So there I was, in Barnes and Noble, staring at all of the titles in the Psychology section. I wanted to purchase every one and just sit and read them. I have always loved to read. When I was younger, if you asked my family where I was, they would say that I was downstairs in my room, reading. In fact, one of my favorite memories was when I would come home from school, and the next book in my favorite series would be laying on my bed with a cute note from my mom in it. This has happened on multiple occasions and it meant so much to me. I have always loved to read, and it wasn’t till this particular book that I realized something. I am an introvert.
I have always thought that I was an introvert, but I never truly believed it. Until recently, I thought that introverts were people who hated being around other people. And, I don’t hate being around people. I love each persons story and energy that they bring to the world. I thought that introverts are like all of the really weird cat ladies, but it turns out I was totally wrong. I got the book “The Secret Lives of Introverts” by Jenn Granneman from Barnes and Noble and I learned so much.
First, I learned that I am an introvert and that introverts like people. Introverts just get overstimulated when they are around major groups of people for long periods of time. When I read about that, I felt the fireworks go off in my head. I realized that I am not the only one who experiences this.
I have always felt so guilty for not really wanting to go out and socialize with people that I do not know. I have such a hard time in big groups of people, even if its family. I think it is all the energy in the room or maybe its the small talk that I absolutely hate, but I just would rather be at home. Often I would come home after spending time with lots of people and just feel exhausted. My mom always says that she has more energy after being with people, but I have never had that happen to me with large groups of people.
My parents have been worried about me and my social life since we have moved. Even throughout High School I never really did anything with any of my friends because I had just seen them all day at school and spent 2 hours with them at practice. I never really had energy to do anything after that. Now, I am finishing college, getting ready to start my first year of teaching, balancing a long distance relationship, family and trying to keep myself sane. I am already exhausted, I can’t imagine what would happen if I tried to attend a social event every night… But, I learned that I am okay the way that I am. This is normal for people who are introverts like me.
I have always thought I was a home body, and I am, but I also realized that I am at home so much in the evenings, because I get overstimulated after spending a whole day working with big groups of people in school and I need to recover so I can make it through the next day. And guess what? It is totally okay that I am that way. I don’t need to feel the guilt anymore.
After reading this book, I have figured out so many WHY’s behind why I do the things I do. I loved learning that other introverts have the same problem I do. I learned why people often have a different idea of who I am when they first meet me. Often when people that I have known for a while tell me about what they thought of me when they first met me, they all same the same thing “I was intimidated by you” or “I thought you hated me” or “I thought you were going to be really mean, but you aren’t”. Turns out, many introverts have this same problem.
I promise that even though I am 6 feet tall, I like to think that I am not too scary. I don’t hate anyone really, and I am not usually mean. But, I have my moments. But, when you first see me, or even if you have seen me multiple times, I probably have the same look on my face. It’s my concentrating look, but often people view it as a really mean looking face. I promise, when I am mad, you really will know, but most of the time I really am just constantly in thought. I am always thinking and concentrating on something. Whether it is about what I need to do that day, or what I could do to be a better person, or even how the moon became shaped to look like a face. Really, I am always thinking about something and trying to make it make sense. Maybe that is why I like Psychology so much.
Anyways, I just wanted to share this book and the things that I learned from it, because I think there is someone else out there, like me, who has been trying to figure out the bits and pieces of who they are. Maybe they haven’t been able to figure it out and need a little bit of inspiration.
I am just starting to discover the parts that make up who I am, and why I am the way that I am, but it all leads back to one thing.
I am a child of God. He loves me. He created me as an introvert and my many other qualities because he knew that was what the world needed. I have always loved the saying that, God made this world. Everything beautiful, and everything with a purpose. How great is it that he looked at the world and thought that we needed one of you?
There is so much truth in that. Each of us have those things that we are learning about ourselves. Maybe we are even frustrated with ourselves because we aren’t like the other people that we know. But, God didn’t intend for us to be like that. Instead, he wants us to use our gifts, or personality, our genetics, our thoughts, our ideas, our words, to make a difference in the lives of others.
What is a way that you can turn OUTWARD this week and use yourself, ALL OF YOU to help someone else?