A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine posted a link to her Facebook page that caught my eye: 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert. At first, I was just curious, but as I read down the list it slowly but surely dawned on me: Holy crap! I’m an introvert!
It didn’t make any sense at first…I mean, I like people. I’m not shy. I’ve been on stage in front of hundreds of people in frilly panties and a corset for crying out loud! How could I possibly an introvert??? Turns out, everything I thought I knew about introverts was wrong. I had always thought of introverts as people who were painfully shy. The awkward kid who always sat in the corner. Introverts were people who didn’t have any friends. Au contraire, mon frère!
Introverts just like to process things…well, internally. We need downtime to balance out episodes of heightened social activity. Of the “23 Signs” listed in the Huffinton Post article, number 14 is perhaps the most perfect example for me:
14. You screen all your calls — even from friends.
You may not pick up your phone even from people you like, but you’ll call them back as soon as you’re mentally prepared and have gathered the energy for the conversation.
“To me, a ringing phone is like having somebody jump out of a closet and go ‘BOO!,'” says Dembling. “I do like having a long, nice phone call with a friend — as long as it’s not jumping out of the sky at me.”
It’s not that I don’t love you! It’s that you caught me off guard, that’s all! And it’s this exact feeling that has made my weekly scheduled calls with my Mom, so much more pleasant. Because, before we set that schedule, any time she called (or when anyone else calls for that matter) felt like an attack. Not because of what she said, but because the phone rang.
This tiny self discovery has been quite the eye-opener for me! All of the sudden, I no longer worry that I’m possibly suffering from some strange strain of non-suicidal depression. It’s no longer a cause for concern that I just don’t feel like hanging out sometimes. Life, all of a sudden, seems to make sense in a way it never has before (though, I don’t think I ever noticed that it didn’t make sense before). So yeah, when the big neighboring push at church recommends that we just go knock on some doors and I think that’s a HORRIBLE idea, it’s not so much because I don’t want to go knock on some stranger’s door, it’s because the idea of a stranger knocking on my door is about the worst thing that can happen to me on any random day.
So there you have it. I’m an introvert. And by-gum, I think it suits me.