Embracing My Introverted Nature {Mindful Monday}

in mindfulmonday •  7 months ago 

IMG_20181005_145247987.jpg

Hello my friends! I have a feeling many of you can relate to the topic I'm going to discuss in this post as I know for a fact there are quite a few other introverts on here! Long before I became a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I studied psychology in college. To this day I still very much enjoy reading articles about the topic, especially in the realm of personality psychology. Though I didn't specifically go into the mental health field, I am so grateful that I picked a major field of study that brings me benefits to this day. For one I actually use many techniques when working with encouraging positive change in my clients, but also learning about myself as an introvert truly changed my life for the better.

73295_4608565927196_1610693111_n.jpg

Growing up I was painfully shy. My older sister actually spoke for me long after I could speak for myself (she's on the left above, with yours truly to the right), and I really only had one close friend as opposed to the army that that same sister seemed to have. I never had trouble in school, in fact I tended to thrive in many areas, especially taking tests. The only big challenge I had was recess, especially after we moved for the first time when I was 8 years old. We only moved to a city perhaps 45 minutes away, but it was far enough that I had to start from scratch with making friends. My mother remembers my teachers that first year calling her so concerned for me as I would sit out on the playground by myself every day. Bless my mother for understanding, she assured them that I would make friends in time, and I did indeed do just that. Again, I found one really close friend to spend my free time with and was pleasant enough with the other kids in class that I had gotten to know over time. All was well until we moved again when I was 11. This time to another state!

My parents packed up all three of us girls and moved us down from New Jersey to Georgia to try to give us better opportunities in a number of areas. Probably needless to say, going into middle school was quite a tough time for me. It didn't help that I was tall and tomboyish, with a very unfortunate haircut that made me look even more like a boy (pretty much the same one from above, but as a pre-teen--yikes!). Thank goodness there wasn't social media at the time otherwise it would have been infinitely more scarring! After a while I made my best friend who was my partner in crime from the age of 12 all the way up to college. She was the only one who came to my 12th birthday party, but it all worked out in the end as I wouldn't have given up that friendship for anything.

College was actually a bit easier to make friends as I went to a relatively small school (less than 2,000 total students) and lived in the dorms the first year--a situation much more conducive to meeting friends in my experience. That was also when I started studying psychology with a number of truly fantastic professors. The day we took the Myers Briggs personality test was a game changer for me. I can still vividly remember the professor talking particularly about the traits of introversion and extroversion. I am without a shadow of a doubt a pure introvert (ISFJ), so learning about it as not just a social trait, but more from an energy perspective made so much sense. I was both shy and an introvert as a child, but I always thought they were one and the same. Shyness is more linked to the anxiety portion of social interaction, whereas introversion is more of where you get your energy. I am drained after being around people and highly stimulating situations, so to recharge my batteries I need to be alone in a quiet setting.

This really was so great to learn more about because it explained why I would get so tired or frustrated after dealing with certain situations. I always felt like there was perhaps something wrong with me, and I would avoid certain events to not feel uncomfortable. I also think it caused communication issues with quite a few people in my life, mostly extroverts as I couldn't understand why they needed so much time and energy, and they thought I was aloof in my need to get some space. Even after college I continued to explore this topic. I am lucky enough to have one of my favorite clients who is a well-respected psychiatrist give me some excellent reading material over the years. He is also an introvert working in a setting in which he has to be "on" all day as he works with clients, so he is very understanding of my very similar situation with my own work.

IMG_20180727_112246490.jpg

Which gets me finally to my main point in this blog post, to share one of the books that has been pivotal in continuing my personal journey to find balance between my own quiet time to recharge and the bulk of the rest of my day. I think @riverflows might be pleasantly surprised to see my choice for the latest @naturalmedicine challenge to share a favorite book choice. I could have very easily stuck with one of the amazing nutrition and health books that I have, but I'm happy to branch out a bit and share more of a mental health one. My choice: "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain.

