How to Guide: Caring for an Introvert

If I could give someone a guide on how to work with me, these twelve rules would live in it boldly.  I recently saw this poster on Facebook and thought, WOW; whoever wrote this must really know me.  Everything I am, what I believe, how I feel and react, and what I do originates from these twelve rules on caring for introverts.  Yet, before reading this list, I couldn’t understand why I felt the way I did about crowds, sudden and seemingly unnecessary change, keeping people at a distance (especially new people), small talk, long conversations, talking to strangers out of the blue, and a high sensitivity to PDA (public displays of anything ).

The only thing I honestly have never experienced is having a best friend and I’ve barely met people who have similar interests and abilities.  However, I can say I did tend to gravitate towards a person or two relative to my personality in my youth; making my childhood not as lonely as my adulthood seems.  But, I now realize I began completely and unconsciously shutting people out of my life in my mid 20s.  I shut out people I’ve known for a long time and I blocked new people from coming in my life.  I originally saw it as a method of protection and decreasing my frustrations with others.  After reading this poster I’ve concluded the truth was it became easier for me to survive without socially connecting than trying to thrive in a world where it was difficult to cope with people who refused to understand and respect my personality.

These days I’m working more consciously on changing my need to make people sensitive to me by learning how I can work around my sensitivities.  In the last couple of years, I met some people who had the kind of personality I’ve always admired (and wanted).  These people taught me the dreams I have for my life and the kind of person I was did not line up with the kind of success I desire.  I was ready to get to work and knew I needed development in these areas:

  • Disposition – I smile and speak to people with more effort, friendliness, and authenticity.
  • Accessibility – I allow myself to be more approachable by approaching others first
  • Conversing – I’m not as scared of talking to others anymore
  • Openness – I can share more of me and my story with people
  • Control – I’m learning how to differentiate what I”m in control of and letting go all that I”m not.

Update:

As the saying goes, “I’m not where I ought to be, but I’m not where I used to be.”

I’m changing daily like Effie White in “Dreamgirls.”  And these days when I go out in public I’m:

  1. No longer in a hurry to get back to the comfort of my home.

  2.  Looking for ways to get involved without over-stimulation.

  3. Thinking more positively about my surroundings and the people I’m sharing them with.

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3 thoughts on “How to Guide: Caring for an Introvert

  1. Just read your update. That’s all great news! Congrats. Taking it one step at a time has really helped me a lot in all those areas you listed. I’m doing much better too and it’s a good feeling, isn’t it. Writing about it has really helped me too.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your post here. You show great insight to understanding yourself, and that’s so important as we grow into who we want to be. I look forward to reading more of your writing! And thanks for linking to my post “Are You an Introvert (Or Am I Too Much an Extrovert by Asking?)”

    • Thanks for reading Darlene. This life of mine has surely been a journey that I can say is just beginning. But I’m glad to be where I am, recognizing my short-comings and areas where I’d prefer to be stronger. Even more I’m glad I have the opportunity to share my story and hopefully inspire someone else who desires to open themselves up to the world.

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