Last week, I read an interesting post by Lisa Braithwaite on LinkedIn. She mentioned that she is a shy introvert, and it completely resonated with me. She also posted a link to an article, which I read. The article raised a few questions; let me give you an example:
While you feel confident connecting with others, you also find alone time rewarding.
Now, I imagine this is the case for a lot of people. I wouldn't say that I always feel confident connecting with others, especially in-person. It takes me a while to align myself with the surroundings, and this can have many factors determining it - how many people are around, how many people I know, if there's an 'escape route' if I need to 'escape', the noise level and the general atmosphere. Again, I imagine this is the same for many others. Another determining factor is how my body stigma is affecting me that day. And I know that people don't care how big or small I am, but it still bothers me somewhat.
A few years ago, I went on a health kick and dropped many stones. Looking back at photos of me then, I think I look too slim - there's never pleasing some people! So, as I approach the mid-forties point, I'm determined to work on this and attempt to not care (so much) about my body stigma.
Once I've got comfortable with the surroundings, or I can 'cling' to someone I know fairly well, I tend to relax a bit. And this is when the possibility of over-speaking happens. It's maybe a nervous thing, but sometimes you can't shut me up. Likewise, in small groups with people I know well, I can be the life of the party - but this changes in large group situations.
After being sociable for so long, the need to escape is strong. It's almost like I've over-socialled. I may leave bigger gatherings early, or make excuses to leave - but this has nothing to do with the people I'm with. It's just a feeling that overtakes me. The same thing happens with invites. I might receive an invite somewhere, and accept almost immediately - and then when the time comes to leave, the introvert fear appears again. Most times I go, but occasionally, I may cancel.
Anyway, I wanted to write this, not for any particular reason, but to share my experience of introversion in the guise of extroversion.
And if you see me at an upcoming face-to-face event - like the ELT Freelancers' Awayday this week - you'll know what's going on in my head. At least I'm not speaking publicly this time! That's an experience maybe I'll leave for another post!