Saturday, August 22, 2015

A few MINDful insights about an introverts perspective.

A few MINDful insights about an introverts perspective.

We are observant.

         We often see things others often miss or don’t see, about everything, but mostly about people's character.  We are constantly taking in information in our quiet state and using it as catalyst for either, a creative expression, or to take mental notes about a situation or someone.  When you are with an introvert, nothing is lost.  It often seems like, to some degree, the introverted person can percieve what the other wants, even when the others haven’t spelt it out, which is intuitive.

We are mindful of what we say.

          Nothing makes you look stupid and unattractive faster than saying inappropriate things because you rushed to speak and did not take time to consider your words (which is the reason behind a lot of awkward encounters with the introverts you know.  We feel pressured quite easily, to either try to keep conversation going, or that silence is making everyone else hugely uncomfortable and we need to say something.)

          Introverts don’t usually speak out of turn. In fact, we try not to speak at all unless we have something important to say. Although when we do speak, there is most likely a lot of thought or research behind it.

We are creative, out-of-the box thinkers.

         Introverts have no fear of being alone and (Theres a difference between lonely and alone) actually cherish privacy and freedom from interruption. In the state of solitude, introverts get in touch with their inner monologue, ask the right questions and flex their creative muscles. That natural tendency to embrace solitude, focus deeply on a subject, think and act creatively makes introverts unique people.

We  are studious and smart. (About some things)

          Introverts are naturally drawn to reading and study. We enjoy learning and figuring out new things for ourselves, and while we might be dubbed book worms, we like to socialize on occasion.  Most people enjoy being around studious people, however our lack of "small talk" abilities tend to limit our interactions with others very well.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Book review- "Introverts in the Church"

       This is a short book review on the book "Introverts in the Church" by Adam S. McHugh. 

       Discovering and learning about intoversion these past few months has been very enlightening in realizing both the complexities of God's design and also understanding others.  I recently read Adam S. McHugh's book and found it very beneficial.   Let me first say that I do not agree with most of his biblical convictions or practices, however the information about introversion contained in this book is well written and very helpful.  
        There are a couple of main concepts behind introversion and extroversion. The first being that God created the brain to function in different ways and this is huge in helping to understand God's human creation more, and in getting along with people.  When you can see the more obvious characteristics of one or the other in a person, you can understand more about them and why they are that way.  It's a physical part of the brain design.
        Another main concept in this book is that there are very beneficial, introverted ways to exercise one's personal spirituality, and they are very enjoyable for introverts, even though to others, they may not make sense....and may seem unbiblical to others.   It's a relief to realize that, although a certain way to do things is usually propagated by churches, there are very biblical ways to do things that suit the introvert.
         A final thought for this book is that there seems to be a lot of anecdotes for introverts that need to deal with most of the extroverted methods and ministries found in churches.   Along side that is a fair amount of psychological research shared throughout the book, which I found very interesting.

        This was a great benefit to my understanding introversion and I hope that this review will be helpful to others in some way.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

CAN extroverts understand introverts?

In a previous post, it was mentioned that there are many proofs and studies that have been done to understand the physiological make up of the brain difference among extroverts and introverts.   In addition to that, there are some other reasons an extrovert may never understand everything about their introvert friend.  Here are a few of those. 


Introverts are completely drained around people, while extroverts are completely drained by being alone.  When I was a lot younger, before I knew any of these things, I had to go to a big family Christmas party.  There were probably around 50-60 people there.  After only a little while, I needed to go off alone, and for quite a long time.  I was only 7 or 8, but that's when I started realizing how much people physically drained me. 


--An introvert may also have extroverted traits.

Some people will just never understand that it's very possible to be an introvert,  while also enjoying some social settings, but only for a few hours.  Introverts are very in tune with what drains them, but still, we desire to go out to be social and meet people.  This is the whole conundrum.  


If we've known people our whole life, then of course we are more comfortable around them.  It's new people, or even distant relatives (like at that party I mentioned) that drains us.  And first impressions and introductions are usually very awkward.

These should be self-explanatory and are more general to most introverts.

