October 09, 2012

coffee talk ~ (not) an introvert


i've always hated labels. and it annoys me when someone calls me an...


introvert


this summer, there were a few instances where people called me introverted, and it bugged me.  i don't know why.

okay... sure, i like to spend more time lounging with my kitties than i care to admit online. and yeah, sometimes i'd rather stay home and watch portlandia reruns, than go out to bars and 'network' with people who are really just faking a connection in order to get something out of you.

but when i'm around those who i feel comfortable with, i'm cheerful and outgoing. and i like it that way.

i have an uncle who is always the life of the party when he's around family, and out at gigs (he's also a musician), he's the funniest, most charming guy you'll ever meet. but he's a very private person, and when he needs his space... he needs his space! this is much like me.

also- i think there are certain types of people and situations that can drain you much faster than others. i just can't jive with those who want to have one-sided conversations, and constantly keep bringing things back to themself.

maybe i already know that person will never even hear a word i have to say. maybe i don't want to scream over a table full of already screaming people (it's bad for your voice!) in either case, i'm not going to waste my energy on trying to be heard, when that is very unlikely. if that makes me an introvert, so be it.

talkative


i guess when it comes down to it, i just feel that people aren't one-dimensional... at all. they are never one thing or the other. even the most extreme "extrovert" camp counselor this summer was rarely seen out at social events, and reportedly slept for three days straight when she came back. it can be very tiring to be constantly outgoing.

i just choose to ration my efforts.


anyone else out there feel especially introverted or extroverted? somewhere in between, like me? xx




chantilly

♥ listen to my new record on bandcamp
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33 comments

  1. I've been feeling very much like you lately. I really have no desire to go out and spend time with peoplewho are only looking out for themselves. After having our second daughter I have become very introverted. I was always very social but private at the same time. I need my space just as much as anyone else.

    Thank you for writing such a great post. I'm not a big fan of labels myself. Everyone is more complicated than a label makes them out to be.

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    1. thank you kat, i agree :)

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  2. I'm definitely the same way... I'm really talkative and outgoing around people I know, but otherwise I'm really quiet! People tend to think I'm shy, but I'm not.

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  3. I can totally relate to this post. As a child I was labeled as extremely shy and later as an introvert. Once that label stuck, it almost felt like when I was around the people (my classmates) who thought of me that way, that's how I always acted. I became uncomfortable which of course only reinforced my shyness. Thankfully, when I went off to college and left all those people behind I was able to "reinvent" myself. I came out of my shell. I never became the life of the party and I was still sometimes referred to as "quiet" but I was able to carry on conversations with people without feeling anxious. Big change! Now I rarely feel shy at all.
    Even with all this, I am still fundamentally the same person. I NEED my alone time. It's how I recharge. Being around people or even just one person for any length of time really drains me. I get super cranky if I cant have my "me" time. The more, the better!! If given the choice between hanging out with friends or spending that time snuggling on the couch with my cat, I will always choose the cat! ;)

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    1. exactly! i did this same thing- i've reinvented myself a few times. i have a friend who always says how awesome i am at connecting with random strangers all the time!!! other people see me and apparently think "oh hey- it's chantilly the introvert." and i do agree- once you are tagged with something, it starts to stick in the minds of everyone, including yourself.

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  4. I call myself an introvert mostly just because I value my alone time way more than I value socializing, but that doesn't mean I don't socialize ever--or that I don't have fun while doing it! I'm with you, though, networking is awful. It feels so fake and like a staged dance where everyone knows the ending but you have to do the moves anyway. Ugh.

