What People Who Aren't Introverts Don't Understand About Us...


"Identify the people and activities that are most nourishing to you and put your greatest strengths into action and actively seek those out. If we try to compete on extrovert terms, we will always feel lesser. When we understand who we are, what we need and want, and what we do best, we can start succeeding on our own terms." ~Sophia Dembling

This week, I'm going out on a limb. I'm writing something very different from what I would normally write. I'm baring all, and going raw in a way I haven't done in several months.

Because I'm tired.

I'm tired of the world overwhelming me. And it has been a LOT lately.

I recently went on vacation, hoping I would come back and that overwhelm would be gone. In a way, it only provided more intense feelings about the life I really want, as opposed to some things I'm having to do right now I'd rather not be doing (like still working full time).

It brought to the forefront my need to really fully embrace the present moment mentality.

But the reality is - it's necessary. Not only for my own personal growth and evolution (to learn lessons that still need to be learned in this season), but for financial reasons.

On any given day though, I look around my environments and wish to God someone knew what I was feeling - how the world feels to me. That maybe - just maybe, it feels different to me than it does to them. And they shouldn't assume that I feel the same way about something they do.

That I'm also highly sensitive, so loud noises really really bother me at a cellular level. I can't stand sudden loud surprises of any kind, including chronic complaining or negativity. That calling me out in front of someone else, whether online or otherwise, is the worst thing they could possibly do to me EVER. And that abrasively manipulating me creates an emotional storm they do not want to be in. It can last for months.

That I feel way more from those surrounding me than I care to sometimes - which is frustrating because then you get labeled as narcissistic - I mean....why would you not want to feel what others feel more often? Don't all people wish they could be more empathetic? (The answer is no, by the way).

That every moment doesn't need to be filled with conversation. Can we just "be" for 5 minutes? Everything doesn't need to be pointed out - if it's obvious, let it be.

How in any given moment, the colors I see are super vibrant - beyond what I think anyone else sees. Sometimes they are too much.

That any time of day, I'm likely processing hundreds of thoughts in a 5-minute time frame, while also trying to figure out how to fix each of them, whether I was asked to or not. 

That I fully understand the difference between aloneness and loneliness, but the emotions attached to both of those sometimes send mixed signals.

Music soothes me. Reading soothes me. Talking on the phone rarely soothes me - if I feel it's a deep conversation where there's truly sharing & listening going on, I'm more likely to want to engage in this way with another person - otherwise, I'm dreading it every time.

My spiritual life is what I cling to in the absolute toughest of times - there's an identity I've found there that helps subside feelings of insignificance in the world I feel intensely otherwise.

Seeing the homeless, needy, or hurting is a pain I can't usually express to others. And no, it doesn't matter if they're at fault or not - it's irrelevant to my emotional draw to their pain. Completely irrelevant. I will feel it regardless. And I may even need to cry about it - until something helps the identification with their pain subside.

Confrontation is really something I dread - and will usually avoid at all costs. Why? Because my deep inner life is already so strong. Why would I want to add to that depth with disruption? If I get hurt in a scenario of words exchanges, I will likely feel it for days, weeks, or months after. Don't ever assume what I'm wanting is to fight with you or have a confrontation - it's quite the opposite, so please give me the benefit of the doubt.

My alone time is sacred - spiritual even. It's where my proverbial batteries re-charge. It's when everything on the surface, like hot lava, is allowed to penetrate beneath the surface of a seemingly rough terrain & exterior. 

I need support too. Introverts are notorious for drawing everyone and their problems - a lot. It is a great quality to have this depth people feel, but sometimes it's just enough. It's draining. We need support too - and sadly, there are few people who understand this about us. They think "support" is a quick 2 minutes of saying "I understand" repeatedly on the phone or nodding their head in agreement. That doesn't feel like support very often - engaging in the conversation feels like support. For once, trying to feel what we feel instead of trying to "fix" us feels like support. Most people just simply aren't up for the challenge. We know this - we continue to hope for those who are to come into our lives.

So we continue to roar within - seething with the infrequent emotional storms others see us as. When really, those moments are just us asking for support or saying we've temporarily had enough - you can trust when that happens, the storm has been roaring for some time.

All of this....

And I feel the world asking me on a day-to-day basis, "how strong can you be?"

Sometimes, I'll be honest - I have no idea how to answer. 

How do you?

Photo by Nick Arnot on Unsplash