or don’t talk).

    • I was thinking about clarifying the definitions of extro- and introversion. I totally agree with you. That’s why I kind of tried to point out that I am an introvert AND shy, quiet, etc. There are definitely many different combinations and every person is unique.
      What kind are you, Naomi?

      • I’m a totally non-shy extremely talkative introvert. 😀 My myers-briggs personality profile explains it best. its part of my 10 facts on my liebster award post. i’m an INFJ.

  4. Are you sure you’re not describing me?? Ha! I am the exact same way!!! 100% introvert. People ask me the same questions. ‘Why don’t you say something?’ ‘I want to hear your opinion on this.’ ‘You’re quiet tonight, is everything ok?’ Then I never know how to respond to that. I’m all like “umm…yeah I’m fine. Just tired {or whatever other excuse I come up with}” I really appreciate when my husband is with me because he always tells people “She’s a thinker. She’s quiet and listens, but when she says something, it’s probably important and you better be listening.”

  5. As an introvert I completely understand! I saw a nice quote on a store sign today which read: “If you want to be boring, say everything.” It is an admirable thing to want to only speak when there is something worth saying.

  6. I loves this post! I’m not shy but I hate small talk and I too have had so many people comment on my “quietness”. After a while it can definitely get annoying, especially when you consider the fact that no one ever calls people loudmouths to their faces! It’s an unfair double standard but since loudness is (for some strange reason) revered and quietness is associated with timidity and/or weakness introverts are constantly shamed for simply being who they are.

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