Nourishing Your Inner Introvert in an Extroverted World

Nourishing Your Inner Introvert in an Extroverted World

Nourishing Your Inner Introvert in an Extroverted World

“To have a quiet mind is to possess one’s mind wholly; 
to have a calm spirit is to possess one’s self.” Hamilton Mabie

Does too much social interaction exhaust you? You had a great time, saw old friends, wined, dined, laughed and reconnected. The next day, all you want to do is crash…

You feel depleted, run down, exhausted. Maybe you drank too much, stayed out too late? Are you just frail, weak, lazy? Why does it often feel like you have to recover from having fun while other people can just keep going? 

If social activity leaves you depleted, you’re likely an introvert (or at least fall somewhere close to there on the introverted/extroverted spectrum). 

I used to drain myself endlessly. I love socializing but I didn’t respect or even fully understand my limits so I constantly overbooked myself (I also happen to have a very social husband who books us up constantly!). And so I struggled with always feeling worn down. Once I embraced my introverted nature I became better equipped to maintain a schedule that set limits, maximized my strengths and didn’t leave me feeling so drained.

Introverts and extroverts are like an emotional ying and yang; we complement each other perfectly but we could not be more different. The interactions that drain an introvert, energize an extrovert. Introverts gain their energy from their alone time. Extroverts energize through social interaction. Introverts live inwardly. Extroverts live out loud; they think best when they can speak through issues with others. Introverts love to sit alone and think, quietly, pensively. Extroverts would rather talk to strangers.

We live in a live-out-loud think-out-loud society. Being an extrovert is praised and admired and being an introvert is often viewed as a problem that needs to be overcome or pitied, particularly in childhood. The invaluable benefits of being introverted are often overlooked when people don’t look deep enough. And because we’re often taught as children to be ashamed of our introverted nature by society, we grow up constantly fighting against ourselves instead of maximizing our strengths.

Does any of this inner dialogue sound familiar? “Stop being so lazy, so needy, so emotionally high-maintenance, so withdrawn, so boring. Battle through, power up, keep it moving. Don’t be such a recluse. Why can’t you be more like so and so? …”

Stop fighting yourself. Give your inner introvert exactly what he/she needs and your invaluable introverted qualities will thrive.

Introverts are introspective, deep and complex. We are full of insight and reflection. We forge strong long-term friendships. We focus on projects intently. We are extremely self-aware. We’re incredibly observant, often picking up on things others miss, meaningful but less visible subtleties. We think creatively. We problem solve. We have no desire to be the center of attention, nor are we comfortable there. But we’re very aware of what’s happening there and all around us.

Small talk can at times seem meaningless to introverts. We want to jump into the intimate deep end, talk about life issues, emotional battles, topics we’re passionate about. We want to bond and share deeply. We splash around uncomfortably in the shallow end and do the butterfly stroke in the deep end. And that’s okay, thrive where you thrive.  

The traits that distinguish introverts from extroverts are out of our control, our brains are simply hardwired differently. So wasting energy trying to change or be someone you’re not is just that, a waste of energy. 

Introverts can thrive in small talk and at parties, and we can be very social but our greatest creations, our deepest thoughts, our most powerful reflections, our most sustainable energy, will always come from our alone time, our power zone. The more we respect this power zone, the more we thrive.

I have a theory on introverts that has helped me become more accepting of my own introverted nature. I believe all living beings are connected, energetically and spiritually, and that introverts tap into this energy in a very unique way. It’s this particular energetic hardwiring allows us to see the things others miss, probe so deeply, analyze so intently, and self-reflect so thoroughly. And because we’re so internally stimulated by this energy, we get depleted quickly. The energy of others shoots us up like lightening to metal, and we need peace, solitude and quiet to recover and defuse.

So give yourself permission to be still, introspective, and reflective. And allow yourself down time to recover when you need it. Turn down social events when it gets to be too many. Set boundaries. Allow yourself to thrive according to your own rules. 

You’re not frail or weak; you’re your own energy supplier. You’re the Con Ed of your soul. If you don’t pay the bill, you run all your lights out. Pay the bills and your deep introspective magic will illuminate the mind’s eye.

There’s no competition between introverts and extroverts. One is no better than the other. We simply form an emotional and intellectual ying and yang, two pieces fitting together in perfect synchronicity. The world would not be as complete, as balanced or as beautiful, if everyone was only one or the other. Most of my closest friends are extroverts and we balance each other out perfectly.

Extroverts bring the pizzazz and sparkle; introverts bring the mystery and allure. Extroverts are bright and colorful rainbows, immediately capturing people’s attention with their beauty and shine. Introverts are the wind in the trees that touches your soul in profound, contemplative and peaceful (though less visible) ways. 

