Being an Introvert Is Real, Yes – But I Thought I Was Just Weird.

Being introverted is a real thing. However, many of us spend their lives unaware of this fact and don’t understand why they have a hard time fitting in or why they feel inexplicably ‘different.’ I was one of those people until a few years ago: whether you already know you are an introvert or suspect you are one, you are not alone. Read on to learn more.

Table of contents

Most of my life I thought I was just a bit weird or at least ‘different’.
What, exactly, made me feel different?
A revelation, at last. What if… ?
It is OK if you are, feel, do (or not!) the following… All part of being an introvert!
Conclusion

Most of my life I thought I was just a bit weird or at least ‘different’.

Most of my life, adulthood included, I just considered myself a bit weird. Or, at any rate, ‘different’. Not all of us have it figured it out and that’s ok. I am definitely one of those people.

In fact, I have devoted many years to personal growth, holistic health and healing as well as spiritual evolution in an attempt to improve my life through self-discovery. I focused on healing first, on creating a better life next.

being an introvert

It took years, but I am glad to report I achieved juicy results: more peace, boosted confidence, and a dose of sassy I didn’t believe I had in me. Of course, it isn’t over. This type of work never is.

However, no matter how astonishing the result or life-transforming a session, I still struggled in areas as simple as communicating clearly, instating boundaries, ‘being around’ other people. For a long time, I had committed to holistic health and healing and a better life through the practice of the Fantastic Three, yet a key piece seemed to be missing.

I was in my early thirties when I finally found the answer.

At last, it seemed to be the key factor to account for the sneaky sense of unease that hadn’t left me alone. Which neither individual energy work nor intensive sessions with mental coaches had been able to resolve.

Introversion…

Similarly to other key moments in my life, the realization came on in its own time, it took it reaaaalll easy!
Up until then, I had somehow come to terms with the fact that some of my choices, behaviors, and preferences differed significantly from those of my peers’. It used to annoy me, so I preferred to keep a low profile. It had been so since I was a little girl but became somewhat painful once in my teenage years. Also, they didn’t spare me the agony of doubting why I had to be the way I was.

What, exactly, made me feel different?

Please, read on and see if what my ‘weirdness’ resonates with yours, to some extent.

Alone time.

I craved it, I kind of never had enough, especially as I grew up in a pretty small house. Moreover, it’s not easy to opt out of social life when you’re a teenager and the transition towards adulthood is inevitably linked to group experiences (trips, nights out, school, after school engagement, birthday parties…).

Low energy levels.

We introverts seem to share this trait. It just takes a little adjusting, of course; however, if you’re young and looking to “mingle” or keep up with your friends, it is frustrating to know you will have to pretend and ‘hold on’. When all you want to do is rush back home, be alone and recharge.

Love – hate relationship with family and friends.

I loved my parents and my best friends, I liked to go out and have fun. Nevertheless, I also yearned to break away at some point, otherwise I would feel ‘trapped’. Of course, I never hated anyone for spending time with me, but the interaction had to stop at some point. Too much of it and you would see me getting impatient to leave.

Dilemma: what if...?

A classic example of how all three came into play goes back to my teenage years.

You have to know that I have always hated to go out on Sunday afternoons. I consider it a day to stay home and relax before the new week. Perhaps catch up with some reading, indulge in lunch leftovers and dessert or, even better, do nothing.

It has always been the case although, I have to admit, back then I wasn’t able to conceptualize this preference. I only knew I loved the idea of those precious, few hours all to myself, devoted to… doing nothing.

For some people, doing nothing is a dumb way to spend your free time.

Seen from outside, it looks as if no activity is going on. Seen from the INSIDE, though, it is an explosion of life. An activity in itself and fuel for us introverts. A chance to roam inside our mind freely. Living and thriving in there, our perfect Universe. You know what I’m talking about, right?!

Anyway, I was too insecure to honor my instincts so I would do the opposite of what I wanted.

