INTROVERTS THREAD ...shhhh, we're over here

(880 Posts)

Hello fellow introverts. I hope the last thread exploded due to time since it was started, and not because it was controversial. grin

I started the original thread after reading the wonderful book quiet and realizing that I was not alone.

Lots of people were kind enough to share their thoughts and experiences, and it was a good support for those of us who like being alone; hate parties, especially hen nights; love reading, crafting, walking, painting, creating; enjoy solitude; need some recovery time after being in a crowd; prefer thought to action.

We are not necessarily shy, we can be confident and even outspoken, but we are at our happiest having a bit of a think on our own, thanks all the same

It's a bit odd to have a group of introverts, but I prefer to think of us as a collective. Separate but together.

As Christmas approaches, I thought we might need a thread to help us through it all

SeagullsAreLikeThat Fri 16-Jan-15 19:51:58

Once again this had disappeared from my "Threads I'm on" and I had to go searching. Does it only stay in there for a certain time if no-one posts for a while, does anyone know? I like to keep checking in, even though there's only a flurry of activity every now and then.

I was away with work again this week and endured a dinner with 6 clients, who we know reasonably well. It was really interesting because in the group was one extremely vocal person who monopolised the conversation most of the time, a few people who chatted comfortably but at least three of us who clearly just wanted to be in our rooms, on our own with a book! It was such a relief when the first person left to go to bed and we all followed within minutes. I was so drained!

Scattrercushion Sun 04-Jan-15 20:53:36

I really enjoyed the Susan Cain book FWIW. It really clicked with me and I re read bits from time to time. The only thing I don't like is that there seems to be an introvert v extrovert thing ongoing. I don't think either of us are any better, maybe just need to be more considerate of each other.

Sunbeam18 Sat 03-Jan-15 23:03:25

Hi Watch! You sound very like me - I too feel compelled to 'be sociable' and don't give myself the time I need just to 'be'. I love the evenings that my partner is out IF our baby son goes to sleep easily at 8pm and I can decompress in silence with my cat. I hate having visitors. My home is my cave, a place for reenergising not socialising.
I got the Susan Cain book for Christmas! Do you highly recommend?

WatchWithMerlot Tue 30-Dec-14 11:03:27

Sunbeam- your Christmas present sounds like utter, utter heaven on earth. envy I hope you find the perfect book to take with you.

I'm envious of those of you who have already waved-off your xmas visitors. I've had the spectre of my in-laws' visit looming over my head for a week (original plans for them to come on Boxing Day were put on hold due to adverse weather but no concrete plan 'B' has been made yet, meaning their arrival day is imminent but still a mystery, and they've given no indication of how long they plan to stay).

I'm sure you can all imagine what this is doing to my mind! confused

WatchWithMerlot Tue 30-Dec-14 10:56:05

Oh my goodness. I've just stumbled across this thread on 'Active' topics, and I feel such relief at reading all the posts here- like a spiritual homecoming! I could have written all of these posts.

I too have led a completely conflicting life until now - on the one hand fantasising about being stranded alone on an island/being buried alive/living in a monastery etc, but on the other hand in possession of annoyingly good social and communication skills and a 'people-pleasing personality' which means that the way others see me (outgoing, chatty, confidant etc) is the polar opposite to my actual inner self.

I've just read Susan Cain's book and am having a complete lightbulb moment about all this... The penny's finally dropped for me re: the cause of my life-long (since the age of 5) depression and anxiety, and source of unease.

I'm forever saying 'yes' to everyone and everything, and completely denying myself the right to just be myself and please myself. I grew up an only child in a family of fellow introverts who also 'act' outgoing and chatty. I was brought up with a strong sense of duty to put others at ease (despite ones own needs/wants).

Right everyone, time for some New Years resolutions then I think wink !!

CateBlanket Tue 30-Dec-14 10:20:39

Chickengirl - Xmas Day was lovely, just DH, DD and me. Then we've had four consecutive days of visitors - including overnight guests fshock All gone now so I've taken to my bed with pretend flu!

Chickengirl Thu 25-Dec-14 18:33:14

How's everyone coping with the festivities? I managed fairly well with a house full today, but I must say I was relieved that they all left by about 4pm so we've had some time to ourselves too. Interestingly, dd1 who is quiet and shy like me, but who I wasn't sure whether she was also introverted, disappeared as soon as lunch was over. I found her in the living room alone and when I asked if she was ok she said yes, but she just wanted to be by herself for a bit. Seems she is introverted too.

SeagullsAreLikeThat Mon 22-Dec-14 14:12:11

Oh, board games!! My worst Christmas ever was when an ex, whose family were game-crazy, got one for Christmas where you had to do forfeits and put silly accents on and quote lines from films in character. My idea of hell!

