Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Joys of Being an Introvert

Something came up in therapy the other night that I'm still trying to process.  And like a good Blogger I'm reaching out to you guys for some perspective.

For those who need a refresher here's some background.

Therapy Turned Me Into A Watering Pot

To Therapy or NOT to Therapy

I was at a bit of a crossroads with therapy and not happy with my therapist as well as the progress I wasn't making.  We discussed it and although I'm not where I want to be, I feel like talking it out with her helped and things are going better.  I feel like we have actual discussions rather than me sitting there thinking what to say.

My big thing was that although yes, I now have a better understanding of WHY I feel the way I do.  That has done nothing at all to help me stop those thought patterns.

Apparently part of my issue is that I've become so good at convincing myself that everything is OK, that I've convinced everyone of the same thing.  So going back to my therapist going on and on about getting my needs met, part of my frustration with that statement is that I DON'T HAVE AN EFFING CLUE WHAT MY NEEDS EVEN ARE?!?!

My therapist actually said that even she was having a hard time cracking my shell because I'm vary rarely vulnerable enough to show how I'm actually feeling.  That I've pushed it all inside for so long that I don't even realize that I've got this mask on anymore. 

The problem is that I don't view myself as being closed off.  And even talking to a few friends, they don't really view me as being closed off either.

What I am, is an introvert. 

I don't open up to everyone I meet instantly.  It's a trust and comfort thing. 

Add to that the fact that as an introvert, I am by my nature a fairly private person who values the fact that I am viewed as being composed and capable. 

Have I buried my own emotional needs so deep that I don't even know what they are anymore?  Totally.  But that doesn't make me the aloof or cold person that it's implied I can appear.

Also, if you haven't come across this already the following is THE BEST description of what it means to be an introvert that I have ever come across.  It is very accurate right down to the hamster ball and the fact that just because I'm an introvert doesn't mean I don't get lonely too.

 
  
And here's another good article if anyone is curious.

Cheers,

Ash 

Obligatory Cat Picture.  Keeping with the Hamster Ball theme we've got going.


13 comments:

  1. There's been a lot of attention given to introverts lately but what bothers me about it is that people are treating us like there's something wrong with us. There was an article I read called: How to Deal with an Introvert. How about, How to Deal with Extroverts? Why are introverts the ones that have to be "handled."

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    1. OMG so true.

      I get that extroverts really really just don't get how to deal with us. But it's not a matter of DEALING with us. I mean if anything introverts need more help dealing with extroverts because it's too easy for us to just shut down and avoid them because it's literally mentally exhausting to be around them.

      Sigh.

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    2. ^obx - good point!

      Ash - I think I know what you mean. I guess scientifically (Myers Briggs) I'm an introvert, although my friends usually just classify me as "conservative," meaning I listen rather than talk. Having grown up being bullied for trying to be "myself" and classified as weird (which, in retrospect, doesn't seem all that weird when I hear adult friends who did the same strange things as kids!) meant that staying silent was safe. Consequently, I've gotten so good at closing myself off, bottling my emotions, and not trusting people that I end up coming across as aloof. (I guess that's why I consider anonymous blogging a sort of therapy... I can talk to people behind my little brick wall of protection without exposing my identity. ;)

      I wish I could provide an "ah-ha!" solution to opening up and finding your needs. I think what you are doing -- blogging -- helps a lot, but maybe some way of being alone with your thoughts can help unlock it? For example, I find that when I bike, I zone out (to a safe degree) and I'm not so bottled up emotionally. I suppose you could call it mediation. :) Not sure if this makes any sense at all... :)

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    3. Thanks Lis. Blogging does help. If anything it's made me realize I'm not as strange as I always thought I was.

      That's how I am with walking, music and reading. It allows me to just zone out and be in my own head a bit because honestly I need that.

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  2. Brian says that I sometimes jump in his hamster ball a little too suddenly. He is an excellent introvert. And I sometimes forget to try not to jump on the bubble... whoops!

    I hope the therapist is shaping up...

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    1. Hey hey, careful with the hamster ball. That shit can be traumatizing.

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  3. It's all about trust. Maybe your therapist hasn't given you reason to trust her yet. Trust takes time.

    I am in the hamster ball right now....

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    1. I WISH I was in my hamster ball right now. Honestly introverts should just be able to say HAMSTER BALL as warning to people.

      Lillian that is very true. The whole her getting snippy with me when I tried to reschedule that apointment before Christmas broke a good part of whatever trust I had with her.

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  4. OMG, I feel like you crawled inside my head and put all of my anxiety and feelings into words. I'm totally asking for a hamster ball for my next birthday.

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    1. Do it! The whole Hamster Ball analogy is perfect for introverts. We want to be included in the world but we have to do it in our own little way.

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  5. That cartoon is a fantastic description.

    I hate the misunderstanding that I feel happens to women introverts in particular - that we're bitchy. No, I'm not bitchy, I'm observing you from afar before deciding to open up to you.

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    1. That's very true. I mean especially for us girls, we're constantly being viewed as cold or aloof. Or people think we're strange because we don't always want to go out and party.

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  6. Hi, a newbie here, but knew there was a reson I kept scrolling down. I think I'll be keeping this explanation, for others and also to remind myself that its OK that I need a lot more space than some. Used to be called Ice Queen in my 20's, harsh.

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