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I'm 'Mostly' An Introvert...and I'm Just Fine With It...

[ Alex, Danica and Willow are taking some chill time to gab and watch one of their favorite shows on HGTV. Veronica tries to join in, she's better with one to one chats, and group gatherings are difficult for her... so she veers off into her own thoughts. She's not unfriendly... she's just an introvert!]

Extrovert, Introvert what's the difference? Extroverts tend to be outgoing and really enjoy the company of others. An extrovert's personality is usually very comfortable and energized whilst being around others, and can easily make others feel comfortable in their presence. The flip side for extroverts is at times they tend to become restless, bored and or lonely when they'er alone. Many times while alone, extroverts will use their phone to text, call and reach out to someone to quell their feelings of needing to connect.

Introverts, However [ Like myself and London! ] are the exact opposite. We are absolutely comfortable with being without other people. What extrovert's often don't understand is that, while they feed on the company of people, an introverts energy often gets 'gobbled up' when they are interacting with others. This doesn't mean that we don't like people LOL!, We just prefer 'people light' :{} We also enjoy being in the company of those with whom we're close to be it friends or family. An example of an introvert's mindset would be; we'd prefer reading a book or indulging in our own endeavors to yapping with people. We're not aloof, anti-social, or unfriendly, titles introvert's are often labeled with, it's just our innate way of being. :()

According to studies, introverts have a longer neural path for processing stimuli, it's the path that's connected to long term memory. Simply put, it's far more complicated physiologically for introverts to process their interactions with others. We are usually monitoring our feelings and thoughts while trying to interact. Introverts need far less stimulation from their environment in order to function than extroverts do, this is why we can become easily overstimulated in our interactions. See, our brains function slightly differently! We're not really freaks! :{}

[This poor guy's just been invited to a neighborhood party!]

I've always been creative and even though I had friends to hang out with as a kid, I was perfectly happy doing my own thing. [ A plus because introvert's are usually less likely to become followers as we like to go our own way :() I'm NOT saying every extrovert is a mindless drone LOL! ] Oh, but if only we could give extroverts a glimpse inside our introverted brains! LOL Large gatherings like parties that may seem perfectly harmless, natural and fun for extroverts but for introverts, can be like waiting to have a tooth pulled! Parties often mean small talk, and it's an introverts Kryptonite! So often, my mind goes completely blank when trying to engage in small talk, or if I know ahead of time that I'm to be engaged in small talk I'll go over in my head 'subjects' to discuss to prevent that dreaded awkward silence! [ unless I'm familiar with you].

[ When everything is moving and shifting, the only way to counteract chaos is stillness. when things feel extraordinary, strive for ordinary. When the surface is wavy, dive deeper for quite waters. ~Kristin Armstrong ]

As one woman put it, she feels frustrated when explaining to someone that she needs time alone, and the other person replies "I need that too, once in a while", and the first woman replies no, you don't understand, alone time is my 'preferred mode' most of the time! One other example I believe most introverts can relate to, is being asked what you're up to or what did you do this weekend? Outside of the fact that in a introvert's mind these routine questions feel intrusive (again, nothing personal!), it falls into the category of the dreaded small talk LOL! We don't hate you...we're wired differently! I can tell you, that it's been so great over the years to meet and read about other introverts and their experiences, and to learn psychologically, and physiologically why we're this way, because we often feel like we're on the 'outside', or different, especially as children and young adults. In and we are different, and that's ok, because we aren't created in a factory like cookies!

The introvert mind requires less dopamine

[ most commonly associated with the pleasure areas of the brain, it provides feelings of happiness and that motivate us to keep engaged in activities we enjoy ] to have happy feelings than extroverts.

Furthermore, Most introverts brains operate on an Energy Conserving nervous system, while and extroverts brain runs on an Energy Spending nervous system. This explains why introverts can be perfectly content living in their own 'inner world' or observing, reading, or whatever solo activity that's appealing.

Introverts process ALL things in their surroundings and are acutely aware of the sensory details in an environment, including people. [ We're not ignoring you, we're just noticing & processing that loud intrusive truck going by, and why is no one else noticing the cool details in that amazing print on that woman's dress can't you see that it looks like a van Gogh painting? and those kids screaming! :{}

So you extroverts are probably thinking, how are we supposed to relate to you [freaks,... I mean people? LOL] Here are a few tips to make interactions with introverts flow better. Please speak more softly, in other words stop being so loud LOL!! Extreme voices cause us to feel overwhelmed, and invaded. Trust me, lowered voices will help you to relate so much better to introverted friends and family members!

Don't assume something negative in our relations if we turn down invites, now that you understand our need for consistent 'downtime', and you realize that we're not avoiding you ( unless you're incredibly annoying! Just joking!... Really :{] )

Learn to listen as introverts often aren't heard or listened to, but we do have rich thoughts and opinions as well as insightful contributions to add to a conversation, but because we're not loud or don't jump into a convo are often overlooked.

Lastly, don't lump all introverts into one basket. Many introverts are comfortable in a crowd, or have a posse of buddies. Many an entertainer has spoken of really being an introvert when they're not acting, singing or engaging an audience in some way.

God is incredibly creative and I believe has a sense of humor! He created each one of us in his own image, but with many varying degrees of differences. Whether you are introverted, extroverted or a mixture of the two, it's all just fine. We just have to remember to take the time to learn about one another instead of judging each other. We have to embrace our differences and learn to appreciate them because we are all brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters of God.

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. ~Romans 12:10

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