I had to laugh yesterday: DS1 and I did park run for the first time and he was so excited but when it got to the warm up led by the marshals, he flatly refused to do it because he was too embarrassed, even though there were 60 other people doing it. He is so like me: hates fancy dress, hates parties, hates alleged "fun" activities, basically anything where you have to act out of character. He was so pleased he got narrator in the school nativity - no costume, he could just stand up and talk :-).

MrsSquirrel Mon 22-Dec-14 13:29:34

Me too Lights, dp and dd have gone to dn's for a couple of days. It's just me and ddog at home with a stack of books by the sofa. Perfect!

Hopefully it will put me in a better frame of mind to cope with visit to pil's on boxing day wink

Sunbeam18 Mon 22-Dec-14 12:58:41

Oh Lights, what utter, utter joy ! Enjoy every minute. Is this your Christmas present ? smile
I am getting a night away alone in a hotel for my Christmas present. I am so excited and already deciding what book to take with me.

lazurda Mon 22-Dec-14 12:18:12

Ooops sorry, got my asterisks wrong
should be seagulls
and what I want

lazurda Mon 22-Dec-14 12:16:50

Thanks seagulls", I know it's tricky isn't it? I feel the same, that I might not get asked again. But I'm really going to try in the new year to do what *I want. Definitely feeling the need to be more true to myself. Someone gave me a tip never to say yes or no immediately but to say I will need to check my diary or I will have to get back to you. At least as part of a very small family I am spared large extended family gatherings and my worst nightmare party games/charades/lengthy board or card games....

LightsOnNotIn Mon 22-Dec-14 07:56:11

Yes Seagulls - children are Mammy Seeking Missiles. They track us down. Can I gloat for a second? I am completely alone right now. My partner and son went to see his sister yesterday - and are away for 2 WHOLE NIGHTS. Woo-hoo! I am currently writing this in bed with a cup of tea, toast and the papers. I shall do some painting (art, not DIY), and go to the gym. Heaven.

SeagullsAreLikeThat Sun 21-Dec-14 11:09:38

Hi Sunbeam, lovely that you found this thread. I have struggled with the no space / time since having children, more than anything - I'm lucky in that although DH chatters non-stop, he doesn't expect much response back so knows I kind of switch off but with the DC, oh my Goodness, the demands!

What gets me is that I can sit in a room with them for half an hour and they will happily play without any intervention and yet the minute I leave the room to, say, go to the bathroom, it's "Muuuuuuuuum, Muuuuuum, mum, mum, mum, mum" then they track me down and harass me until I return. There are days where I just don't have any "thinking" time until they are in bed. I love them so much but it is hard!

Lazurda: no advice as to how to extricate yourself gently from these friendships but just a question: I have recently realised that I have said no to social events so many times now that people are starting to stop asking me. That is great at the moment, it suits me fine but I did find myself wondering the other day whether I would actually be upset if I was not included in anyone's social plans, that is, if everyone stopped asking. I think what I really want ( unreasonably!) is for people to always ask me as there may be occasions where I am feeling sociable but to always expect the answer might be no and not be offended. I guess that's too much to ask though!

Sunbeam18 Sat 20-Dec-14 21:26:37

What a wonderful thread; please can I join? I am one of your kind smile
I do enjoy meeting friends, going out, etc but find I can only do so against a backdrop of solitude. I need so many hours of recharging alone time to have the energy/inclination to meet with others. I lived joyously alone for 12 years until last year and loved so much being able to shut the door and control my own environment. BUT I did want to have a child so got pregnant and subsequently moved in with BF two months before due date. So I have moved in with partner for first time, had a baby and left my haven of a flat all in the same 6 months!! As fellow introverts, you can imagine my struggles. 18 months on and life is lovely and I adore my son but god it's hard to deal with the lack of space and time alone. How do other introverts handle adapting to being with a partner? I struggle with this part and wonder if I'm naturally a single person? Does this strike a chord with anyone?

fredfredsausagehead1 Sat 20-Dec-14 07:11:38

Your day founds similar to my days hermoine ! And if I don't get that hour of me time I'm awful, often feel selfish with my time, and agitated when out somewhere wanting to get home, then draw curtains after school run!

Also playing over everything in my head is exhausting!

MissMogwi Sat 20-Dec-14 06:54:20

Hi I haven't post on this thread for a while, but I do lurk.

I'm a complete introvert. Had our annual office lunch yesterday, and I could have shrivelled up. Please allow to me to rant.

We have lunch which is lovely and good fun, however then The Games begin.

Hideous, cringey, eating as many cream crackers, hot chillies games. That are filmed, obviously. I don't care who does it but I just can't. I hate everyone looking at me and can't abide my photograph being taken.

