You Don't Have a Bubbly Personality? You're not a High Energy Mom? You're Still Worth Knowing

Yeah, this is never going to be me.

Yeah, this is never going to be me.

I’ve never been the girl who laughs openly and raucously. I don’t talk loudly so the whole crowd can hear or have any delusions about being the life of the party. I can’t fake enthusiasm. I’m not known for doling out exuberant praise. I don’t take up a lot of space in a room or a conversation. I’m not the high energy type, but I often wish I was.

I now know that part of my demeanor is due to introversion. I’m perpetually in energy conservation mode. If I do get nutty, super bright and wild and spill my enthusiasm all over everyone I know there will have to be a low output period to counteract the energy depletion. If there is no recharge time then things get nasty.

I’m positive you have a resting bitch face

My son informed me today that I am not a positive person.That hurt in the deepest way. I had to sit down after hearing it. Was I fooling myself all this time? I always thought I was a ‘bright side’, look for the best in everyone person. Am I only a dark cloud at home or do I carry that vibe with me? I admit, home is where I’m the most stressed. It’s where I feel the most negativity and where my buttons are pushed continuously. Am I naturally somber and that brings the house down or does the negative atmosphere bring about bitterness and a ‘resting bitch face’ from me?

resting bitch face

The silver lining to having an RBF?

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, has been told by her family that she has a ‘mean face’ that surfacesGretchen Rubin when her work time is interrupted. I am sure I have that too.

Right now, with the kids home for the summer, I feel like I’m on the 28th day of a 30-day cabbage soup diet. My will power is shot. My level of irritability is high. My energy is flagging. I love my children but I was not meant to be home with them all day. My need to be close to each of them and make them all happy competes with my need to work and breathe in solitude. I’m torn between the two, which I’m ashamed to say, results in non-positive behavior (frowns, yelling, tears, low energy).

My personality is not bubbly but I have a different kind of radiance

Everyone loves a woman who radiates energy. If she could be happy all the time and never get tired that would be perfect. I see it all the time in ideal mate descriptions on Match.com — I am looking for a fun, active woman with lots of energy and a good sense of humor. That sounds like an extrovert to me. I’m not saying introverts are not fun, active or energy-filled but in context I’m fairly certain they mean they want a fit, energizer bunny who socializes with aplomb and has a constant sunny disposition. I can do that for a while, right up until I’m exhausted and not genuine anymore. Then I’ll get quiet, retreat and glow more subtly.

I may not be a ‘spitfire’ or ‘wild child’ (in public) but I do have times when I have a certain radiance. When I am in a safe, nourishing environment I bloom and become my version of effervescent. I grow in praise. My spirit unfolds and I generate a warmth that goes beyond my body. It extends out to those in my orbit. I want to share stories and listen woman sunnygenerously. I want to champion everyone. I smile easily and laugh naturally.

If I get out in the sun and walk in nature, I can feel and project the most divine, serene aura.

After enough time in solitude, I emerge with energizing clarity, sparkly eyes and a deep desire to connect and give vibrantly.

If I find myself in a discussion about books, relationships, a Netflix series, self-awareness or space2live, I get all excited. Sometimes I have to hold my words back so I don’t ‘hog’ the conversation. I’ve been told I emit a beautiful light when I talk about what I love, which is so much better than emitting a bitch face.

Do you ever feel ashamed of your energy limitations or cross mood? What do you have to offer besides a bubbly personality? What do others value in you? 

If this post spoke to you, you may also enjoy:

When Parenting Overwhelms:Tough Days as an Introverted Parent

Understanding the Introvert Cycle: Why We Go From Irritable to Ever-Loving

Where’d My Energy Go? 12 Causes of Over-Arousal for the Introvert and/or Highly Sensitive Person

The Introvert’s Love Affair with Solitude: Will It Always Be Taboo?

How to Protect and Liberate Your Energy:A Guide for Introverts and Anyone Who Feels Drained

Slumber Parties and Kryptonite: Simple Ways to Explain Introversion to Children

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14 Comments

  1. Eli
    February 12, 2015

    I came across your blog in my search for the meaning of “sufficient” person. Today I came back from a job interview – for a job I don’t want, but I need ($).
    They told me, that for the job I am sufficient but I am missing that something (being bubbly). It annoyed me.
    I know I am a good person. I care. But I feel as if I was dull and that I just don’t stand out of the crowd; it happens often that people don’t even remember me (even if we were introduced before and even had a small chat!)
    I always hide myself behind the positive curtain of “everything is fine”, “I don’t mind”, “there is a reason for everything”, “I am the only one responsible for my emotions”
    But the truth is that I feel sad and sad.
    I’m sorry for pouring some of my not so positive feelings in such a beautiful piece of writing. I just needed to take it out of my chest.
    I relate with so many things of what you wrote up there.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      February 12, 2015

      Dear Eli, I assure you you are more than sufficient. You may not be the life of the party but you are a good honest, feeling, substantial person. Perhaps if you were applying for a job you were excited about you would present differently. I understand the practical need for income. Please don’t beat yourself up for being reserved. Your nature is valuable. Perhaps you’re the great observer, or the non-judgmental listener. Your caring makes others feel awesome. We can’t all be bubbly and enthusiastic. I know those words rarely describe me. Please consider where you feel most at home and where you feel most alive. Now, is there anyone there with you? It’s OK if there’s not. Just be you and thrive where and how you feel best.
      Thank you for sharing so candidly. We have all been there.