--Introverts are very self-aware and thoughtful

--They enjoy understanding the details

--Interested in self-knowledge and self-understanding

--They tend to keep emotions private

--Quiet and reserved in large groups or around unfamiliar people

--Tends to have a smaller group of friends

--Typically chooses friends much more carefully

--Closest relationships tend to be profound and significant

--Prefers to interact 1-on-1 rather than in large groups

--Finds “small talk” tedious but enjoys deep, meaningful conversations

--Thinks about things before talking to have a full understanding of a concept before voicing an opinion or offering an explanation

Monday, June 29, 2015

Understanding more Introversion

I came across a blog post that briefly summed up some habits of introverts.   I think it was very well written and to-the-point.  Here are some of those points.   I hope this will help anyone that is close to an introvert and wants to understand them more, or perhaps there are parents that have an introverted child who is unaware of themselves,  but have some of these habits. Introversion is much more then a mere personality trait, it is a neurological setting.  Introverts can't be "fixed" or "changed" so understanding them and respecting their way of doing things is the best way to show your respect and appreciation.   The original post of this is here. 

1. The need to take two cars to any social event in case either of you wants to duck out early. Not every introvert is shy, but most introverts derive energy from being alone -- and not from being around a large group of people at a party. As Susan Cain writes in her landmark book Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can't Stop Talking "Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating." Introverts may be OK with crowds -- but only in small doses.
              1a. If you don't have two cars, the need for a private signal in case your introvert wants to make a quick escape. "Introverts are excellent listeners and not big minglers, so at parties, we're sitting ducks for chatterboxes," Sophia Dembling, author of Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After told The Huffington Post. "And while extroverts have a talent for flitting from person to person at a party, introverts are not always good at extricating ourselves from conversations that have gone on too long."

2.  An introvert's inclination to think through an issue before opening his or her mouth, even though you may like to talk everything out. As Cain says, "Introverts are careful, reflective thinkers who can tolerate the solitude that idea-generation requires." Introverts are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams.

3. An introvert's need to decompress after a social event.  Whereas extroverts might get antsy spending time on their own, introverts actually need to be alone in order to feel rejuvenated again.

4. The importance of routines. Chaotic environments seem to sap the energy of the introverts. Routines, though, eliminate the need to make choices, freeing up an introvert's brain for more important things, but also not putting the pressure on to think on the spot. It is very difficult for an introvert to think clearly during chaos.  The more routine, the better.

5. An introvert's irritation when you keep asking "is everything OK?" every few minutes when you're with other people.  I think this one is self-explanatory.   If you see an introvert sitting alone, quietly, their ok.  It's irritating to be checked on, like we can't take care of ourselves.

6. That when an introvert says, "I need to be alone for a while," he or she is not being rude. It's just the way they recharge his or her battery.  A 2010 study shed light on another reason why introverts sometimes prefer being alone. The study found that human faces may hold more meaning for extroverts than for introverts, which could be why extroverts are more likely to seek the company of others,  and introverts are not as concerned with that.

7. An introvert's ability to speak in front of a crowd, even if he or she doesn't want to make small talk afterwards.  Research shows that introverts can sometimes make better leaders than extroverts. For example, Cain described Bill Gates, one of the world's most successful businesspeople, as an introvert. He's quiet, but able to speak in front of a large audience.

8. Springing last minute plans on an introvert.   It's a big interruption in our routine.  Don't do it.

9. The need to do things their way. It may seem selfish, but we have carefully thought through how to do something, probably 6 or 7 times before we actually do something,  going over every detail that we can think of.  And there probably isn't anything that we haven't thought of.

10. The struggle is real and we sometimes struggle just to say hi.  Not for fear of talking to people,  but because there may be small talk to follow.  We would much rather get to a deep conversation and saying "hi" often means small talk.

I truly hope that this helps extroverts understand a little more about the introverts in their lives, whether acquaintances,  friends, or family members or perhaps your trying to figure someone out and you think they may be an introvert.   These are typical in most introverts,  but to varying degrees.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Why you can't "fix" an introvert

There have been many studies to prove that introversion is an actual phenomenon of the brain.  Here is an article I found that sums it up pretty good.

"The introverted brain

Introverts’ brains work differently than extroverts’. For one thing, introverts have more blood flow to their brains than extroverts. According to Marti Olsen Laney, that indicates more internal stimulation and sensitivity. The blood in an introvert’s brain travels longer, more complicated pathways and focuses on parts of the brain involved with internal experiences like remembering, solving problems and planning.

Introverts’ brains still use dopamine but are more sensitive to it and too much of it will cause over-stimulation. The more dominant neurotransmitter found in the introvert’s neuro-pathways is acetylcholine. Acetylcholine affects attention and learning, influences the ability to stay calm and alert, utilizes long-term memory and activates voluntary movement. Not surprisingly, acetylcholine stimulates a good feeling when we think and feel.

