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  #1  
Unread 15th February 2010, 11:17 PM
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Being introverted...

...is hard. It makes you appear weird to other people. It seems as if there is some invisible law in this world that one has to go out there and do something. I always stay in a corner, though...reading books, listening to classical, and so on.

People usually make fun of me for this; they say I am a snob, or that I am abnormal, or whatever. Frankly, I don't see why people are so worried about what other people do. Why is it any of their business? Whether I am a snob or whatever, whether I am introverted or extroverted, why should other people judge me on that basis? It makes no sense at all.

It annoys me terribly, and I waste so much time in hate and anger when that time could've been better spent on something else.
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  #2  
Unread 15th February 2010, 11:54 PM
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From one introvert to another: I completely sympathize. I have often lamented the fact that I wasn't born an extrovert, but I am the way that I am and I have always been this way. However, it is just when I learn to be at peace with it that someone lambasts me about it for not being extroverted enough. I have mostly moved on from caring what 'they' think though.
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  #3  
Unread 16th February 2010, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by seashale76 View Post
From one introvert to another: I completely sympathize. I have often lamented the fact that I wasn't born an extrovert, but I am the way that I am and I have always been this way. However, it is just when I learn to be at peace with it that someone lambasts me about it for not being extroverted enough. I have mostly moved on from caring what 'they' think though.
Thanks, Seashale, for your thoughts. To me, it's not about caring what they think of me; it's a bigger problem than that. I'll give you an instance to make it clear. Recently, I was in a group and unfortunately, one of them happened to be someone I know. In front of ten people or so, she made sarcastic remarks about my never going out or meeting people, bla bla. It gets acutely embarrassing when you just stand there and listen to this, especially when ten strangers are giving you a quizzical look.

The most frustrating thing, however, is that you can't even get out of such situations -- you can't yell at them, nor can you suddenly take off. You're trapped, and you have to just stand there like an idiot whilst others have a field day. It's disgusting, but not many people can relate to any of this, unless they're introverted themselves. That makes it even worse.
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  #4  
Unread 16th February 2010, 12:13 AM
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I know what you mean. I had a situation over the summer with co-workers. We were doing these team building circle/group things where we had different activities each day. They kept building the activities up into these uncomfortable sharing with the group about personal topics stuff. I made a point to come late and/or be the person who they would 'forget' to call on. I dreaded going for the week we had that training. It was really bad one day when the group facilitator realized I neglected to share. I hate being put on the spot (even over ridiculously innocuous things) in front of a group of people, especially when they are just mostly acquaintances to me.

ETA: This doesn't effect my ability to give great extemporaneous speeches in front of groups of people. Public speaking on a topic isn't the same as sharing personal information and being put on the spot, I've found. It's a really strange disconnect for me.
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Last edited by seashale76; 16th February 2010 at 12:18 AM.
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  #5  
Unread 16th February 2010, 01:14 AM
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It is tough. People are ignorant. I can empathize. I admit I have become more outgoing in recent years, but that doesn't come at once. I guess try and think of your good qualities that people seem to overlook. Bring them out.
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  #6  
Unread 16th February 2010, 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by simonpeter View Post
...is hard. It makes you appear weird to other people. It seems as if there is some invisible law in this world that one has to go out there and do something. I always stay in a corner, though...reading books, listening to classical, and so on.

People usually make fun of me for this; they say I am a snob, or that I am abnormal, or whatever. Frankly, I don't see why people are so worried about what other people do. Why is it any of their business? Whether I am a snob or whatever, whether I am introverted or extroverted, why should other people judge me on that basis? It makes no sense at all.

It annoys me terribly, and I waste so much time in hate and anger when that time could've been better spent on something else.
Some may always think an introverted person is snobbish or anything else. Primarily, it is about whether one does good and says good, though, whether you get slandered. And if you do good and say good, unfortunately... get used to getting slandered. That is, wrongly judged.

It just comes with the territory, whether you are introverted or extroverted.

The real problem is herd mindsets people get into. Maybe you have noticed this. I use the term "herd", obviously, in a derogatory sense. We should be free from social constraints, able to be parts of groups, but not having those groups define us... as it did with the Pharisees. Jesus had much to say about the danger of such groups and exposed the mindset.

