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Testimonials

I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
Gary
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
This is me. This is me from the day I was born. For so long I felt misunderstood and rejected, even by the people closest to me, because they could never understand my need for solitude, and I had no idea how to explain it to them. Even now that I know more about Introversion and have a more informed understanding of my hard-wired need for solitude, it’s still very difficult sometimes to help my loved ones understand this profound craving for time and space all to myself. This is one of the best…
Sharon

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
C.M.
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
Megan
your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live
Sherrie
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.

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Are You Happy Avoiding People?

push away avoid

My daughter told me the other night that Lyft is offering an option on their app to not talk to your driver. I looked into it and it seems they are considering creating something called ‘zen mode’ which by clicking on a button or link, will let your driver know you don’t want to chat. Now I’m as into my quiet time as anyone, but that option rubbed me the wrong way.

Introversion not an excuse to shut others out

It seems many people, often under the label of introvert, choose to avoid interaction and personal engagement with other humans. They seem to think it’s their right to ignore people and refuse interaction. The cashier talked to me about my day and the weather, so annoying. Why are my parents and teacher mad when I wear my headphones 24/7? Why should I have to put myself out for someone else?

As I said, I am introverted and sensitive myself. I appreciate solitude and quiet time to recharge. I guess I see this selective dissociation as a slippery slope. If we feel it is OK to shut out people throughout our day, eventually will we be totally disconnected? Will it then be so novel and uncomfortable to reach out to people that we abstain from doing it out of fear or unease?

Disconnecting easier than connecting?

When we choose to disconnect the majority of the time, are we choosing isolation over potential loving and caring relationships? Are we choosing to disconnect because it is easier than making a relationship work with someone totally different from us? Are fulfilling relationships not worth the effort? Are we less happy because of these choices to focus on ourselves, our achievements and our emotional ease?

As someone who writes for the introverted and highly sensitive community, I am torn between supporting our quiet and solitude-seeking nature and supporting healthy loving and sometimes difficult relationships. I believe both bring much contentment and joy to our lives.

It comes down to values and limits.

Values

What do we value? I’ve said a thousand times, our values serve as our compasses. They give us direction and the grit to stay on the path toward them. Emotions tip us off regarding what we value.

What values guide you? What breaks your heart? What fills your heart? What would you do without any prompting? What matters beyond worldly possessions? Where are you most disciplined and organized? These questions lead to what matters.

Many of us value our personal peace and independence. I believe in that, but I see it as a start. Feeling comfortable and self-contained does not seem like the end of the road to me. To truly lead a full meaningful life, it seems we want to contribute and help others. We value giving back to the community that also supports us. It’s a complete circle rather than a straight line to our own well-being. You can disagree with me, of course, but I’d like to hear why.

Aiming for independence versus interdependence limits our growth.

Limits

I’ve done a lot of research on personal development. One key ingredient to fulfillment and maturity is self-discipline. Self-discipline is the ability to do what we don’t want to do and not do what we want to do. We can limit our behavior while having compassion for our emotions.

I’ve indulged my kids by letting them off the hook from activities they don’t want to do like going to church, housework and attending each other’s sporting events. They’ve tried to get off the hook from family events, their jobs and school work. For me, allowing kids to skip family gatherings (when other children are definitely attending) because they don’t want to go or are uncomfortable, seems like the easy way out for parents, but is it better for children in the long run?

It’s become acceptable to allow ourselves and our kids to avoid interactions. For example, we embrace shopping online because we are uncomfortable shopping in a store where we might have to talk to employees. Working in a factory when you are five years old is hard. Going to war as a soldier in a foreign land is hard. Asking an employee to help you find a particular sweatshirt in your size is not hard.

I know someone is thinking, but what if you have body issues and trying on clothing at a public place feels embarrassing or traumatic. I hear you but my thought is, it is your life. Are you content keeping it narrow and isolated? If the answer is, “I don’t have a choice” OK that is something deeply challenging and I empathize and wish you well. If you have the ability to work on approaching life more than avoiding it, I believe it is worth the effort. Limit the avoiding.

We have to set limits for ourselves and our children. If family is something you value (I realize not all of us do), then instill in your children a sense of importance regarding family events. There is much to learn from family members. There is a feeling of belonging that fortifies members of families. Don’t let yourself or your children skip family events (community events, volunteering, work, stores, restaurants, etc.) because it is easier for you or them to be at home not interacting.

We need to connect

Virtually, all of the research I have done says that connecting with others is a human need. It eases our physical pain, relieves depression, lowers our blood pressure and gives us longer and happier lives.Lyft

At the very least, I believe a person should have the courage (balls) and social grace to say to their Lyft driver (spouse, friend, co-worker, mother, etc.), “I’ve had a long day. I would really appreciate a quiet ride home.” Using a pre-created button or toggle switch seems like a lazy way to shut ourselves off from the world.

What are your thoughts on skipping interactions? Do you agree or disagree with me? If you avoid human interaction often, are you happy? 

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One Comment

  1. Michael Buley April 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Brenda, superb article. I hear you loudly and clearly calling ‘Bullshit, people!’ on a lot of the bullshit that is going on. And you are right on the mark. I will try to write more later. I heard your anger (sounds like it to me, and if I am right …) — well-directed and to the point.

    We’ve become a society of whiners and crybabies and victims. I can speak about the victim mentality for myself, having come to see, and no longer tolerate, a lot of MY bullshit.

    Yes, working in a factory at 5 years old — THAT is hard. Talking to someone is ‘hard’? Bullshit. Grow up. All of us.

    More, I hope, later! Thank you for a wonderful post.

    Michael

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