Quiet people have the loudest minds.
– Stephen Hawkings
What is an INTROVERT?
An INTROVERT is someone who is considered to be shy or reticent with others.
I am an Introvert and this definition does not wholly do justice to the Introvert personality type, we are more complex than people think as we are often highly sensitive people (HSP). We feel emotions strongly and often are serious over-thinkers. This means that the noise in our minds can be pretty loud and when you add in the mix of a highly charged emotional situation – we easily develop sensory overload.
In large group situations, we are challenged to survive the barrage of noise and emotions on display. In order to protect ourselves, we try to find a quiet place to rebalance, or after such an event, we will seek solace in our safe sanctuary to calm down and soothe ourselves. We will be drained physically and emotionally. Many Extroverts do not understand how certain enviroments drain us, while they will feel invigorated (buzzing) after attending the same event.
Introverts are bright people with much to offer the world.
They just prefer one-to-one, or small group, interaction.
By the time I was in my 20s, I had learned the skill of MASKING. It was a mechanism I adopted to help cope with all the challenges and social aspects of my life at that time. I had moved to London, and then to Paris, for work and social engagements were a vital part of the role. Ask most people who knew me back then and they would have said I was an EXTROVERT. However, my close friends knew that there were times when I would need to hide away, needing ‘alone time’ to rebalance and recharge.
As I have gotten older, I know myself better and understand how important it is for me to have space to myself. Boundaries are one way to put up protection and enforcing them is an important part of my self-care. Of course, there are always events or circumstances that you can’t get out off and for these occasions I aim to have time before and afterwards to rebalance my mind and body. Before I walk into a room filled with people, I imagine myself in a bubble of protection to help protect my energy from ‘energy vampires’ and put on my sociable mask. I will admit it does depend on the people in attendance – if it is close friends and people I enjoy their company, then it is less of an ordeal.
Here are some of the things I do to help recover:
- Sit in my garden in peace and enjoy the nature around me
- Listen to music that calms me (I love classical piano)
- Listen to a meditation
- Walk by the sea
- Read a book I enjoy (and if I’m really exhausted, I will close my eyes and listen to an audio book)
- Do some breathing exercise
- So some simple energy recovery practices
- Grounding – walk barefoot on the grass, or swim in the sea
These are a few of the things I choose to do, but you might find that putting on upbeating music and dancing alone works for you, or you might prefer to journal about your day.
Being alone is not isolation – it is nourishment
for the Introvert’s Soul
If you wish to know about INTROVERTS, please listen/watch Episode 7 of the ‘Heart and Soul’ show with myself and the incredible Caroline Palmy when we discuss how it is to be an introvert and simple ways to help you cope if you too are an introvert.