Saturday, April 27, 2013

[Human Blitherings.] A Ramble about Introverts.

I think the most important thing to any introvert is a safe place to retreat to. It has to be a place that other people can't enter without the introvert's cooperation; whether an office, a bedroom, an apartment, it has to be theirs and theirs alone.  There needs to be a place that they can be left alone and feel no pressure to be with anyone else. A place whether they can do what they want, to refocus, to reenergize and be themselves. I'm not saying noone is welcome, typically a partner who can humour the introvert's ways is welcome, as is any family who does the same, but for the most part, it's very much theirs and respected to be their space.

Introverts, by nature, either are "on" or "off." The "on" mode is the mode they take when they're around others. The stereotype is introverts are antisocial, but the truth is far from that. I am an introvert and I'm quite social. I'm happy go lucky, I like meeting people, I love talking with people, I love travelling, I enjoy new experiences. But, all of those things take energy from me and I need a time and place to recharge. When I don't have that opportunity to recharge I become, quite rapidly, like a caged animal. There are some who don't bring out that need to perform, to expend energy. There are people who I can trust to just sit and be without expecting anything of me. They don't pester with questions and wanting attention, they don't try to engage, they just let me be. Partners who don't respect that tend to go out the door pretty quickly. My family recognizes this and mostly respect it. It would be easier, of course, for everyone, if my brother and I's introvert cycles were ever in synch.

I'm told extroverts get their energy from exchanging ideas and being with people. I find that drains my energy and I need time to myself to recharge. It's why I rarely stay with others for long; that private space is impossible to achieve. Even if your hosts leave you be, there's still an expectation of socialization. While I am a performer at heart, I love to entertain whether with verbal or written stories and humour, there's only so much steam in the engine.  Often when I get home from travel I lock myself in my home for as long as I can get away with before I wander back into the world of the social. The fact that I'm in pretty sorry shape physically after travelling is a happy coincidence.

I'm told I'm a good counsellor; a good listener. The problem is, when someone just keeps treading over the same ole ground over and over I get bored and restless. It's very hard for me not to say "Do you even listen to yourself?" Or when people feel the need to point out what I consider obvious, I find it hard not to say "Yeah, and?" I don't deal with ego well, which is humorous since I have quite the ego on my own. I don't deal with negative attention whores (those who need attention and will steal it at any cost and do not like others to have attention) well. I've never quite worked out if it's an introvert trait to be the unwilling counsellor to every Tom, Dick and Harriet, or if it's just a me trait.

I've noticed most bunny people tend to be introverts, I think it's probably because that rabbits themselves tend to be. Look at how long it takes them to accept somebun new to their territory! They too require their safe retreat where they don't have to deal with anyone or anything. They too have their time of "Yeah yeah, talk away, just don't expect more than grunts in reply."

Sometimes I wish I could have a way to express the need to be left alone without offending. Extroverts just don't understand, I won't say they don't *try* to understand, but I've yet to find any extrovert who doesn't sit near the introvert personality line who groks it. How do you say to someone "I don't want to deal with humanity at the moment, how about tomorrow?" without them taking it personally? It's not that we introverts prefer our own company, it's just that sometimes we need our own company with no expectations or wants from others attached.

I think it all boils down to introverts need freedom. We need to be able to flap our wings and fly into the sky, to soar and sail, to do as we will, to be free. We also need someone to land for and to be with. Sometimes I think a great reality show would be "Introverts and the poor bastards who love them."


  1. We all need our own Space with peace and quiet from time to time and some more than others,Me I don't have time for people who ask for help and then don't listen or people I term idiots because when I make time for them I end up being in a bad mood and that's some thing I am not keen on and when I am doing something I like to be left alone to get on with it so who knows what that makes for Speedy introvert....Nah not a chance in hell,xx Rachel

  2. Speedy is an exceptional bun in many ways. :)

    Oh yeah, those people peeve me too! "Why the (blankety blank) did you ask me if you aren't going to listen to me?" I don't mind (so much) the people who already know what you're going to say but need to hear it anyway.. but the people who just want to whine for the sake of whining regularly.. gah! No! Energy sucks the lot of them!

    Everyone needs to vent sometimes. I know I do my fair share! But still, those Debbie Downers who forever throw their pity parties can do it away from me thankyouverymuch!

  3. Everything you said and then some.

    People tend not to believe me when I say that I'm an introvert who does a good job at playing an extrovert. That is because they only see the lively and energetic side of me; the crazy chick who talks a mile a minute about anything and everything. They don't get to see the woman who can't leave the house some days because she just can't deal with people, who sometimes needs a good cry and a nap for no reason whatsoever. I have little tolerance for morons and little patience for fools, and gawd help you if you catch me on a bad day if you're a drama queen, you may get an earful.

  4. Great post! I am definitely an introvert, too. And yes, introverts aren't antisocial at all. I am married to a flaming extrovert, though, and this requires a lot of balancing for the two of us. Mainly in how we interact with other people as a couple. I never thought about bunny lovers being a predominately introverted group. But yes! It does make sense to me.

  5. Right, yup, you said it. That explains so much which I never thought about a lot. For me, living in my own apartment, even the cat becomes too much in my space so into the vehicle I head and drive aimlessly. Generally I end up in a quiet place I've found and go for a hike. I'm alone, I connect, and I recharge. The camera helps too as I can disassociate from those around me and focus solely on the image in front of me. It is what I had to do when I was in Halifax as the need to be alone hit hard just after I landed. Not the best thing to have happen when you travel across the country for three days to capture a Tall Ship Festival. Thanks for clarifying my confusion.