      Reply
  2. kimberlyharding
    July 22, 2014

    Oh my gosh! I am so glad I came across this today. Just the other day I was wondering if I was “harming” my stepkids because I do not exude joy and energy on most days. I am just more quiet. HOwever, you are helping me realize, I do relate very deeply to them on an emotional level. I am there for them. I just may not be an exuberant Susie Sunshine 🙂

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      July 24, 2014

      I often wonder if I am ‘harming’ my kids with my more serious than playful attitude but then I think I am fairly flexible and always there when they need me. I care deeply about their well-being. Hopefully, that comes through in my actions. I have a feeling you are similar in your interactions with your stepchildren. Thanks for commenting Kimberly. I so often relate to your posts.:)

      Reply
  3. Romanesque
    July 18, 2014

    I am finding much solace and comfort in your writing. I really appreciate you sharing these windows of yourself with us here. Related deeply to this post. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      July 18, 2014

      Your comment makes me feel warm and content. I’m thrilled my writing resonates and brings comfort. It’s wonderful for me to know that others feel as I do.:) Take care.

      Reply
  4. LB
    July 12, 2014

    Oh, I really like this blog! I’ve never been that girl who laughs and talks loud and is the life of the party either. Bubbly? Fake enthusiasm? Not possible. (My daughter used to call those types “perky people.” It was not a compliment.)

    I love the “resting bitch face” references too. My mother used to tell me I wore my attitude on my face. She would tell me to smile more. As a child, I never understood that. I used to think that face made me ugly. Now I value it because it keeps people away when I need them to be away. Of course, as an adult I’ve learned that sometimes I have to paste on a smile even if I don’t want to, but like you, I know that will need to be followed by recharge time.

    I also have a desire to connect and give. I’m just very choosy about the people I do it with. I don’t gravitate to the “perky people” or the gossipers. I have a small but close group of friends. We don’t see each other often, but when we do, we can talk about anything for hours and hours. And that kind of conversation is energizing. It gives me a nice balance between my work life, my solitude, and my social life. And I don’t ever apologize for not wanting to attend some big social gathering with a lot of people I don’t know or care to be around.

    What I do not do is try to make everyone around me happy. That requires way too much emotional investment on my part, with very little return, because mostly it doesn’t work. People need to find their own happiness, or else they become too dependent on others. I learned how to do that as a child precisely because my mother didn’t see my happiness as her job. When it wasn’t “family time,” she would kick me out of the house (or at least out of the same room) and make me figure it out for myself. And I did the same with my kids. We all learned how to entertain ourselves and explore the world without Mom hanging over us. Then we could come together at the end of a day and be happy and energized together. For me, it was a double bonus. My children learned to be self-assured, confident people who could make their own happiness, and I got my recharge time while they were out doing it. Nothing to be ashamed of there.

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      July 13, 2014

      My upbringing was very similar to yours. My parents took care of me and were there when needed but had no big pressure to make me happy. My mom used to say all the time that I was good at entertaining myself. I had to. I expect the same from my children but they have been raised under different guidelines. My ex-husband was all about doing everything with and for the children. The school and even our neighborhood seemed to have the same idea. I felt like that made them dependent on me for not only security but also fun, happiness, help (with homework) and companionship. It was/is sometimes exhausting. I like to let the kids play or do their own thing during the day but then come together for meals and nighttime connecting.

      Thank you for sharing your insight. I feel validated.;)

      Reply
  5. sheketechad
    July 12, 2014

    Good grief that photo about the bitch face cracked me up, lol! Of course, it could just be lack of sleep this week; I’m kind of goofy at the moment.
    When I’m seriously engaged in something – writing, editing photos, thinking, I tend to look grumpy/mean and my brow is furrowed often. I don’t know if I have a ‘bitch’ face or not. Will ask the kids next time we speak 🙂
    I have a pretty outgoing personality for an introvert, when I’m with people I care about. And if someone needs someone to overthink something for them, I’m their girl!

    Great post as always B. No one is perfect, perky, and personable all of the time. No one. Get some rest girl! ((hugs))

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      July 12, 2014

      I have photos from a period in my life when I was just beginning to wake up from my long sleep of mindless living. I have the most light in my eyes and the biggest smiles during that period. I had just discovered a circle of people who made me feel at home. When I am with warm, positive and open people, my face shows levity. I also laugh and talk more. They say happiness is contagious and sourness is even more contagious.:/
      I think I furrow my brow, like you, when I am alone and working/playing at creating. 😉 It’s my contemplative look.
      I do need rest. Sleep has been on short supply the last few nights. Hopefully, tonight will buck that trend. 😉

      Reply
  6. Ruth Rainwater
    July 11, 2014

    I have plenty of energy, enthusiasm, whatever-you-want-to-call-it if I’m talking about something I truly love. Otherwise not.

    Reply
  7. Rina Henderson
    July 11, 2014

    Once again, it’s like you’ve plucked worries right from my own mind. I continue to love your writing. I can relate to so much of what you write, it’s very refreshing. Thank you again!

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      July 12, 2014

      A writing teacher once told me the more specific you write, the more people will be able to relate. I’m thrilled my experiences let you know you’re not alone.:)

      Reply
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