The Block Island Times

#TwentySomething: Being an introvert

By Stephanie Turaj | Aug 31, 2013

The other day I saw an article online, “23 signs that you’re secretly an introvert.” Apparently, I fit all 23 signs. I guess I’m an introvert.

This might be surprising to some, since my job as a journalist is pretty much to talk to people, ask them questions, and then write about it. At the same time, though, after interviewing people, I’m exhausted. Talking to people is tiring. (Number 10 on the list: “You start to shut down after you’ve been active for too long.”)

I never really looked at myself as an introvert or an extrovert. I always thought introversion meant you were simply shy, which, at times, I can be. But apparently, it really means that your energy is drained when you’re with people, and you feel more energetic when alone, something that makes complete sense to me.

This might explain why I completely dread networking events. (“Networking is the key to success,” they advised us graduating college students. Inside, I groaned a little.) I think most people don’t enjoy this kind of event, but I envy those who do. What the heck do you say to a complete or sort-of stranger? How awkward. (Number 1 on the list: You find small talk incredibly cumbersome.)

Also, I guess it’s why I can go to a crowded bar on occasion — but too many nights out leave me feeling like I just want to watch a movie alone. Meanwhile, other friends of mine go out every night, and while I don’t want to miss out, I can’t bring myself to go out. (Number 2: “You go to parties, but not to meet people.”)

Being an introvert or an extrovert is one of those trendy topics lately — there’s so many articles and books about it. Sometimes, I think classifying every person into one or the other is silly because we’re all so different and diverse, how does everyone fit so neatly into a category?

At the same time, though, since I fit every category, maybe I should take away from the article that I need my downtime, and that’s ok. I always felt a little embarrassed that talking to people can give me anxiety sometimes (especially because it’s my job). But this article made me feel a little more “normal,” since clearly I’m not the only one who’s a so-called introvert.

Overall, it makes sense that I’m an introvert, since number 22 on the list is: “You’re a writer.” I’m best at expressing my thoughts in writing, and I’m best at writing when I have time to think, alone, versus spending all of my energy out and about.

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