I’ve been on vacation this week. Six days surrounded by six other people, every day. It has been wonderful and relaxing overall but I have made some introvert observations.
If you are quiet people do not hesitate to point it out. They ask why you are so quiet and if you are OK. If you talk all of the time it wards off such calling out but… then you have to talk all the time, which is exhausting. Listening is so satisfying.
I saw my children’s’ behavior through others’ eyes this trip. I know my kids have busy, humming minds that are not outwardly expressed most of the time. They are taking in the scene, processing information gleaned from those talking and formulating ideas and questions to possibly contribute if the aforementioned ideas or questions are solidly worthy of sharing (and not deemed stupid, bothersome or redundant). I know this is what is going on inside their heads because it is what goes on inside my head.
Introverts prefer to be drawn out versus being called out
I explained that pointing out someone is silent makes the silent person uneasy. It is better to praise that person in public and ask them their opinions in a smaller one-on-one setting. Praising raises their confidence and encourages offering their thoughts. On the side, one-on-one confabs are just more comfortable for the introvert than being put on the spot in front of many eyes. An exception may be if the subject matter is something near and dear to the introvert’s heart, then lookout. They may turn into a fountain of words, ideas and thoughts.
What boosts an introvert’s socializing stamina?
I did not get drained until about the 5th day of the trip. That is pretty good for a sensitive introvert away from home with no alone time. I’ll attribute the socializing stamina to the easy-going-ness of my parents, the accommodating nature of my man, the peaceful setting of the Tennessee hills and the meaningful conversations interspersed with low stress activities (watching fireworks, fishing, playing corn hole).
For the last few years, when I took the kids on vacation by myself I always made sure I had my own room wherever we stayed. No matter how stimulating and busy the days were I could always retreat to my own space at night. I could read, talk on the phone, play online and get restorative sleep. This trip I shared a room with my man and wound down at the end of the day by lying in his arms and talking. As incredible and lovely as this was, this lady still needs alone time to escape and engage my mind without any outside influence or interruptions.
I found it when I read for twenty minutes while waiting for a flight. I was amazed at how that little bit of personal time with my head in a thoughtful book, revived me. I swear my eyes got more sparkly. I wanted to talk about what I learned from the pages.
I also conserved energy during one leg of the trip, a short one hour flight, by closing my eyes and resting. I reduced stimulation. Our eyes take in 80% of our sensory information, so simply closing them gave my brain a beautiful break. I was ready to converse with my travel mates on the next flight.
Just because I’m happy alone does not mean I don’t like you
Back at home, my children went to their dad’s house, my man went to his house (he understands the need for time apart) and I was left blissfully alone in my own space. I caught up with a show I record, ate trail mix for dinner, talked on the phone, read in bed and slept alone. Aaaahhh.
I have a million things to do today, after being gone, but I chose to write this post first. I needed the shot of satisfaction. Writing puts me in my element. While composing, I am in flow and energized. I am quiet but very alive.
Do you worry about someone if they are quiet? Do you feel embarrassed if someone labels you the quiet one? How do you re-charge with limited alone time?
If this piece resonated or affected you in a meaningful way, I would truly appreciate it if you would share it with others who may benefit.