Acetylcholine acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter when it activates our parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us calm down and conserve energy when stimulated. The sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) has the opposite effect. It is characterized by activity and mobility and employed more by the extroverted brain."

A lot of people that don't understand introversion think it's just a personality thing and it's because introverts don't want to or haven't "broken out their shell".  Telling an introvert that they need to "change" or be "fixed" an introvert will probably leave them very upset and irritated.  The best thing that can be done is to understand them, simply because this is an actual chemical and physiological design of our brain.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Social Nuance of Introversion

I've always known that I'm introverted, it has only been recently that I've gotten familiar with that term.  This realization doesn't make things easier, except in the sense that knowing that people may start to understand through these blogposts.  It's frustrating when you can write these things out, but get flustered in conversation and It's been a long and arduous road so far, being ridiculed for being "shy" or "anti-social".  I only know that it's been by God's grace that I've been able put up with it.

I'm excited, though, because I've recently moved to a different state and have met some really cool people and really enjoy being "social".  To others, it may not seem at all that I'm being social, and therein lies the conundrum of the introvert.  An introvert being "social" usually does not look at all like their having fun simply because an extroverts definition of fun is that you should look gregariously involved and talking to everyone they contact, laughing and perhaps making jokes and being popular and maybe the center of attention.   A lot of introverts like to go to social gatherings and be around people, for a limited time.  It's just that they may seem very aloof and seemingly shy, but they are having as much fun observing and processing everything around them in their heads.  Along with that is usually the anxiety of going up to people and talking and trying to keep the conversation going, (and that's another story) but most fun for an introvert is found in their own head.

This is why a lot activities that we find fun are thinking activities.   It may take us a long time to start to talk to someone, but the real fun for us is the thinking that is involved.  Of course, there are many types of introversion so this isn't true for every introvert. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Our ways, pet peeves, and life

We know how to get stuff done.

We pack our alone time with activities that we like. We value solitude because it lets us experiment with new concepts, plan and stretch our imagination. Anything is possible when we spend time alone, and what we create may change our lives, and yours, too. And if we tell you that we know what we're doing, we do.  Dont try to change our minds to your preferance of how to do something.

We like to write things out.

We love email because it helps us get what we need without interruptions. Interruptions throw us off course, and we need to expend more energy to get back on track. So, please don’t call unless it is a close-ended question.

We make a choice to be with you–appreciate it.

We value our alone time and are picky about who we let in. Letting in the wrong person will drain us, leaving nothing for ourselves. We tend to attract extroverts who suck our energy, and search out likeminded introverts for our groundedness, deep thinking and sense of control. We appreciate our time with other introverts and have an understanding of each other’s limits and boundaries.

We're really okay.

I would like to get paid $100 for each time I’m asked, “Are you okay?” As an introvert, I’m caught up in my head much of the time. I’m thinking. Pondering. Contemplating. Sometimes I’m just enjoying the present moments as they come in meditative appreciation. I do not need constant noise or chit chat. So I’m often asked, “Are you okay?” because silence can be taken for being sad, angry or socially inept. I assure you though, that I am quite fine. Most of the time.

We actually like to socialize.

It’s true, but only in small groups where we pretty much know everyone or are there for the bigger picture. We like to have fun, laugh, converse about all sorts of things, and just feel the vibe of a good time with company, but when it’s a large group or people we don’t know, we feel uneasy and tend to be quiet. All the noise and carrying on actually starts sucking the energy right out of us. Sometimes some would get a headache attending functions with lots of people, but through the years, we can learn how to protect our energy, put a smile on, and chit chat with the best of them—for a little while anyway. At our first chance to exit the shebang, we're out.

At times, we have to force ourselves to act like we like you. We, basically, grin and bear it.

This is the nasty truth, but we're all moody and know who we like and dont like so I guess this one is universal. It can stem from many reasons that can have its roots in childhood to what we ate for breakfast this morning, but don’t take it personally.  Being nice can actually sometimes be harder than being real.

How can you let the introvert in your life know that you support them and respect them?

First, recognize that it's not a choice. It's not a lifestyle. It's an orientation.
Second, when you see an introvert lost in thought, don't say "What's the matter?" or "Are you all right?"
Third, don't say anything else, either.