So I try to blend into the background and refuse when I'm asked to join in. I like my colleagues and have a good laugh with them normally, I just physically can't join in. I felt as though I wanted to hide in the loos and/or cry.

I don't like to think people think that I'm a misery guts, because I'm not. I'm a nice, funny woman (and modest obvs), I just can't bear this type of thing.

The photograph thing is real problem, I actually feel sick if someone tries to take my picture. (Why does everyone have to take a picture every minute of the day?) There are barely any of me and my beautiful DC and none of me with my DP of 2 years. I'm 35, I really need to give my self a shake!

Apologies for self indulgent ramble!

lazurda Wed 10-Dec-14 22:16:36

While I'm on here, on this subject, can I ask some advice? As I said above I've made myself be more outgoing over the years. My DH has worked away a lot and so to alleviate loneliness I've acquired over the years quite a wide circle of female friends - all lovely people. But I've noticed that recently I've just got a bit, well, bored, with coffee dates and meeting for a chat/lunch/bit of shopping. Because I've been a stay at home mum, I've been available a lot of the time to lots of people but now I'm feeling differently and need to rein back on this social contact which I fear has all become a bit shallow and superficial (I guess the friends might even feel the same about me...)
I just want to spend more time alone, on projects at home and with close family, reading, crafting, enjoying my own hobbies.
How do I extricate myself from my round of social events, gently, nicely, but firmly without causing any offence.
Anyone any ideas? Feel a bit silly posting this, it sounds an awfully first-world problem, but I know from the posts I've read on here, I am among kindred spirits. Any words of wisdom appreciated, thank you!

lazurda Wed 10-Dec-14 22:07:51

What a great thread! Warmed my introvert heart to read it. I have always been an introvert but over the years forced myself to be more extrovert. Realised I have definitely been a people-pleaser, having been brought up to do the right thing and never let anyone down, go back on my word etc. But I'm now in my mid 50s and am very much aware of my attitudes changing. I've brought up two kids now both at uni and am relishing time to myself. I like nothing better than immersing myself in a good book, and have lately rediscovered some dormant skills - knitting and sewing - which I find relaxing and stress-busting. Have realised the importance of being true to myself but need to find ways of saying "no" to invitations without the fear of offending people. I've just had an awful few days because I chose to extricate myself from a Christmas lunch with former colleagues...but I did it! And they and I are still alive....

WorldWildWifeFund Sun 07-Dec-14 22:06:18

When I was younger I used to fantasise about being totally deaf, being a nun, a wildlife ranger, or a lighthouse keeper, and thought that solitary confinement would be enjoyable (for me), rather than a punishment. However, never considered myself unduly odd, and do not lack confidence. Can anyone recommend books other than Susan Cain's 'Quiet'?

amicissimma Sun 07-Dec-14 21:30:02

Hermione, does your DCs' school have parents come in and listen to children reading? I find I'm much better at one-to-one than group stuff and this suited me for years. I found that the school day is broken into fairly short intervals, too, so it was natural to go in once a week, listen to a few readers and then leave as a break came up. I gradually got to know the children and some of them were introverts too, relieved to escape the classroom buzz and read quietly.

I also seem to have developed a group of introvert friends, so we can have a brief coffee with a maximum of four people (2 lots of 1-2-1!) and then scuttle away. But, of course, you have to get to know them in the first place. Check out the loners at the school gate.

Southeastdweller Fri 05-Dec-14 17:52:47

My work Christmas party is taking place as I type - just not interested in going but will be in a new job next Christmas and may go to their party, as long as it's small and I've got a good excuse lined up to leave early!

SeagullsAreLikeThat Fri 05-Dec-14 13:26:08

I have the same policy, Norks: "just say no"! I don't get many invitations these days because people know I will probably say no so it's not too hard. I can handle the work Christmas lunch as it's only a small office and most of my friendships are compartmentalised so I don't have to worry about group nights out. Looking forward to finishing work and the DCs finishing school so we can lock ourselves away for Christmas!

Hello my quiet friends.
How are you all coping this party season? I mainly cope by just not going to parties (I explain to host that it's not my sort of thing but have fun anyway or just say 'sorry I can't come')
I can manage a lunchtime meet up or a coffee, but there is something about large groups of drunken people that makes me uncomfortable. I don't mind a bit of tipsy jollity, but in large groups I seem to think I need to stay alert and sober and look after people and wait for catastrophe. Oh dear sad

HermioneSnape02 Tue 11-Nov-14 07:51:44

I totally, totally, agree Seagulls

I am regretting accepting an offer of a night/day out as soon as I've agreed.

But on the other hand I regret saying no, (making excuses), as soon as I've said no.

I really can't win!

Its good to push yourself out of your comfort zone, I've been told, so I try to do this occasionally, but it is only occasionally.

I'm struggling with being in my comfort zone, but also being lonely and bored.

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