There’s a common idea, even among some introverts, that introversion is the misanthrope’s gene, cured only through spiteful solitary confinement.
Funny, then , how it seems like the internet has placed a premium on introversion. I think it’s used an excuse to goof off behind the screen and not engage with one’s environment.
It’s wrong to label the introvert as a recluse. Owning my image as an introvert has made me more outgoing. Here’s how.
Pain is a signal, not a rejection
Introversion is the quality of losing energy from social interactions.
It does not mean despising interactions. Some introverts like to go out — it just drains them.
Why is this so difficult to understand? Can’t you think of other activities that exhaust you and are also enjoyable?
Of course, fitness comes to mind. A good workout naturally comes with some pain. A quitter uses this pain as a sign that he doesn’t like working out. An athlete uses pain as a signal that fatigue is near, and plans appropriately.
Similarly, I do not use introversion as an excuse for a boring night in. I see my “introvert burnout” as a guide for planning my social life.
The introvert blitzkrieg
My weekend plans are idiosyncratic: I’m either out late into the night, hopping around multiple events, or I’m in bed by 8.
This pattern is not by accident.
As an introvert, my energy to socialize comes in spurts. This has focused me to channel my endeavors to high-value activities. Going out can be so draining that even a relaxing night of reading or TV could be too much — I just need to sleep!
Long, drawn-out social sessions are awful. People often wear out their welcome at social events, not wanting to seem rude by leaving early. But really, everyone is just waiting for someone to say the first goodbye. As an introvert, I will gladly be “that guy” — and people often thank me for it!
I have learned that a series of brief check-ins works best for my energy levels. Call it the “introvert blitzkrieg” — cocktails at a networking event, check out a new exhibit, dinner with a buddy and that’s a night! This allows me to experience more with less boredom.
Introverts: Caves Optional
I see introverts and extroverts like I see sprinters and marathoners. They’re two different approaches to fitness, one no better than the other. I tend to sprint with my “introvert blitzkreig,” while others may be in for the long run. A fulfilling social life is possible with either.
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