Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ramblings of the Loudmouthed Introvert

I don't think most of the people in my life would call me an introvert.  To them I'm a social being, a chatterbox, a busybody.  But those who know me really well would disagree.  I know what you're thinking... "Aubrey is constantly on Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc.   She's obviously an extrovert."  But social media isn't the same as true, confrontational socializing; social media is passive-aggressive.  You have more personal control over what you present online.  Observant friends might notice that my smiles and rambling are merely symptoms of nervousness, that my eyes dart rapidly in crowds because I feel overwhelmed, that I have trouble remembering names when I am introduced to too many people at once.

During my trip to Hawaii, my longtime friend CF and I had a long conversation about what it's like for introverts in society.  She'd posted an article entitled "10 Myths About Introverts" on her Facebook wall, which I felt was very accurate.  Being an introvert doesn't automatically make you shy or quiet, it just means you are comfortable in your own thoughts and like to connect with people one-on-one instead of larger crowds.  I like to have fun, but I'm not an adrenaline junkie.  In most social settings I find I can really connect with at least one person, but not many more.  I make social mistakes, and sometimes it costs me friendships, but mostly only superficial ones.  I like to spend weekends at home on my own, sewing, reading, cooking, etc.  I am very comfortable in solitude, in the quiet.  And I think most folks who fall into the nerd/geek category are introverts to a degree; we don't need other people (or their approval) as much, but we do like them.

In the February 2012 issue of O Magazine, there is an article by Susan Cain, the author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, which really interested me.  I read every single word and felt like she really knew who I was.  And I love that she highlighted the ways that non-introverts can learn from introverts.  There's a lot to be gained from deeper conversations instead of small talk, reading more, listening to others, and wielding "soft" power in the ability to reassure and make alliances.  I also related to what she said about working better alone; I don't like collaboration as much as the time to work on my own performance.  I do like being a member of a team, but I am more creative and productive when alone.

After reading these articles, I'm glad to know I'm not alone, no pun intended!  :)


  1. Totally agree. I would say I'm quite introverted, but you wouldn't think that given the amount I tweet and share stuff on G+.
    Only exception to this is FB. I've fallen out of love with FB, the main reason being the poor spelling. I've ranted about that a lot today on my blog post. :)



  2. I actually think people who do most of their socializing through social media are more introverted than they may think themselves to be! Hiding in your phone/online is introverted, because there isn't the same interaction or social cues. (I make an exception for long-distance friendships, which I believe things like Facebook really help!)

    It is a double-edged sword to be sure.

  3. I guess when I move away from this area, where I have been born, educated and employed for the last 27 years, FB will become more important to me, but atm I'm the same as you, just use it to interact with people I can't see that often!

  4. I must have read a similar article a few years ago, and it made me feel a lot better about being introverted. For me, it's more about the energy it takes to be social and meet new people--I can do it, but it drains a lot of emotional energy out of me. And I need to recuperate in peace and quiet, especially after meeting a lot of new people. Here's my long-winded blog post about it.

  5. Jennifer, it is no wonder we get along! I could totally relate to your blog post. I also think my introverted nature is why I like cats... I think the dogs as extroverts and cats as introverts analogy generally works to describe my view of it all.


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