I have friends who are quite social and often invite me here and there. Mostly, I choose to keep to myself. I truly enjoy being alone and savor the peace and quiet in my house when my boys are off with their dad. I have one friend who calls me Greta, as in Garbo, as in “I want to be left alone.”
This solo behavior is nothing new as I have been this way all of my life. Over the years, I’ve been called different, aloof, quiet and snobby. I truly don’t identify with any of these labels and the fact that people don’t really understand me is just something I’ve gotten used to.
I recently came across a book called The Introvert Advantage, written by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D., which has made me realize that I am a part of a group which is often misunderstood. Reading page after page, I saw myself in the words and descriptions defining an introverted person. Yes, this was me, without a doubt. I even took the quiz which categorized me as “Pretty darn introverted”. It was a light bulb moment for me and I devoured the book justifying many of my seemingly odd behaviors. I was off the proverbial hook of being just another weirdo. Many excuses have been made for me over the years by others to explain “me” such as:
she’s an artist
she’s the middle child
she’s a writer
she’s been through some stuff
While some of the above may bear weight, I am now convinced that I am plainly just an introvert. An artist, writer, middle child introvert who has been through some stuff.
The nice thing about this book is that it celebrates the uniqueness and strengths of being an introvert. It has given me the sense that I am a normal minority and that in fact having an introverted temperament is something you are born with and isn’t a social defect as many think.
While reading the book, I was happy to be able to identify that I am not the only one who seeks refuge in the bathroom at a party and look forward to going home shortly after arrival. I now have a better understanding why I like the company of one or two and tend to recoil in large groups even in family situations. This book has provided some explanation as to why I struggled in school academically. If you are an introvert, you should read this book. If you know an introvert, you should read this book to get a better understanding of how we learn, form relationships, communicate etc.
I have to admit that it’s kind of nice knowing that I am not the only one. In fact, I may just put out a flyer for a support group.
Calling all new potential club members – limit 3 people
Meetings will be held weekly and we will set up a rotation system for
hiding in going to the bathroom.
A timer will be set and the meeting will end within ½ hour and you’ll be on your way home. If we find that our energy is draining, we can cut the meeting to 15 minutes.
This week’s topics will include:
“White Lies”, ideas for how to leave a party early.
How to avoid chit chat while still being polite.
How texting has changed our lives.
Since we both hate to talk on the phone, please R.S.V.P via text message or email.