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    1. ugh yes, the dreaded "networking." oh, the desperation of it all...

      sometimes, i do like those sorts of situations- like next week in nyc is cmj, which i LOVE. because it's assumed that everybody there is involved in music, and wants to meet people. for me, it's easier to break the ice this way. i used to go crazy trying to talk to OMG EVERYONE. but now, i just bump into whoever. i'll compliment someone on their tie, or shoes if i want to start a conversation. they'll respond if they want to. i don't force. i'll meet who the universe wants me to meet. i'll stay in touch with those i'm meant to. i've met some of my best friends this way :)

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  5. I'm kind of stuck in the middle. You couldn't have said it any better. I'm shy and I can be a homebody, family kind of gal. I adore me time of just sitting around playing my instruments and writing, and cooking and all that jazz - but when I warm up to you, I can be completely opposite and can be silly as ever and "life of the party" - so I've been told. Whatevs. I've never been much into labels either :) Have an amazing week darling! xo Marisa

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  6. I definitly know what you mean... when I am together with only one or two persons I can be really talkative and fun, but as soon as there are more people I can't speak fluently any longer. I get sooo nervous when more than four eyes look at me. Only with my close family (around 15 people) I can be talkative where I am in a larger group. And labels where never good, for nothing! They are like stereotyping.

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    1. it is like stereotyping. i get that the brain is always seeking an easy way to categorize a person. but i just think that the actual humans attached to it are so much more complex than just a checkbox. it's not just regarding introversion/ extroversion, either. it's applicable in so many other ways.

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  7. I feel in between too. But im probably more on the introverted side. I usually don't speak unless i have something to say, and im usually outgoing only if a. I have to be or b. I'm really hyper. I will also talk more when im around people I'm comfortable with. But otherwise, i still have a hard time iniating conversations and being able to talk about anything at all.

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    1. yeah... sometimes there really is nothing to say!

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  8. i think it really depends on the situation for me. i can generally be a quiet person so sometimes people think i am shy or an introvert— when that is not the case at all (i just like to assess situations fully and to "take everything in"). like if i'm in a room of friends and there is a "new person" and i can tell they feel nervous or awkward then it is really easy for me to talk to them and help them open up and feel welcome.

    but sometimes you just don't wanna talk about yourself, ya know? like when i am at work, i am there to work. i wanna do my job and make a living— not gossip or talk about every detail of my entire personal life. perhaps that is harsh, but i don't really think it's my boss' place to try to be my friend or follow me on twitter or know about my blog. so to him i probably seem like an introvert? and as much as i'd like to open up to people at work, i have to remind myself that i work for a corporation— and a little bit of privacy can go a long way.

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    1. haha- yeah. i think it's a boss's place to know that not all of your employees want to be bff's, and befriend each other on social media. :P

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  9. I am an introvert! And it doesn't mean that you don't enjoy hanging out with people, it doesn't mean that you spend all of your time inside and are anti social. It just means that while extroverts thrive on attention and people, introverts just need a break from it. I love hanging out with my friends, I have fun with them and do it when I can, but afterwards I just want to be left alone for a few days. I find it exhausting to be around people all the time.

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  10. Well I think i'm something in between, i love to stay at home, but when i go out i'm the kind of person who smile at you or say good morning or good night, so no, i'm not shy.
    I love to make new friends and i have friends froms different ages, which is weird since i'm 33yo and i can talk perfectly with people under my age or older than me, maybe because i work in a highschool and kids in someway relate to me, idk.

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  11. are you me? I can totally relate to this, haha.

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  12. I by no means consider myself an introvert (and I don't think my friends do either), but I avoid loud crowded situations at all costs. I'd much rather be at home sitting on the couch with my kitties than in a crowded bar. When I don't have to scream (or speak to idiots at a bar) I consider myself pretty darn outgoing. I think I am like you...I am an extrovert in the right situations.
    Tara
    Penniless Socialite

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    1. i know... i can't think in a loud bar. how can anybody talk? x

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  13. I can completely agree, I get pegged as introverted a lot as well. Although, I used to be a hair dresser before I became an event coordinator and I had to learn to be a little more outgoing in the sense of being able to hold a conversation with anybody. I still love to read a book with a cup of coffee or glass of wine and be the happiest girl ever, but I also look forward to sharing the wine, the coffee, and the books with friends and family.

    I'm with you, we aren't one-dimensional.

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  14. You are not alone. I've always been labeled "shy". But really I get seriously drained by eccentric people, especially people who try too hard to get a good impression. I like to be surrounded by caring, genuine people (which is hard to come by). These type of people bring out the best in me and insinuate loads of energy. I guess I'm just picky with who I "extrovert" myself around.