Quiet

Source

I actually own this book, but I think I have lent it out (perhaps indefinitely) to someone right now, otherwise I would have used a photo of my own well-loved copy! I think if I can't recall who might have my copy I might just have to purchase another one because just writing about it makes me want to read it again. This is a fantastic read for introverts or extroverts as we can all gain some knowledge on how to deal with different personality types from Susan Cain. She not only talks about the basic differences in this one small component of personality, but also of the broader implications of the focus of the society we live in. Here in the US we tend to applaud those who speak up the most and have the loudest voice, our schools are set up with almost constant stimulation, and even a lot of work settings have done away with private offices in favor of open work spaces to save money and foster teamwork. She is definitely an advocate that to have a functioning society all personality types play an important role, but in her experience (and I would say mine, as well) and research some of the typical traits and behaviors that many introverts exhibit tend to be viewed as weaknesses.

I know I struggle a lot in my field where the social media influencers that share constantly and always put themselves out there are more likely to gain lots of followers and notoriety. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it would damn near kill me to be any more social online than I already am, haha. One of the reasons why I still gravitate here versus other social media outlets is that I never feel pressured to interact. I won't lose followers if I need to take a few days away from posting or commenting. Again, I'm so glad I am only having to navigate this sphere as an adult, because as a quiet child I think I would have had a really hard time in this digital world we now live in.

Within the book there are some really great examples of highly successful introverts, and I love some of the tips that they give. I remember one gentleman who does a lot of public speaking says he will take a few moments and go into the bathroom to lock himself in a stall before he has to speak. It is only for a few minutes, but taking that small amount of time to himself helps recharge to deal with the time spent in front of people. Many talk about giving themselves permission to take time alone from work, friends and even family. The author also goes into dealing with introverted children (I think she has since written a separate book solely about this which I'll have to pick up as well), and how there is nothing wrong with them (us), you just have to deal with them differently than the extroverts in order for them to thrive and learn. I'm only just scratching the surface on the great topics covered in the book, but I highly recommend it for anyone with even a tiny interest in this aspect of personality!

I have learned I absolutely NEED time to myself. It's not selfish, and it's not optional. Sometimes it means just going for a run by myself to get my energy back and work through the emotions of the day or week. Other times I just want to stick my face in a book for hours on end and not deal with anyone in person. Getting in the kitchen can be fantastic, although I've found I need to cool my jets on having to take photos of everything to be able to share what I cooked later. I also am really trying to work on my meditation practice as that is a wonderful way to recharge my batteries. I know plenty of extroverts who enjoy alone time, too, so we introverts don't have the patent on spending time alone. ;)

I know this week is going to be a taxing one with quite a few events that are going to run me down. This does not mean I won't enjoy them, either! I love my work and helping people take charge of their health and wellness, and even introverts hold their friendships dear and need time with loved ones! I get to help out tomorrow with signing people up for a corporate 5k program that will be fun to do, and I get to spend time with a work buddy during it who I hardly see anymore. Then tomorrow night I am representing my company at the local group run again for my monthly visit. Wednesday I have to go cubicle to cubicle to hand out fliers for a different company's 5k training program. That's the worst, haha! I feel sooo drained after doing that, even though the employees love when we walk around outside of the gym to come visit. I'll see my niece on Friday, dinner with friends Friday night, farmers market saying hi to my farmer buddies on Saturday, and maybe even more time with friends on Saturday, as well. It might not sound like a lot, but mixed in with my usual work schedule it doesn't leave a lot of recharge time.

However, I know myself and I know I will find some time in there to take a power nap or maybe take the long way home one day. Even just little moments can help carry me through to not get totally crabby and exhausted mentally. Though it's ok if that happens sometimes, too. Luckily my boyfriend doesn't take it personally when I'm in a mood, he just goes downstairs to get away from me. ;)

This is just one aspect of my life that I tend to be very mindful of, though I continue to learn all the time new ways to interact better and support my own needs from a mental and physical health perspective! I know I can be a better partner, friend, trainer and coach when I take care of myself in all the ways that are important. Speaking of, time to hop off and perhaps get a little moment of solitude before it's time to go back in for a client! A very happy, and perhaps quiet, week to you all!