There is nothing "wrong" or "weird" about being an introvert. Some people confuse introversion with shyness or anxiety, and some people will say that you need to "come out of your shell" or "be more social", like it's a bad thing. It isn't.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Understanding introversion

          I have always known, to some extent and even before I knew the term "introvert", that I am an introvert and used to be ashamed of being an introvert. I wanted to be someone else. You see, sometimes it’s hard to explain to other people how it actually feels to be an introvert. It’s even harder to accept that it’s a part of who you are and especially difficult to communicate this to someone who is not an introvert.  Questions like, “Why can't you be more social and out going?” or “Why do you look so unhappy around big groups of people?” are sometimes difficult to answer.  After all, it’s not like we don’t enjoy having fun, acting silly, or being around other people. We just want to do it around the right people and more importantly, we need quiet time, before and after.

Here's some things that are true for introverts. 

They are great listeners

           In fact, we love to listen. It gives us a chance to really get to know someone and understand them better. Introverts are typically highly engaged with someone they want to get to know. They are easily distracted by outside stimuli that may interfere with listening, and they usually want to devote all of their attention to the other person.

They sometimes wish they were extroverts

           I sometimes wonder what it would be like to walk into a large group of people and to instantly become energized by the people around me. I always thought it has to be cool to have that infectious energy that draws people to you.

They don’t enjoy being the center of attention

            Most introverts don’t like all eyes to be on them. It can be difficult to speak up at a work meeting, deliver a speech, or answer a question in front of other people. We typically like to listen to other people’s perspective and hear what they have to say. It doesn’t mean we don’t have an opinion, but sometimes it’s hard to articulate what we’re thinking.

They easily see other people’s point of view

            They are typically empathetic to other people and what they have to say  Even if they don’t agree with the other person, they make a good effort to see things from their perspective. They strive to get to know other people in all situations before judging or making the other person feel inadequate.

They are drained by high energy people

             High energy people can be exhausting for introverts. They often feel like they have to match that level of intensity and may feel uncomfortable when they don’t. Introverts may need breaks from these high energy situations because unlike extroverts, they don’t become energized by these people. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

They like to take things slow

            Sometimes it just takes us introverts a little longer to move forward. We like to weigh all of our options and look at all possible outcomes before making a final decision. This can also be detrimental to us because we tend to analyze things too much. So, don’t take it personally if we just aren’t quite ready to take that next step.

They are not just introverts

              Being labeled as an introvert can immediately put someone in a category. Although it is a useful term that people can relate to, although it doesn’t define who they are. There are many types of introverts and many variations within those types. More than anything, introverts are people first. Being an introvert is just one aspect of who a person is. Many people fall into a continuum of traits and exhibit extroverted traits and introverted traits. Just some are more than the other.

Here are some do's and don'ts.

Don't talk down to us or treat us like we're stupid or slow, especially in public.

Do let us say what we want and give us time.  It would be a good idea to wait a few seconds (maybe 4 or 5) before you chime in.

Listen.  We talk quietly and don't fight to be heard.

Don't treat us like we're fragile.

Don't put us on the spot.  Ask us first, beforehand.

Do let us call you. When you call us, it might interrupt our life and frustrate us. If you have something to say....text or email is the best.

If you tell us that your going to do something, do it. 

Be prompt.

Don't change things unexpectedly.   Give as much notice of changes as you can.

Dont ask why we’re so shy

Dont take our need for alone time personally.

Dont ask if we’re mad.

Dont Be clingy.

Dont talk incessantly.  If you do need to talk, say "I'm just thinking out loud..."

Dont tell us we need to learn to speak up.

Dont push us into commitments.

Dont tell us we’re missing out on life.

Be understanding.

(Collections from around the web)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

 10 Incredibly Awkward Moments in the Life of an Introvert.

1.  Going out somewhere to be social.
2.  Wanting to go up to people to start a conversation, but they walk in another direction. (Seen as a failed attempt)
3.  Standing/sitting there looking anti-social but actually trying to think of stuff to say, but also thoroughly enjoying taking in the surroundings.
4.  Being caught off guard when one of your new friends comes up to talk to you and not knowing what to say.
5.  Sweating, the longer someone new talks to you, the more nervous you are, for fear of saying something stupid.   (So you opt for being quiet,  but.....awkward), but you hope they keep talking.
6.  Constantly realizing that people think your anti-social
7.  Questions like "Why are you so quiet/shy/introverted?" are, not only torture, but very intimidating. 
8.  When in a conversation with a few friends and you think of a witty comment, but alas, that topics over.
9.  Always leaving bad first impressions. 
10.  Trying your hardest not to be too......well awkward.