I’ve always known I was shy. But I never thought I was an INTROVERT too. And no, they are not the same thing, not exactly. But some tendencies could appear similar and that's why people think that they are one in the same. According to the Mirriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of shy is being disposed to avoid a person or thing for fear of negative judgement. In my case, I almost dread social gatherings, not because I’m antisocial, or harmful to organized society (another word people throw around loosely, but that’s a post for another day), but because I’m terrified of “acting a fool” and of how others will think of me. I’m already my own worst critic, but then I shutter to think about what others think of me.
Ok, I’m over a little exaggerating here, but it’s how I really feel. The psychological definition of introvert is a person who tends to shrink from social contacts and to become preoccupied with their own thoughts. This means that you’d prefer, and actually flourish being by yourself or doing solitary activities. Left to your own devises, so to speak. As an introvert, you may feel drained when you are around a group of people an may need frequent breaks. Does this sound like you too?
I'm going to take it back a a few months to show you a snapshot of an instance that my introversion and shyness come together since you probably remember our celebration. This is on the day of the She Is Blank Space anniversary party...
I’ve been so busy all morning and early afternoon running errands and fulfilling orders that I all but forgot about the party. That was up until the alarm on my phone is goes off 2 hours before the party reminding me that I needed to start getting ready. I mention to my husband how excited I am, but just the awareness of the event, gets my stomach feeling like knots. The drive during rush hour traffic doesn't help much. The anxiety worsens. When I finally arrive at the venue 25 minutes past the time I meant to arrive, I’m frazzled and almost shaking. My heart is racing. Partly because of the nerve-wracking drive in traffic, but mostly because of the party and impending mingling. I walk through the doors of the Tampa Kendra Scott location and I’m almost in a daze. I walk to the back of the room where the other She Is Blank Space gals are. I say “hi” to the girls near me, and almost instinctively don’t say “hi” to those I have to walk to. Not because I don’t want to, or because I’m lazy to walk on over, but because of the fear that I’d draw attention to myself walking across the room. 'I’ll say hello to them when we get our pre-party blogger photoshoot going,' I said to myself.
Of course the party was amazing! I enjoyed myself. I mingled and did great, at least I hope. Meeting new people and reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in a while, I had fun. Almost at the 2 hour mark, I begin to feel a bit drained. I push through it and hung on a little longer. I don’t know if I delayed leaving to avoid having to hug everyone “bye” before heading out, because I dread the attention it will bring to me, or because I truly wanted to stay long. I’ll say it’s truly a mix of both.
When I got home after the event, I just couldn’t shake the annoying feeling I had that I was sooo nervous, but I had such a blast. I took out my laptop and did some “googling”. I was shocked to learn that I was a Shy-Introvert. I also found out that my husband is an outgoing-Introvert. Weird combo, I know. Do you know what combo you are? I surely didn't and this caused me to dig a little deeper.
Dr. Susan Whitbourne has laid out 9 tell-tale signs of introversion in her article in Psychology Today titled: “Nine Signs You’re Really An Introvert”:
1.You enjoy alone time- You’d prefer to do solitary activities such as reading or listening to music. The quite times are vital to your well being. For me, its the times I’m creating new pieces for my jewelry line. I don’t get much alone time, so it’s been hard for me to create new designs.
2.You think best when you’re alone- As an introvert, you are highly creative and this creativity can produce maximum results. This is in line with the previous point. I do my very best thinking and problem solving when I’m in my own thoughts.
3.You’re a better leader when others are self starters- Introverts can draw the most potential out of the group and build on it. I know for a fact I’m not good at managing other people, but I’m a GREAT motivator and encourager.
4.You’re the last to raise your hand in school- It’s not that you know less, it’s that you just don’t want to get the attention. You prefer to sit back and let the extroverts have at it. I was NEVER one to raise my hand in school. I’d do it solely to avoid being called on purposefully by the teacher. I remembered hoping not to get chosen when I did raise my hand even when I knew the answer. I DREADED being called on to read out loud from the text book. Gaahhh.
5.You get asked for your opinion- Because you prefer to sit back, other’s want to know your thoughts. I’m usually the last one to offer anything to the group, I try not to because I usually end up saying “ditto” to what someone else says, even though it was exactly what I wanted say before they even said it.
6.You avoid interaction in public places- Introverts just don’t seek contact with others. For me, I almost avoid it and keep my head down or on my phone when I’m walking around by myself. Another example was working at Sephora, I was never good being on the floor, but you put me at the cashier where people HAD to come up to me (instead of me approach them) I flourished. I became head cashier within months of being employed.
7.You prefer not to talk with people who seem upset- Introverts are sensitive to negative evaluations. Their tone/gaze comes off as a threat. Totally true for me, I almost always think I did something wrong when a person I just came in contact with looks or sounds upset. This is even more so for me with my business. Being a co-owner of JCL Jewelry, an online Etsy shop, I share some of the communication/correspondence duties with my husband. I never knew why I dreaded dealing with someone who comes off as upset. My auto response is to think, “Oh crap, she’s upset… ‘run Forest run!”” Admittedly, my second response is to become standoffish, I get super sweaty palms and my heart races. Over time (and lots of PRAYERS) I honed in on that and can say I’ve come a very long way in this department. Now, I completely understand why, it was “flight or fight” and it’s my hand made jewelry, you bet your pants I’m “fighting” so to speak.
8.You get more inbound text, emails, calls than you make- Introverts tend to not reach out voluntarily even in their social circles. If it is unavoidable, we prefer text or emails over phone calls. YES!!! I used to think it’s just because I’ve joined the masses of this text and email world and have no time to “talk on the phone”, but seriously though… my heart races and my palms get sweaty. Not fun.
9.You don’t start small talk with casual contacts- We just don’t see the need. I think this plays a part in why it’s so hard to come up with good content when writing my blogs. If you noticed I like to do lists and tips. For me, it’s hard to write content as if it were a personal journal.
*Source: Whitbourne, Susan Krauss. "Nine Signs You're Really an Introvert." Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 25 Mar. 2014. Web. 23 Apr. 2017. Narrative after bold referenced points by writer.
I think it’s so important to learn what personality trait you are. It can help you understand your inner workings and it can even help your significant other understand you on another level, to be better equipped to love you and to become a better partner for you. It can help you to awaken passions within you so you can truly be the best YOU! Here are some test you can look into to help figure out your personality traits:
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
MBTI Step II —The Five Facets of an Introverting Preference
tell me below!
If you've taken a personality test before, or took the one we mentioned, were you surprised by the results or were they spot on? What are the advantages to your personality?
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