Mindfullife2.png

PHC-Footer-05.gif



Banners by @zord189, @woman-onthe-wing, @dksart and @bearone for @steemusa


Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Excellent post.

My undergrad minor was in Psychology. Like you, I've been fascinated with the subject most of my life.

Alone time is very important for everyone...

1.jpg
source

Namaste, JaiChai

Definitely a great quote! Yes, I think we do all need a little time alone. Whether it comes easily or not. :)

🎁 Hi @plantstoplanks! You have received 0.2 STEEM tip from @dswigle!

@dswigle wrote lately about: Eclectic And True - Tree Tuesday Is Brought To You Feel free to follow @dswigle if you like it :)

Sending tips with @tipU - how to guide :)

Thanks for sharing your personal experience and thoughts. Amazing reading.

Posted using Partiko iOS

Thanks Eddie! Appreciate you taking the time to read it. I wish I had found running a bit sooner as it might have helped through those school years, but at least now I know it is a tool I can use to recharge for as long as my legs allow! :)

Have a !BEER my friend!

Cheers! :)

To view or trade BEER go to steem-engine.com.

Hey @plantstoplanks, here is your BEER token. Enjoy it!

  ·  7 months ago (edited)

That was a fun read plants. 👍🏿 Very good job, rewards are around the corner. How’d you use so many tags?

@steempeak for the #win 😉 They just bumped it up recently to be able to use 10 tags. A little out of my comfort zone, but fun to switch it up to show the kid with the bowl cut on occasion...she's still there, just a little older and wiser.

I absolutely love this!! I love the fact you stepped out to share your story about being introverted and how you encourage positive change. I too am very introverted but when I was in college I purposely made myself center of attention as a coping mechanism.. not because I was extroverted but I had figured if I encouraged the attention I wouldn't look like a retard sitting in the back of the class all quiet and creepy and I was afraid of people staring at me unprovoked so I provoked it on my own...

I'm still very introverted tho... I don't go out on my own most of the time and even when hubby has the few friends he does have around I'm very quiet and barely ever speak even when I want to be opinionated as all HE double hockey stick... Which maybe they do think I'm weird..??

I'll check the book out!!! Thanks for sharing??

Posted using Partiko Android

It's a fantastic book, so I think you'll really enjoy it! Even things I had already learned it was nice to see put in print or just hear about similar experiences. Just the other day I had brunch with a few friends and had one text me later on in the day asking if I was ok because I was quiet! I think I had just been busy that week, so didn't have the energy to partake in a lively conversation. I still enjoyed being there, I just didn't have much to give by way of speaking that day, haha. So funny though that many people automatically think something is wrong!

I think that's why I was inspired to write about it a bit more. I think we can all learn to be a little more in tune to the needs of those close to us, especially if we have partners or close friends who are at the opposite end of the spectrum. :)

Wow! I never thought that someone like you who could express yourself so much in writing and could talk about so many different inspiring things is an introvert! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, and the book that helped you, it enlightened to respect the personality of introverts. Thank you so, so much @plantstoplanks! 😍

It is surprising sometimes to learn that people who are very social can also be introverted. I tend to do better in small groups or in situations I am passionate about, but then I just need to still have that alone time to recharge before I do it again. I feel like I am much better with writing than speaking in person, as well. I can sit behind my computer and let my thoughts spill out as they come, and I can also take a break when I need to. I'm happy to share my small experience, especially since it really has helped me navigate life and relationships better through learning more!

Oh! It's good that writing is your way out to express your thoughts. You should express it because your words are always inspiring and wise! Thank you so much!

Hello!

This post has been manually curated, resteemed
and gifted with some virtually delicious cake
from the @helpiecake curation team!

Much love to you from all of us at @helpie!
Keep up the great work!


helpiecake

Nice book recommend. I enjoyed reading your post. I also found the Myers Briggs personality test to be very enlightening.
Manually curated by @akiroq.


@helpie is a Community Witness.
For more information about our project,
please visit this month’s UPDATE post.