Both are beautiful and perfect. Each meant to live and thrive according to their own rules. 

So respect your power zone. Find the balance that works for you. Set limits when you need to. Allow yourself to be exactly who you are. Thrive in your pensive reflections, in your down time. And enjoy all the beautiful rainbows that walk through life with you.

A Gift For Introverted Souls:

a gift for introverted souls

Have you struggled with embracing your inner introvert? 

If you liked this post, please “like” it, share it & leave a comment!

xo, Liz

 

 

 

 

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30 Responses to Nourishing Your Inner Introvert in an Extroverted World

  1. Elvira says:

    I’ve commented on a few of your posts but I do read them all because it resonates so well with me! So many times I feel like you could be writing about me. I do have a question though. How do you balance living with and/or living in a world of extroverts? I also have an extrovert/social fiance who books us up constantly! I have a tough time explaining to him why I don’t always want to go out.

    • Liz says:

      Hey Elvira! We’re clearly cut from the same cloth 🙂 I used to have a hard time with it as well, because I didn’t fully understand my own limits or why I felt the way I did. So I never knew how to say no to my super social hubby! Once I understood better I really just communicated it all to him so he’d understand and then I just had to start saying no more when it got to be too much. I say communicate lovingly & openly and it all works out!

  2. Naomi says:

    Yes, yes! It’s all about recognizing this in myself and finding a balance. I’m surrounded by extraverts, or at least people who don’t understand an introvert’s need to withdraw after a lot of activity, so it’s hard to remember that this is not something to question in myself. If I need to let the pendulum swing the other way for a bit, it’s ok.
    I’m so glad you wrote this! Best wishes becoming someone’s mommy! I have found that to be another challenge as an introvert!

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Naomi! Always new challenges to keep us on our introverted toes 🙂 So glad you’re finding peace with letting the pendulum swing!

  3. I love reading your posts..it keeps confirming that it’s okay to be introverted. It has taken a few decades for me to be comfortable in my own skin…and not try to be an extrovert…I now revel in my mystery and allure, rather than being labelled as “shy” or “aloof”.

  4. Beautifully said Liz! Another gorgeous post. It definitely helps to have this reminder to stop fighting my own inner nature and instead embrace all the beauty that comes from being an introvert. Thank you!
    Thinking about you + baby ~ sending lots of love! xo

    • Liz says:

      Stephanie! Thank you! Your beautiful blog is definitely a reflection of your amazing introverted nature & talents, I think 🙂 xoxo!

  5. Talene says:

    Liz! I loved this. I was definitely told I was boring, too quiet, etc. when i was growing up and for a while I believed all that….I thought there was something wrong with me because I never enjoyed (and was never good at) the small talk at parties, bars, etc. Over the past few years I’ve learned more about my limits and have learned there is nothing wrong me…now, i embrace my inner strength and depth and avoid those uncomfortable situations that just don’t suit my personality. thank you for your post and cant wait for the little one to arrive….good luck, you’ll be great! 🙂

    • Liz says:

      Talene! Thank you so much. Boring and too quiet – NO WAY! So glad you don’t buy into that anymore! There is definitely nothing wrong with you, and absolutely everything right with you!! xoxo

  6. […] finally, for my fellow introverts (or those who love them), one on how to flourish in an extroverted […]

  7. […] finally, for my fellow introverts (or those who love them), one on how to flourish in an extroverted […]

  8. Dori says:

    Oh my goodness…. How this post struck a chord and this sentence very much so:

    “I believe all living beings are connected, energetically and spiritually, and that introverts tap into this energy in a very unique way.”

    So happy to have stumbled upon your blog. Thank you.

  9. Very enjoyable post Liz. Your theory sounds a lot like what Steve Pavlina would speak of. Have you heard of him? Very interesting stuff that I think most introverts can connect with. Check it out if you get a chance. Thanks for sharing your words.

    • Liz says:

      Thank you Mariah! I’ve never heard of Steve Pavlina but thanks for pointing him out, his website looks like it has a lot of interesting information! Will definitely pour through more of it. Thanks for sharing & reading!

  10. Jeri Taira says:

    Introvert here! My family is also discovering that we are at different levels in our introversion. It’s been making for some fun conversations as we look back and see us now.

    As for myself, embracing my true introvert has reserved my energy for creating and refreshing.

