Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Yes, Virginia, Introverts Do Go Outside

I once had an extremely extroverted neighour who couldn’t stand being alone for one minute. “I need people”, she said to me. “Really NEED people.” And because she so desperately needed to be around people all the time, she would call friends or acquaintances to invite them to join her on every single outing, even if said outing was a quick trip to the market. And she would drop by some neighbour’s house, unexpectedly, whenever the need for company arose. Which was every day. And sometimes several times a day.


I was one of those ‘lucky’ individuals whose doorbell and phone rang a few times a week by this extroverted extrovert. Sometimes I accepted the invitation, most times I did not. It’s the many times of refusal that she couldn’t understand, and this led to her blurting out one day: “You need to get out. Don’t be such a recluse.”

“You need to get out.”

* blink *

As my long-time readers know, I’m a self-proclaimed introvert, someone who relates to the inner world of ideas rather than to the outer world of things and people. I enjoy – and need – quiet time, and time for introspection of my thoughts and feelings. What this means is that although I enjoy socializing, I don’t need to constantly be around other people.


But extroverts like the woman I’m writing about have a very difficult time understanding my personality type. They picture introverts as basement-dwellers who hide from people and never see the light of day. In reality, we get out a lot. I certainly do. But you’d never notice me. Because I’m low key. Soft spoken. And I’m very good at getting out alone. Or with one other person. Or in very small groups.


And you’ll find me in subdued settings. Like nature trails. Quiet dinners. Parks. Intimate gatherings. Small towns. Bookstores. On road trips. Running errands. Near waterways. Nature reserves. Curled up on my couch with a book. In my garden. At the movie theater. In a thrift shop. At a coffee shop. Strolling along a country road snapping photos. At the zoo. And so on.

Not in my basement with the blinds closed.

* blink *

So, yes, Virginia, introverts do get out. They just don’t need to do it with you all the time.

"Oh no...I'm outside. The light...the light is hurting my eyes!"

24 comments:

  1. Sometimes I think that the only real problem introverts have is . . . extroverts!

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  2. it is nice to get outside every once in awhile to enjoy nature

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    1. It sure is. And I get out as much as possible to breathe in the world.

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  3. I consider myself more of an introvert. I think introverts and extroverts sometimes make the best friends with one another... a yin to the yang :)

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    1. Yes, sometimes they certainly do. And sometimes it just doesn't work! I guess it all depends on the chemistry between them.

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  4. Sun glasses may help Martha!! lol
    This was lovely and as you know I have come to appreciate you introverts. I have lived with one for almost 40 years and am inclined to think that this is the only way to live.
    Beautiful photos here....I especially like the fence posts.
    I wonder if intros take different photos than extros?

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    1. Hahaha...I should wear my sunglasses more often.

      That's interesting, Jim. Is it possible introverts take different photos than extroverts? It's possible, I suppose.

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  5. Some of my friends just don't get this and feel insulted or hurt. I'm sorry about that, but this is just the way I am. Ohhh and I'm off to meditate for 30 min of silence ~ alone...hahaha

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    1. I know what you mean. We don't mean to upset anyone. Just like extroverts need certain things, us introverts do, too. If we take the time to learn about one another, we can meet halfway and be much happier for it.

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  6. Love Love Love this Martha!

    Pretty much point on "exactly true"! I/We had an acquaintance/not fiend like that about 10 years ago. One day it dawned on me, all she wanted was a sounding board and a reason to go to a dance or gathering. Once there at the "so exciting gathering" she would disappear and chat EVERYONE UP!

    Bye Bye

    I have a ton more stories about her and others who have crossed my/our paths. But I now LOVE my world of photography and meeting 'like-similar' peeps!

    Thanks for your honesty because it verifies my own.

    Now I think I'll go out and avoid people for awhile, hide behind a tree or something!!

    Ron

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    1. I know people like that. It's quite frustrating. But I don't participate in stuff like that anymore. If I don't feel like doing something, I don't.

      I enjoy smaller groups of people, and like-minded individuals, but I also enjoy the company of people who are very different from me. It all boils down to whether we get along or not, and mutual respect.

      Hahahahha... I laughed heartily at your last line! Well, lucky for us, we live in areas where there are enough trees to hide behind...HAHAHA...

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  7. That neighbor wasn't an "extrovert;" she was a royal pain in the patootie. I thrive in a social setting, so I suppose that makes me an extrovert, but that doesn't mean I don't cherish my alone time, too. Socialization may provide energy, but solitude revs up the soul.

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    1. Yes, she certainly could be a pain in the patootie at times. She was very friendly, but overly needy (in my humble opinion). She needed a void to be filled, and I just wasn't in the mood to be a void filler.

      She is very much an extrovert, but one who doesn't understand that others are not as highly in need of socializing as she does. I have met many extroverts like her over the years who just don't understand the difference between what an introvert needs and what an extrovert does. I've yet to meet an introvert that told me I need to 'get out'!

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  8. How about virtual world? Do you feel more comfortable in it since no such neighbours are there?

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    1. I feel comfortable in both worlds. But the virtual world is much more within my power.

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  9. I'm a weird mixture of both. I love being around people and studying them, but I'm to blunt for long conversations. I like to be alone in a crowded mall.

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    1. I'm sure you've found the right balance to enjoy wherever you are.

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  10. As an introvert, I love this post! My inner life is full and rich. I would not trade that for anything.

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  11. I am also an introvert and I love this post. I have never heard myself described so well.

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    1. Introverts truly understand other introverts. Some extroverts make a sincere effort, too.

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  12. I find that when I am required to be in the midst of a large gathering, social or work related, my adrenaline kicks in and helps me get through it. Being in large groups (the mall, concerts, etc.) drains me and leaves me exhausted physically and mentally. I much prefer social gatherings that are just a couple of friends where I can hear what they have to say, make eye contact and have meaningful conversations.

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    1. I usually don't have trouble in large groups. Over the years, I've learned to tune out the background noise. But not always. Sometimes I'm too tired to deal with it!

      But I love small social gatherings, particularly when it's with people I'm very fond of. And eye contact and meaningful conversations are very appealing to me, too.

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