Thank you @akiroq and @helpiecake! So happy you enjoyed my post. I think the Myers Briggs can be a great tool, so I'm happy you had a similar enlightening experience with it!

I have taken the Myer Briggs test myself at some point, and although I don’t remember the last letters, the first one was “I”. Which I already knew. I seemed to be getting more and more introverted, however, now I feel like it’s reversing a bit. I think it is connected to kids’ age and how much sleep I am getting/energy I have in general to deal with people.

Posted using Partiko iOS

I tend to forget the other letters, too, so I did actually have to look up my results again for clarification, haha.
Sleep really is a huge factor. I know I have less energy to deal with social situations when I am not well rested. Or well fed! Feed me and let me rest and I will be happy to socialize, but if I don't have enough of those then I'm best left alone for a while. ;)

I can definitely relate to being drained by social events! lol my extraverted friends don't to get it. As I get a little bit older though I find it's getting easier to interact and meet new people.

Yes! I know I have thought other people were crazy in the past for wanting to be around others all the time, so there are definitely different sides to the coin where we can all do better to try to understand each other more. I didn't even get into ambiverts either. There are definitely people in the middle of the spectrum who have traits of both. Just another sign of our uniqueness as individuals. :)

I am like you in this regard. I was born late in the year and was the perpetual underdog/young one and that made me shy.

People don’t even believe me when I say I am naturally wired to be introverted. Such irony I became a sales guy. I guess there is nothing we can’t learn. Including being extroverted by practice!

Posted using Partiko iOS

I shake my head sometimes, too, that I have always been in some kind of customer service industry dealing with people every day! But when you look at the other personality traits I have, I am very much a service oriented person so I find joy and fulfillment in helping others. I just have to work hard to get past the desire to hide in a room by myself if I want enough clients that I can actually work with and help, haha.

I think we can definitely learn how to push through a lot of things, even if it is sometimes "faking it to make it". My awesome client even has taught me that looking at certain family functions as a "business" event can help make it more approachable. Knowing I can do my "work" then go read a book when I'm done is a good way to help me balance the different aspects of life. :)

This was such a well thought out write and I am so proud that you can actually write about this experience. I know so many introverts who could not even put pen to paper about themselves.

This is really putting yourself out there.

I think there are so many more introverts than we all realize, and I know from my own sister how draining it is to be around people. To the point of headaches after a while and needing to be alone.

I applaud you! I would not have picked you for an introvert. You are so friendly, outgoing and put yourself out there every single day! Love to you!!! And I thought your haircut was adorable in the picture, for the time. Who didn't want to be a dutch boy?? And to be honest, my introvert sister had that same Haircut!!! OMG!

!tip .20

Your words mean so much Denise! I'm glad I got out of the kitchen and the gym to share this one. ;) It's funny that we sometimes get scared to open up and give of ourselves, but I seem to always find when I do that I get so much more than I expected out of the process. Both in the telling and the thoughtful engagement afterwards.

It's nice that you understand that about your sister. I can tell you from my own experience it definitely helps when your loved ones know you need some space and recovery time! Oh those haircuts are pretty cute when you're as little as we were in that photo, but it wasn't as flattering when I was in middle school, haha! Ah well, luckily I've moved on to a cute bun in my adult life for my usual "do". ;)

Thank you for your wonderful support my friend!

It is always a pleasure! xo

🎁 Hi @plantstoplanks! You have received 0.1 SBD tip from @tattoodjay!

@tattoodjay wrote lately about: Say It With Flowers Feel free to follow @tattoodjay if you like it :)

Sending tips with @tipU - how to guide :)

Congratulations @plantstoplanks! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You distributed more than 26000 upvotes. Your next target is to reach 27000 upvotes.

You can view your badges on your Steem Board and compare to others on the Steem Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

You can upvote this notification to help all Steem users. Learn how here!

@plantstoplanks - great read and very informative about the trials and tribulations of being an introvert. I'm the opposite, a true blue LEO extrovert but I still need my quiet time too. Thanks for this insight!