    So glad you wrote this Liz. Praying and praising for your week ahead. So excited!

    xoxo

    • Liz says:

      Thank you Jeri! Sounds like your family is so beautifully open and communicative! That’s such a wonderful thing. And thanks for the well wishes, so excited for what’s coming up 🙂

  11. Allison says:

    I’m so grateful I came across this post! I am 16 years old, and my whole life I have struggled with being an introvert in an extrovert world. I used to think that all introverts were shy, but I knew I could be a chatterbox when I wanted to. As a kid I actually did enjoy attention, but that’s because I shoved my deep down introversion aside. I’d always say, “Oh yeah, I’m so an extrovert,” thinking that being an introvert was a bad thing. As I grew up and got invited to more sleepovers and friend gatherings, I began to feel drained…one social event after another. I thought, if I’m an extrovert, why do I sometimes hate being around people?
    Just recently I was on the ride home from a night of swing dancing with my guy friends, and in the car my ex-crush said, “You were quite social tonight! I liked it.”
    That stung because I realized that introversion is still “shunned” upon. It’s like if I’m more interactive with strangers or slightly more crazy (lowering my energy bar by the second) THEN I’ll be liked. So few people understand this connection, and it can feel quite lonely at times.
    This post showed me how I can continue to accept who I am and embrace my introspective mind. Thank you! God bless : )

    • Liz says:

      Hi Allison, thanks so much for sharing your story! First off I think it’s SO amazing that you’re having all of these realizations at such a young age! Like really amazing. I never thought about any of this stuff until I was much older. I think it’s so beautiful that you’re learning to better understand who you are and what you need to thrive. It’s unfortunate that introversion is often shunned upon but know that people don’t intend to be offensive. Use your love, wisdom and patience to show how wonderful it can be to be an introvert and slowly but surely those around you will come to see the beauty in it as well! All the best to you Allison! xo!

  12. Jay Bridges says:

    Excellent write up Liz. I'm an introvert by nature and always struggle to find the balance between solitude and happiness.

  13. Jo says:

    Hello Liz
    Just found this blog – I had another negative experience of being a quiet introvert yesterday and was looking for some positive words of support and encouragement, so thank you! The experience was in a group workshop – it takes a lot of courage for me to even attend group events – and I was being quiet (nothing unusual there) and the trainer said he wanted to hear from someone who hadn’t spoken for about 15 or 20 minutes. The only person who hadn’t was me. I felt very upset and embarrassed. I like to learn by absorbing information and observation. In group learning this can be very difficult when there is an expectation to speak – I hate speaking in large groups!! Well, I hope I can get over another bruising to my sensitive nature. 🙂

  14. Dianna says:

    This is so well-written. Everything you said I could definitely relate to. Being an introvert in this time and era is such a hard thing to be. It’s almost like we have to hide this part of us because if not then we will be bashed on. Friends or family members always want to go out and do all of this crazy stuff, but I’d much rather sit at home and watch movies and pig out with a selected few, or read a book, or catch up on a show on Netflix, even study for a test. A lot of times I even do question if something is wrong with me, but like you said our brains are just wired differently, which makes perfect sense.
    Thank you for writing this, I don’t feel as alone anymore.

  15. Shelby says:

    This website was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something which helped me.

    Appreciate it!

  16. Ronda says:

    I am so thankful for your website and blog. For all of my 50+ yrs I have been told to “toughen up, quite being so sensitive.” And thought there was something wrong with me.I am tired of being compared to my sister. There is nothing wrong with me, I am just an introvert! My wonderful husband of 20+ yrs has known it all along. It just took me all my life to realize it. I printed off the 9 mind tricks of conquering overwhelm and carry it with me. Now I can take control of my sensitive self and learn how to manage overwhelm.

  17. This was a great read. Thank you. Very helpful

  18. Terri Spero says:

    Thank You so much for this blog i am learning who i am and going to embrace it. have been fighting myself for years asking what is wrong with me why don’t i want to be around people ( Introvert) & quiet so I decided to do a search today and found out a lot about me today!!! going to find out so much more now that my mind is free of all these questions!!!!!

  19. My life has been so difficult because I just don't talk or love being alone. I love quite,peace and calm. It's hard to date because I'd rather goto a bookstore than a concert. People can't handle that. I was always made to feel uncomfortable but it's because I would rather be left alone. Painting a new piece on art work or something.

  20. I love this blog on introverts! What a joy to read and connect with it! I felt like you were describing me and my daughter to a “T”. It is certainly challenging to be an introvert in an extrovert world but it can be done. Since being diagnosed with 2 chronic pain conditions, I find it even more difficult to handle extroverted activities as an introvert. Extroverts complain or are open about their challenges and pains where introverts tend to pull into themselves when hurting. Most people don’t understand that. Instead of understanding that you can’t do things or that you know so much about what is going on with your body, your criticized for being selfish. It’s truly a challenge to live this way. I have learned to ignore and take care of myself no matter what anyone thinks.

  21. […] Many people, including myself at one point, go through life unhappy with the person they are. They look through a lens that constantly reveals their every flaw and insecurity. They can’t ever appreciate themselves and find the good qualities. […]

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