Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hello, My Name Is Autsajder, And I'm an Innie.

"Innie" as in "Introvert". I've known that for years, but am reminded of the fact over and over. Last weekend I went for a retreat for my Educators Program alumni. It was really great to meet old friends and teachers. It was also really draining to mingle with so many strangers and semi-strangers. I haven't had the time to relax, chill out by myself, think and do nothing. Every meal with people, enforced conversations, chatting, ice-breakers and sharing. The whole week was really difficult not being able to refresh and recharge my batteries. Facing parent-teacher conference and Open House was triple whammy. Finally this weekend I can indulge in long sleep (almost 11h!), reading, lazy coffee drinking, thinking... Just my way to deal with the overstimulating outside.

I have found an amazing book by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D, The Introvert Advantage. How to Thrive in an Extrovert World. I am half in, and I already learned a lot about myself. A lot of my behaviors and reactions I didn't even connect with being an introvert, I thought they existed independently. I am also shy and have anxiety issues, which seems to be more common among us, the Innies.

It is difficult not to feel guilty for refusing to go somewhere. I feel bad when someone invites me for a Shabbat meal and I would prefer to just stay home and read a book. Extroverts don't understand us, and we often don't understand ourselves, forcing unnatural behavior in order to "fit".

I embrace my "Innie" self and understand much more why I need my lone safe space to recharge and face the world. This is why I was sure from the very beginning that I was not looking for roommates anymore, Years of that was enough. Now my apartment, where I can relax, put on sweats and take off my bra, is my haven and safety cocoon. I put a lot of energy to make it beautiful, cozy and "mine". I love my privacy and understand that it doesn't mean I am cold or unfriendly.

It takes time to get to know oneself, and especially to not feel guilty about who we are.

No comments:

Post a Comment