There are two primary problems with groupthink in that context and herd like behavior... one is the issue of self-righteous and praise from me... the other is the 'us vs them' attitude, where one group learns to hate different groups. 'Hate thine enemy' in practice, as opposed to 'love your enemies'. That mindset is prevalent in most groups, I hate to say. They may not use the words "enemy" and "hate", but it is the same thing.

Such groups spend a lot of time slandering and generally hating those outside their group. They also have consensual delusions supported by these pillars of their group mindset.

A good group is one where people accept you for who you are, people work together, and they do not have systems of praise and chores to earn elevation in the group.

As Christians, I truly believe we are called to stand outside all such trappings, though we should make strains to not be misunderstood... very, very often this is simply impossible.
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Unread 16th February 2010, 09:09 AM
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You will probably find over time that to keep your introverted lifestyle, you will need to feed the lions once in a while. Keep the strategy in your own hands. Find select bits of information about yourself that you will release once in a while, like accomplishments related to work. Ask to go to a conference and keep fairly quiet about it. Give out birthday cards or emails but don't feel obligated to hang out in the hall.

If you are completely yourself in seclusion, then you will get frustrated that others talk their superiors into promotions. Admit that there will be a few areas you will need to stretch yourself, and then hold tight to the rest.

Be the person who initiates coffee out, but set a time limit. Make sure you don't stay so long that you will give out more information than you are comfortable with. Be the one in control.

Hold your cards carefully.
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Unread 16th February 2010, 08:03 PM
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You may be at a stage in your life where you feel comfortable being introverted. That's OK, we all feel or have felt that way at some point in our lives. That's not to say you can't change and become more outgoing. What may help you break out of this would be to work on a projecting a true positive attitude. People seek out positive people with positive attitudes and shy away from negative individuals.

Once you master a positive attitude the next thing to learn is assertiveness. It takes some time to master these two things but once you have learned them there is no telling what you can accomplish.
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Unread 17th February 2010, 06:47 AM
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projecting a true positive attitude.
It helps me to focus on God with me -- praying about where He wants to use me puts me in a more proactive position. Then I am not a victim to what others want to say, because God and I are in charge of who I talk with, and how long.

Practice the art of working a room -- gracefully leaving conversations, and it will free you from the obligation to stay and listen to their criticisms.

Be in charge for those short spurts, and then go home to take a nap. (-; Show that you are in a different realm, where you can rise above the bar they're setting. Find out what strangers need, and you may meet much nicer people. Care for others, and you will gradually find that you have trained others to care.
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Unread 17th February 2010, 10:33 AM
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I can relate in some ways. I don't mind small groups (1-2 people, max) but I kind of get lost when I'm speaking with a whole heap of people (a throwback to my High School days - I was the type of guy who sat in the library reading a book instead of going out and playing basketball). Back when I was at uni, I was on the shuttle-bus with a friend, chatting and laughing away. He then asks me, "Wow, I never knew you were this chatty - why aren't you like that when we're in the Student Common Room". I honestly had no answer. I just don't deal with crowds well. When there's more than half a dozen people in a conversation, I tend to just sit back and let others speak.

At a recent party I went to, I was speaking to a very good friend I hadn't seen in a long time, sharing about how work was going. There were about twelve of us in the room, but there were about twenty different conversations going on, so I was just as chatty one-on-one. Then I mentioned that the police dropped by the school I taught at to pick up one of the students. I guess that got people's attention, because I suddenly heard silence from all the other conversations, and suddenly my one-on-one chat seemed to be something I was saying to the whole room. Needless to say, I bombed out a little.

It's just part of being human. Some of us are extroverts, some are introverts. Both have their ups and downs. Imagine how the extrovert feels as they are going to work, sitting alone in their car, or listening to their iPod on the train? This is the introvert's playground, and we can amuse ourselves with daydreams, or books, or any kind of personal reflection while the extrovert sits there thinking, "geez, I just want this to be over".

Just a few thoughts

~ PA
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