Now that I understand the traits a bit better, I love having a mix of both introverts and extroverts in my life! I think pals like you help me push through to enjoy the social side of life more and get outside of my comfort zone a bit. All my close friends just know that sometimes I need to say no, but that I will always be there for the events that are important to them. Just like many aspects of relationships, we all get along better when we work to understand each other's needs! Thanks for taking the time to pop by and read more about us quiet folks. :)

I relate to this so much! Sorry I took ages to get around to reading it - been a busy week so far, and I've been pulled here and there. I totally get what you are talking about - I thought there was something wrong with me, too, for a long time. Being alone recharges me - people don't seem to understand that. It took many years for my husband not to be offended when I said 'babe, I just need to be left alone' ie don't talk to me or ask me questions because even 'where's the vegemite' is an intrusion on my energy right now! Now, he knows - I just have to say 'I'm shut for the evening', especially if I've had a full day at work. I've got part time at last which gives me a buffer zone.

even a lot of work settings have done away with private offices in favor of open work spaces to save money and foster teamwork

Worse nightmare!!! The thing is, and I'm sure this book told you that, that we need introverts just as we need extroverts - workplaces, well, good ones, are starting to realise that too. Everyone brings a different dynamic to the table.

Sometimes it means just going for a run by myself to get my energy back and work through the emotions of the day or week. Other times I just want to stick my face in a book for hours on end and not deal with anyone in person.

Yes, yes and yes. Hence my part time - I now have time to walk on the beach or do yoga. No accident my favourite sports are largely solo ones - walking, yoga, surfing. And horse riding as a kid!

You sound like you got a good handle on what YOU need to be the best you that you can be, and from this perspective, that's a pretty darn awesome you. xx

Looks like it's been a great week in the natural medicine community with lots of good posts, so I'm just trying to catch up with some commenting around myself! Especially this book challenge. Some really interesting selections that I am excited to explore!

So much yes on the partner front. My boyfriend will constantly ask if I need help, which is absolutely wonderful when I do need something done around the house or some technical help with something I want to post. But there are some times where even him asking this truly benign question makes me want to pull my hair out! Like you said, you just get to the point where you are just done for the day, especially when you work in a field where you have to be "on" so much.

I'm so glad my work situation generally allows some free time, as well. Though I have to deal with people if I want to make money, I have control over my schedule so I can always make sure to allow breaks when I need them. When I first started as a trainer I worked at a place where there were only a few of us, so I was pretty much available M-F all day for training and Saturday mornings/afternoons. By Sundays I was so beat. My boss at the time was a true extrovert, so I don't think he realized how burnt out I was getting. Thank goodness my situation now is much more flexible so I can still enjoy my work.

Though I had learned a lot about myself just taking those psychology classes in school, this book really was so wonderful with showing the value of having introverts in so many settings. I see the breakdowns in our current political climate and can't help but think having some more sensitive, introverted people in positions of power might help bring more balance. The problem is a lot of us don't want that pressure unfortunately. At least, as you said, the business world seems to be understanding that more. I know a lot of friends who are able to work from home a few days a week or even adjust their work hours to be more suited to their needs (for personality reasons and just life priorities like kids or other family needs).

Thank you and @naturalmedicine for hosting another really awesome challenge! Definitely rewarding to my own mental health to explore all different topics that I am passionate about and be able to share with others. 💚

Thanks for sharing this small window of your life. I myself was an introvert when I was young. Kept circle of friends very small and spent a lot of time alone. I still have a small part of that introvert side until now I guess. That book looks interesting as I may understand more or maybe know myself better.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my post! I think I am definitely better at putting myself out there as an adult than I was as a child, though now I think I realize even more the benefits of my alone time. I think as adults we just learn to balance ourselves better in all aspects of life (well, most of us anyway, haha). It really is a wonderful read, so I think you would enjoy the book if you come across it!

Clearly you are in the lime light now Katie! But of course, there is nothing wrong about being introvert. And you were such a cutie. I really enjoyed reading your story and by the way I love psychology too. Altough I am more inclined towards Carl Jung Theory and Astrology..........don't laugh, lol. Oh and it's time to give you Wonkie! Last time I forgot!

