I’ve felt the euphoria of minds intertwining in the most intimate and spiritual way. I’ve felt an ineffable lightness and joy from simply having the house to myself. I’ve felt intensely content being in the same room with a lover…not talking. I’ve often felt connected to something bigger than myself when listening to music, reading literature or deeply remembering.
I try to hold onto the above deliciously introverted moments because inevitably I will also have times when I feel weird, quiet, low-energy, inferior or selfish.
Below is a survival kit for all the sensitives and/or introverts who are or have been: The kid in school who felt different or insufficiently outgoing; the person in the office who feels slightly less valuable because they don’t speak and work rapid-fire style; the parent of rambunctious children who feels ashamed because she/he would rather be alone sometimes than be with them or the partner in a relationship who feels guilty about asking for space or alternatively is going without it and losing themselves a little every day.
We can survive and thrive as introverts.
Below are a few key tools in your kit to help you keep your head up, smile genuine and tears to a minimum:
1. Ability to say, I enjoy you but I need time to myself to re-charge. I get energy from solitude. If you can’t say this then you will have many days of frustration and resentment. Extroverts will never infer it on their own. It doesn’t make sense to them. If you need help explaining, refer to Introverts Explained:Why We Love You but Need to Get Away from You, the most popular post on space2live.
2. Pairing with extroverts. It’s easy to love our outgoing, initiator, get-things-done friends. They pull us out and make socializing easier. They may even talk FOR us. Survival tactic: Create boundaries regarding personal space and being heard. Don’t get lost in their big personalities.
3. Learning to say, That doesn’t work for me. A co-worker asks you to join a group of seven at the Burger Hole after work. You’ve had an exhausting week and just want to watch Parks and Recreation. That doesn’t work for me is all you have to say (and walk away without making eye contact or giving in to the urge to say, But maybe another time).
5. Solitude sweet solitude. Make space for it. Go deeply internal daily. It’s like sleep for us. It’s restorative and generative. It’s where you become you again.
6. Knowing you are whole. You have gifts to offer this world. Depth. Concentration. Imagination. Passionate listening. Ability to help others filter and slow down. There is no need to enter a room or relationship expecting others to fill in where you feel you fall short. You are enough and are lovable as you are.
7. Knowing you are not alone. Space2live is based on this message. Recent research claims that up to half the population is introverted.
8. Finding your tribe. Long term relationships with people who ‘get’ you and/or support you are infinitely valuable. They provide a
place for you to be useful and loving as well. Hint: Look for them where you feel most alive and at home.
9. Creating time and space buffers between activities. A non-stop schedule of busy-ness will leave you lifeless and irritable. Out in the world, retreat. Out in the world, retreat. This is your natural rhythm. Embrace it and feel the balance in your spirit.
10. Following your energy. Obvious, but pay attention. It will guide you to nourishing people and work.
11. Sleeping. Lack of sleep is crazy-making. Make it a priority. We need that time to ‘download’ our thoughts into long-term memory. We need that time to knit ideas together and give our mind’s a deep rest.
12. Reading. It’s low stimulation in the most engaging and exciting form. It’s a vacation from our world and an expansive journey to another. Reading material is also an amazing springboard to exquisite conversations.
What did I miss? What else makes life as an introvert lovely and manageable?
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