On Introversion

Learning I’m an introvert gave me permission to feel the way I feel and to like the things I like. I never understood the appeal of crowds, or parties, or dating around. I grew up in a home with two extroverted parents, who definitely had an understanding and respect for my introverted needs. Maybe it wasn’t always as smooth as I would have liked, but I was definitely fortunate in that I wasn’t often completely trampled when I wanted something different.

I had a wide circle of friends as a child and a teenager. Things tapered off after I got married, moved a few times, and am now floating somewhere in between where I was and what I idealize.

But I wonder if introversion has given us a standard set of terms that we hold ourselves to. If it’s like a box that we try to fit into, because, let’s face it, that box is pretty dang comfy and cozy.

I’ve wondered if I’ve used my introversion as an excuse to just sit out of things, events, and cut off friendships that actually really matter to me. I expect everyone to be understanding and when they’re not or when those relationships inevitably dwindle, I’m somehow caught off guard as if I never expected it.

Learning of our introversion should be used as a gateway to understanding ourselves (and others) better, not as an excuse to bail on people. Though our needs have to be honored, that’s the only way we’ll function at our best. I suppose it’s a balancing act. And I’m beginning to learn how to manage it all.

Do you struggle finding balance between introvert needs and actively participating in other relationships? What things have you found helpful to balancing these different needs?

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