The most Educational entry.png

Amazing how we can grow and adapt right? Though I have to say I don't think I will ever really enjoy being the center of attention in any situation, haha. But I've come to have a lot more confidence in that what I have to share with the world has value. Whether it is on the nutrition front or elsewhere. :) I haven't studied Jung in a while, but I tend to get fascinated by all of it! There's something to learn from all schools, though Freud can get a little weird at times. ;)

Oh yeah, Freud is weird, lol. Nevertheless, I am also fascinated by it all. I just read great article about recent psychological study of vegan trauma that I can totally relate to. Although, I come across very cheerful, I do carry this burden they are speaking of. Luckily, I find creating and photographing vegan recipes very therapeutic. Even photography in general. Anyway, you may like to read it: https://www.all-creatures.org/articles2/act-vegans-trauma.html?fbclid=IwAR2ojklGonmfp11gNvRlQK1ju_avMuuzT4cqqHqJPc4RRFTYNn2ugNiZKcU

Ooh, sounds interesting. I'll definitely check it out!

Great Katie 😊

I totally get this
Oh and to keep changing schools
Always the new kid in town ...

Thank you for sharing your journey and this book ❤️

I'm glad to share, especially with so many other people that understand so well! It also helps set the stage if I'm ever gone from Steem for a few days, then everyone knows I just needed a little alone time, haha! 😉

❤️❤️❤️

I can imagine that we will find more introvert on Steemit than extroverts. We sit at our computers and write, edit and curate, socializing online via texts and comments like this here, but not really meeting in the flesh or is a group social setting. It is totally alone, or separated by the vast divide, only connected on our terms, indirectly. Blogging seems to suit introverts, like us.

Yes, I think you are definitely right. It was interesting starting up being more active on a number of different social media platforms at the same time as Steem. I tended to gravitate here early on versus some of the other spots because I think it is definitely more introvert-friendly. :)

Thanks for the great insights on introverts! I'm glad you had an understanding family and you have gained the understanding of yourself as an introvert so you are able to give yourself the care needed to remain healthy, happy and energetic!

Happy to share my small perspective in the grand scheme of things! I think it is wonderful to have a place like this where I feel comfortable enough to do just that and receive such kind comments all around. The world has room for each of our unique talents, abilities, perspectives and personalities. :)

What an interesting read and I can relate a lot as I am generally quite introverted also had one main go to friend during my life I am really not a group person for the most part
So much more of a listener than a talker and always hated when my job forced me to talk to groups in any form

But then it’s nice I get to know people very well in very small groups I can be a little extrovert and crazy in a fun sort of way so that’s a contradiction I guess but I have always been different so I guess that’s to be expected 😂

Thanks for this great post and being an active member of @steemusa !tip

Glad you enjoyed reading it! I'm the same way in that I definitely come alive more in small groups or setting in which I can really let my passion show. Though I still need recharge time even after encounters where I feel more at home. I'm working my way through the speaking thing as I am really enjoying starting to do my nutrition events. At least so far they've been small and really engaging groups, so it's a good way to work myself up to any bigger events. ;)

Thats greta that your building up and getting more confidence, keep at it :)

This is soooooo good. And superb read!

I am an introvert too. I could recall my report card yearly especially during primary school was

"Shy girl. Hardworking and neat."

But it also puzzled me when people find comfortable for them to pour out their life problems to me, to open up and share. Oh well... Maybe I don't talk much and am a good listener. This is an eye-opening article. I truly enjoyed reading every line. =) thank you so much for this.

Introverts do often make very good listeners. :) Especially when they have such a kind heart like you seem to have! I'm glad you enjoyed my post. It was nice to be able to share a little more about myself on that side of things. :)

Amazing stories ! :) 💙

Posted using Partiko Android

I also need lots of what I like to call reiki recharge time 😍💃 Much love!

💕💕🙏💕💕

Posted using Partiko Android

Absolutely! We might call it different things or enjoy varying ways of achieving it, but we all can use some time to recharge our batteries. :)