Introversion and me
Yes, we introverts have a world introvert day, every year, on 2 January. A quite appropriate date as it falls right after the hustle and bustle of a busy Christmas/New Year/Holiday season.
In a society that values extroversion, introverts are often misunderstood and their own set of personality traits overlooked. We’re judged as shy, anti-social, aloof, even arrogant, and just plain weird.
Introversion is not the same as shyness, social anxiety nor depression, though both introverts and extroverts can experience these conditions.
If you’d like to know more about introverts, here are links to two good articles:
IntrovertDear.com – What is an Introvert?
VeryWellMind.com – How you can tell you’re an introvert.
I was brought up in a family of rampant extroverts, where extrovert traits were very much valued. So, to try to fit in, I developed an extrovert mask. This mask still slips on when I’m in situations and circumstances that require me to interact with people I don’t know, or where I feel vulnerable emotionally. People often think I’m an extrovert because of this mask.
However, the real me, the vulnerable me, is quite introverted.
I like people, but in small numbers. I much prefer spending time with just one or two people where the conversation can be less social fluff and more meaningful.
Yes, I do tend to sit at the back or at the edge of meeting or gathering. I like to observe and listen and become comfortable before I engage (if I ever do). Even with regular meetings with people I become familiar with it can still take me a long time to interact. It can take me even longer to drop the extrovert mask so they can glimpse the real me.
After social interaction, especially with large groups of people, I can be completely drained of energy and need plenty of alone time to recharge my batteries.
Indeed, if I have a lot of social interaction in a short space of time I can end up with an ‘introvert hangover’ – deeply tired, headachy, emotionally drained. If that happens, I need an extended period of time to recover, which often includes copious naps and binge watching Star Wars, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings/Hobbit! In serious cases a healthy dose of Ben and Jerry’s Karamel Sutra is required!
You see, interaction with my own inner life, my creativity, with books and music energises me. Social events, particularly noisy and crowded ones, will drain me of energy and become torture for me.
One-to-one interaction, or being with a small group of people in a calm environment can, however, be energising as well as tiring, especially when the conversation is about life, the universe and everything.
Us introverts do need, and value, people in our lives, just not all at once! Social interaction is just as important for us as for the extroverts, though our preferences for social interaction are different – less small chat, more meaningful conversations. And those of us who are self-aware recognise the need for the right balance between social interaction and alone time.
Extroversion-introversion is a continuum, a spectrum, and we all show aspects of each archetype. However, I know my introvert traits outweigh my extrovert traits fairly considerably.
Just as a fun-fact, it’s estimated that extroverts outweigh introverts by six or seven to one across the world.
About the artwork
Yesterday, I had a lovely time drawing entangled borders to use for quote projects, just like this one. Today, I kept the drawing in black and white and added a pretty background to the drawing and typography.
I used Uniball Unipin pens and ClaireFontaine dot grid paper to draw the designs. To put the artwork together I used Affinity Publisher to do the typography, and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to put the artwork, typography and background together.