Saturday, May 28, 2011

10 Myths About Introverts

Disclaimer:  I totally stole this from "I'm Clothed Much" blogger, Elaine. But, she stole it from someone else, so I can't feel bad about it. 
Anyway, I've always thought of myself as an introvert, someone who is introspective, needs quiet time, alone time to figure things out and is not really very outgoing.  I was trying to explain this to one of my girls the other day-how I'm shy, but I make an effort to be friendly because I want other people to feel comfortable, which makes me uncomfortable at first, so I usually avoid new groups of people, like other kids' mothers; but, because I make that effort, no one understands that I am shy or uncomfortable. 
 I could especially relate to #'s 2, 3,4, 5, 6 and 9. I often feel that I come across as rude.  When I have something to ask or relate to another person, I often forget the pleasantries such as "Hello".  And I've always found it exhausting to be around people other than my family, except for a few close friends I've had over the years.  After being around a lot of people and noise, I end up staying up late by myself just so I can wind down. Sometimes it takes a long time to get the "noise" out of my head.  Anyone else ever feel that way? In fact, when I'm in a group, I find that I usually block almost everyone out and only concentrate on two or three people at a time.  That is less overwhelming. It probably does come across as rude, because I can't get around to everyone.  Often I won't even make eye contact with the "others".  Maybe I am weird.  But, then, isn't everyone a little weird?

 It's a list compiled by Carl King that he created after reading The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World. I plan to read that book.

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.

This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.

Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.

Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.

On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.

Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.

Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.

Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.

Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.

Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.

A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Random slices of life

Random images from our life lately:
He's growing so fast!

The cast

Breakfast every morning (and usually lunch as well)

The chef on Mother's Day

Yes, she does own the world

Isn't that the sweetest smile?

Senior Salute-It was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Back to the "9-to-5", or at least to the "10-to-2:30"

I'm working outside the home again.  I've been wondering if I can say I've gone "back to work" for a couple of reasons.  One reason is, "Can you say you've gone back to work, when the previous work experience (regular paycheck) was more than 30 years ago?"  Maybe it's expired and you just have to say, "I've started working". The other BIG reason is, did I ever stop working?  Isn't it traitorous and just plain incorrect to say,
"Oh, now I'm working, but for the last thirty plus years I've just been sitting around on my back side eating bon bons?" 
Yeah, so there's my dilemna. But, as soon as all my friends know about it the problem won't exist. And, I'm not losing sleep over it anyway. Just thought I'd ask.

Anyway, I am having so much FUN!  I know that's not a word usually associated with work or school, but when I was able to go back to school a year or two ago, I had a blast! And now, this is even more fun because it's more gratifying knowing that I'm helping, and, hey, I'm even getting paid to have fun. Whoa! 

I think the thing they have in common is that I'm learning something new and that is always exciting.  I like to challenge myself and once I learn something I like to see how fast I can do it.  I once worked in a college postal station and I had to put the letters into small boxes that were in a large grid on the wall. Each box was for a different department or office in the college and were open in the front.  At first of course I placed each letter carefully in the correct box after checking the name on the box, but by the time I left the post office I could just look at the stack of letters in my hand and throw them unerringly into the boxes without even glancing up.  That's what I mean by challenging myself.  I get a lot of pleasure out of that.

I love having a defined purpose as well.  Housework is so open and infinite that you never feel done. I mean maybe you organize a closet or thoroughly clean a room and that's gratifying, but we all know long that lasts with kids (and husbands) in the house. When I finish something at work, I number it and place it in a box or give it to a tech and it is no longer my responsibility. Being able to stay home and raise my children was a privilege that I appreciated more and more as I got older and saw how quickly they grew up. Still, now, I'm not needed as much.  There's only three at home and one of those is leaving in four weeks.  I have so much time now that I was beginning to get bored.
Serving others: patients, or co-workers, or the business itself (which I associate with my husband), is also a pleasure.  The hours at work fly by.  So far, I'm only part-time.  But, when Emma and Chels are older (maybe when Chelsea can drive) I'll work full-time.  As it is, I can hardly make myself leave at the end of my shift.

I'm so lucky to have a husband with a clinic where I can work flexible hours.  I can take Emma to school and be there to pick her up. It's ideal.  I'm determined that I won't take advantage of the fact that I'm the bosses' wife.  I clock in and clock out and get to work when I'm supposed to be there. I'm working on getting some of the employees to call me by my first name.  I tell them everyday and today I said, "I know if someone else started working here that was my age you would still call them by their first name. Please call my by mine." I've always introduced myself that way to them, but some of the newer, younger employees feel intimidated I guess. I hope to show them that I'm a team player and don't expect favors or special treatment. Meanwhile, I'm having the time of my life:)