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  15. Here from the blog hop! Your blog is darling! As for me, I use to be very outgoing, and still am, but with age, I've developed a lot of introvert tendencies. By this I mean, I really enjoy spending time by myself, and now I enjoy doing things with people or by myself. I can go either way, and it really doesn't matter for me. I also don't do big parties or bars anymore. I like everything to be low-key or I stay at home (and blog). =) -Jessica L

    THEJESSICALBLOG.COM

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  16. This is a great post! Most people think of me as extremely extroverted and don't realize that I'm actually incredibly shy/awkward a lot of the time.

    Also, I'm like you, girl: I need my space! O.O

    Thanks for sharing!

    xo

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  17. That sounds introverted to me! I'm an introvert, and it's widely accepted that it's not absolute. 100% extroversion, or 100% introversion simply doesn't exist. Everyone just leans over to one side or the other (with a few split right down the middle). In this big bad world, nothing is absolute. Have you watched Susan Cain's TED talk on introversion? I recommend it! http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

    Alli xx

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    1. well... call me whatever you want. i still don't like to be labeled as such.

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  18. I've always been puzzled by the word "introvert". I think most of the people who have met me but don't really know me label me with that adjective. I don't think that's totally accurate, though. Like you, I feel very comfortable and I may even be an extrovert when I'm surrounded by my people. I can talk about whatever and do not feel shy at all. My problem is that I get too anxious and shy when I'm expected to be sociable and schmooze. Also, I try not to speak about personal struggles and fears not because I'm a private person, but because I don't like to upset my loved ones.

    And I've also met a lot of people who look very extreme and extroverted, but when it comes to sharing their feelings and private issues, they tend to hold back.

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    1. "I've also met a lot of people who look very extreme and extroverted, but when it comes to sharing their feelings and private issues, they tend to hold back."

      YES, YES, YES. i think this is a big point for me that i totally missed in the post. when i talk with a lot of so-called "textbook extroverts," it is so hard to get a sense of them. like REAL actual sense of who they are. it's buried beneath that exterior.

      also, something i just realized while looking through all these responses, is that there seems to be a negative connotation that goes along with being introverted, which is maybe why i resent the term so much...

      synonyms related to being introverted on thesaurus.com- bashful, cautious, restrained, secretive, withdrawn

      extroverted- cordial, friendly, gregarious, personable, sociable


      which one does it sound like society values more?

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  19. I LOVED this post. I hate when people call me an extrovert but then call me anti-social when I'm not feeling like entertaining. I loved these lines so much:

    "than go out to bars and 'network' with people who are really just faking a connection in order to get something out of you."

    "i think there are certain types of people and situations that can drain you much faster than others."

    "maybe i don't want to scream over a table full of already screaming people"

    Everything you worded is just spot-on. I just want to share this post with my real life friends and family so next time they think I'm being "anti-social" or "introverted" they can really understand.

    Thankyou! :)

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  20. I love hanging out with my friends and being social, but I wouldn't call myself an extrovert. I definitely need lots of alone time to "recharge my batteries," especially after social time.

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  21. I saw this post via your About Page and clicked because I find discussion of who people behave/what they need to be happiest interesting.

    In all my psychology classes introvert meant a person who "recharged" so to speak with downtime, and who had/desired different amounts of stimulation as compared to an extrovert (generally people who got energy from being around others and might feel run down from too long alone.) I think it too often gets mixed up with "shy" or "dislikes people" and that's not it at all! It is too bad because then it results in people saying introverted as they did about you- as if it was not entirely positive. It isn't positive or negative. It just is and that's great. Thanks for the thought provoking post.

    www.withoutastyle.com

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  22. "i just can't jive with those who want to have one-sided conversations, and constantly keep bringing things back to themself."

    Along those lines, I find it unpleasant when someone strikes up conversation with me, but every time I want to insert a line he subconsciously raises his voice to make sure his narrative continues. Hard to want to get a word in after that happens a few times.

    You mentioned being bothered by being called introverted, but especially after reading Susan Cain's "Quiet" I am proud of the label, though it is being called "shy" that has bothered me, as it implies that I am scared to make connections with people. I am not; I simply do not want to talk for the sake of talking, or sometimes I don't have anything to say (I prefer listening).

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