My last post over a month ago was about my ‘goals’ for the New Year. I have been happily been chipping away on them. #8 on my list was “push your limits.” If anyone knows me, I’m very indecisive when faced with major spur of the moment decisions. I just get super anxious about it and run in the opposite direction, always playing on the cautious side of life! I heard my friend called it “analysis paralysis” the other day and I find that very accurate. However, a major stride I have taken in my journey to get past that barrier was going to auditions for local community theatre. I have always been involved on the stage. I took voice lessons and was in a professional choir for 10 years. I’m usually humming or singing terribly to the radio. I last year I was in a UOIT Drama club play. So in the middle of my stress filled semesters this academic year, I thought I would be adventurous and audition. I ended up being Assistant Stage manager (ASM) in one production and have been cast in another! Wooooo – go me and that meant I accomplished #10 on my list too – “Put yourself 1st!” One problem, I’m not really used to always being on the go….
This semester I have bounced from class time, to homework, to running my thesis, to lab meetings, to other meetings, to home, to rehearsal, to more homework. Over the Reading Week, I did a lot of sleeping, because I just felt blaaaaah. I mean, on one hand, I accomplished one of my goals (#9 actually) “Get Sleep.” I have been the person who works at all hours of the day. But lately, I have given myself a bed time, to give me some recharge time. I’m finding it more vital as I get out more involved. And that became even clearer this weekend, when I just felt blaaah. What does that even mean? Well I think I might have figured it out, or at least, in my case and maybe yours. My body feeling blaaaah is a side effect of being an introvert (Ha, finally got to my title! I bet you were wondering where I was going. Well – TADA!)
To further explain, let me tell you a story:
It was closing weekend for the production I was ASM for and after our final show, there was going to be a cast party. WOOO PARTY, right? WRONG. My last two weeks have been filled with friend/boyfriend visits (they live 3 hours away… long story.. I’ll tell you another day… both that friend and my boyfriend are great!), studying, ALL THE REHERSALS, more hang out with friends, more studying, more thesis, SHOW NIGHTS! I totally thought I was doing okay, until I wasn’t. I found myself feeling really bogged down with negative energy that I could not explain. I went from being happy one minute, to just 110% NOPE another. I pulled the “Hi, I’m a moody annoyed teenager who is going to be on my phone during this lame party” and sat in the audience section for the first 30 minutes of the cast party. One lovely gentleman joked “Ahhh, Rebecca is being a snob tonight,” and I genuinely felt bad. But I couldn’t motivate myself to move. Then my lovely Stage Manager (he’s the manager of the whole stage, not just assisting with managing) asked if I was an introvert and suddenly the lightbulb came on.
“Hello, my name is Rebecca, and I am an introvert.”
I have been told numerous times, “Wow! I never would have guessed you’re an introvert! You’re so out there!” Well darling, just because I talk doesn’t mean I’m not an introvert, but why do we introverts get a bad-rap? Here are some misconceptions about introverts I’d like to dispel:
- All introverts are shy: Some are shy, while others are happy to perform on stage. Each introvert is different. Some, like my best friend, can easily push themselves to socialize when they would rather not to. Others can be very ‘extroverted’ in nature, as myself.
- Introverts are no fun and do not like parties: Woooooaaah now, introverts can enjoy a party as much as extroverts! But some of us (like me!) can’t handle a party the end of a busy day or week. If you can’t find, me I’m usually cleaning something in the kitchen, putting the world to rights.
- Introverts are anti-social: There are times when introverts need to re-charge their batteries by spending time alone. For me, I don’t get enough “alone time”, I can become exhausted and cranky. These last few days I have been talking to the majority of my friends that do not go to the same school as I. It has been great, since I usually do not get to hang out with them. However, all that at once was a bit much.
- Introverts are rude: Often, it can come across that I’m being a straight up bitch (pardon my French) to your face. I be stone-faced and I might be looking at my phone when you’re talking to me. But I’m still listening. Some introverts like myself often don’t contribute to group discussions because they prefer to reflect before offering an opinion and can become overwhelmed when lots of people are talking at once. I find this is often my issue in lab meetings at school – I just do not like big brainstorming situations. #sorrynotsorry
- Introverts do not like to talk: Sometimes, talking to you face-to-face is a bit much. I know for myself, I much prefer to text and favour on-line interaction because I can quietly ‘tap- out’ of the conversation when I start to feel overwhelmed, without appearing rude. That’s why if you ever ask to talk on the phone, I’m usually going to say “I’m busy,” because that’s just a too much for me. I often do not tell people that because I do not want to appear to be rude.
- Introverts do not like people: I love people! I rarely had friends when I was younger and now I have more than I can spend time with. It’s awesome – but some introverts (like me!) prefer to work alone or in a small team and to socialize with one or two close friends at a time. Rather than bouncing from one topic to the next, I prefer to have more in-depth conversations with one or two special people where everyone’s opinions are valued.
- Introverts are unemotional: I can tell you, this weekend I was very emotional! However, introverts like myself may not show outward facial expressions and gestures, preferring to control and internalize them. Although someone who’s introverted may not appear engaged, this is usually not the case.
- Introverts don’t like to go out in public: I typically are not super comfortable in crowded spaces, but I love experiencing new places, people, and things!
- Introverts are poor public speakers: Again, there are different types of introverts and I cannot cast the same blanket over all of us. I am not bad at speaking in large group settings and many are naturally gifted speakers. However, I generally spend more time preparing for speeches and presentations, stressing about them rather than “flying by the seat of my pants.”
- Introverts over-analyze everything: Ha maybe in my case! But I find that introverts like to analyze situations to consider all possible scenarios before just jumping into a decision, Sometimes this can lead to the “analysis paralysis,” as I mentioned all the way in paragraph one. But, considering all options can usually be a good thing and help with the tough decisions which need a strong rational stream of thought.
I really do not mind being an introvert, so I have tackled 10 misconceptions that I usually face as an introvert. Are there any that you may have found, which I have not talked about?