It’s also worth mentioning that, at the time, the choice was to either stay home in a teeny tiny house with not enough time + space to myself or be with people. Neither scenario an introvert’s dream, clearly.

Giving in: meeting with girlfriends instead of staying in

Pug thinking he's a bit weird or just different.

Scenario number 1
It’s the late 90’s – early 2000’s. I make plans with friends (over landline phone or cell phone texting) and I already dread it. I have just eaten lunch and would rather take a nap. I manage to get ready — somehow — and off I go to catch a – crowded – bus. Pure torture. My friends and I meet up, take a walk down the promenade along the beach. Then, the usual chatting, getting in and out of shops to check out the clothes. At the end of the afternoon, back on the bus home. I am exhausted, even though I love my friends.

(Yes, you can love people and not want to be around them all the time. Nobody told me that, unfortunately)

Trusting my gut: staying in rather than going out

Scenario number 2.
Same years, different choice. I still remember some of the stupid excuses I used on those rare occasions where I honored my nature and, dared to bail.

I simply wanted to tell my friends the truth: “Look, I don’t feel like it, I’d rather stay home and chill”. Since it never felt right, I would come up with:

Sorry, I’m too tired
I don’t feel too well
I might have caught the flu

In hindsight, these were the same lines a couple of girlfriends shyly drew on whenever they bailed. I believe they were fundamentally like me, unaware of being an introvert. I found them adorable, a lot of fun to be around although reserved and ‘mysterious’ at times.

Luckily enough, things improved when I left to study in another city. Finally, I would live life on my terms. So I did.

I dove deep into self-work, committed to holistic health and healing techniques, thus gaining clearer knowledge of what I liked or disliked in terms of interaction with other human beings. Which ultimately made me create a list of 8 common signs you might be introvert.

A revelation, at last. What if… ?

revelation: holistic healing + introversion to restore balance.

Interestingly enough, introversion never came up during coaching sessions or on my own self-work. Who knows why… Perhaps the timing wasn’t right or, I’ve also assumed, it wasn’t considered an actual issue. Whichever the reason, I had to wait a few more years before an eye-opening doubt arose, triggering a very intriguing thought:

“Why are my energy levels always so low in spite of everything (read: energy work and supplements)?” Lost in mental musings, I googled two bizarre words that popped into my mind. Never again would my self-perception be the same.

“Introvert exhaustion”

The lights came on. I came across a few interesting results, then opened and devoured a couple of articles. One of them connected introvert exhaustion with ‘introvert hangover’. Nodding in amazement and shocked by what I was reading in the words of another person: the story of my life.

The rest, dear readers, is history.

Not only did I learn that being an introvert is real, but I also found out there were quite a few of us out there. We are an actual community of people who connect over our introverted personalities and proudly share our stories.

Everything finally made sense. All the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. Self-discovery, holistic health and healing, meditation, gratitude and manifestation: learning about introversion was the cherry on top.

Only some time after this epiphany did I decide to take a free test to know for sure if I was an introvert and which type.

It is OK if you are, feel, do (or not!) the following… All part of being an introvert!

You’d rather stay in than go outside.
You are eager to spend time in solitude.
You do your best work alone.
You adore your (few, trusted) friends but need a break from them.
You love your family but need a break from them, as well.
You like doing “nothing”.
You feel safe and happy being inside your head.
You are often tempted to cancel plans in order to spend quality time with your Self.
You are exhausted after hanging out with groups of people.
You resort to lying or making up excuses to avoid interaction.
… and so many more!

Follow the signs.

Conclusion

I took such a sigh of relief upon finishing a few articles on the subject. I hope you feel better about yourself too.

Even though being an introvert is real, it doesn’t define us totally.

However, it accounts for a lot of who we are on a day-to-day basis, including the choices and decisions that build our happiness, satisfaction, and sense of fulfillment. Thus, it is super important you learn how to know your Self better, always with compassion and kindness.

I cannot wait to connect with you now. Does my story sound relatable? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section or subscribe to our Quiet Letters to keep the conversation going.

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