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The reaction I usually get when I tell others I am an introvert is quite similar: “No way you are an introvert!” The truth is I have learned how to manage in this busy world and didn’t realize how introverted I really was until I turned 30.  I honestly have to thank my mother for enrolling me in as many things as she possibly could while I was growing up in NYC.  Swim, dance, basketball, etc you name it she had me there and I give all of those activities credit for forcing me to interact with others and learn how to manage with different personalities and different people while sprucing up on my social skills from a young age.

Most people don’t fully understand the main difference between and introvert and an extrovert and I feel this is why they are usually surprised when I say I am an introvert.  One of the main differences between an introvert and an extrovert is how we gain our energy.  An introvert like myself we gain our energy by being alone and even better when we are alone in nature.  Extroverts gain their energy by socializing and being out and about.  I have realized that traveling full time in our RV has allowed me to find myself even more because I find myself running outside to get some fresh air and either read or work away from the kids (yes I need a break too sometimes lol).

This doesn’t mean that I do not enjoy social gatherings or going out it just means that my energy depletes after social events and I need time by myself to re-energize.  I used to not understand in my early twenties why my roommate could keep going and going without needing a break and I used to feel like the party pooper.  When I finally had time by myself years later I learned that the reason I wasn’t quite like her was that I was a total introvert lost in our extroverted world.

I honestly get anxiety when it comes to small talk (seriously I cringe lol) I love deep and meaningful conversations but once again I have learned to adapt to small talk when I am out and about.  It is not that I am not friendly I am actually very friendly but I thrive on deeper conversations about life, goals and theories.  If I have to engage in small talk I am able to do it rather well because like most introverts we are very good listeners and we are very in tune with how those we are interacting with are feeling at the moment. 

I began to read books and do more research on being an introvert and I found a few famous introverts that you might recognize too: Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bruce Lee, Michael Jordan, Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi, Charles Darwin just to name a few.  Which made me realize that I could still be successful as an introvert.  I just need quiet and solitude to really get my ideas and thoughts in order and have the energy to share my gifts and talents with others without feeling anxious.

I used to think that I had to be louder and more outgoing to be successful but success doesn’t come from those characteristics.  Success comes from being genuinely ME and no one else.  People can feel and are drawn to a genuine personality.  It took me over 30 years to figure out that it is perfectly ok to not be the center of attention or the loudest one in the room in order to be heard.  I realized that as an introvert I am extremely mindful and observant to my surroundings so people are naturally drawn to me and are comfortable with opening up to me which leads to deeper and longer lasting relationships.

I am not anti-social by any means I am just very selectively social.  If you are an introvert like me I am sure you agree that it takes us a little bit to warm up to others.  We do not like to invest our energy into someone that we aren’t too crazy about so we genuinely choose to learn more about them before getting too close or too attached.

If you are an introvert trying to mold or change to fit more into this extroverted world we live in PLEASE STOP!  Take your amazing talents and share with the world your creativity!  You are perfectly you and there is no need to change it!  If you are afraid that you will not be successful remember my list above of other successful introverts.  Do not be afraid to tell your partner, spouse, relatives and friends that you need some time to yourself whenever you need it.  Embrace your awesomeness and please share below if you are an introvert or an extrovert I would absolutely LOVE to hear more about you!

81 replies
  1. Amber Myers
    Amber Myers says:

    I’m an introvert as well. My parents actually tried to sign me up for stuff to interact with people but I would just shut down. I vowed never do it to my kids because I was so miserable. Now I can be social, but I have to be in the mood for it.

    I love this post!

    Reply
  2. Megan Campbell
    Megan Campbell says:

    I am totally an introvert but I get the same type of statements. I think my passion for things makes me seem extroverted. But I crave my alone time and feel energized when I get my downtime.

    Reply
  3. Anmaria Djong I Onelazychic
    Anmaria Djong I Onelazychic says:

    I really enjoy reading your post and read it slowly to make sure I understand every single word that you share. My husband and my only daughter are introvert. It’s hard for me to understand as I am an extrovert. Reading your post make me realize how they think and feel. I definitely will try to expose my daughter to different activities so that she doesn’t have fear interacting with people from different personalities next time. I am so glad when you say “Success comes from being genuinely ME and no one else”. You are so right and I am so proud of you.

    Reply
  4. robin masshole mommy
    robin masshole mommy says:

    I am definitely more of an introvert myself. I am not shy at all, but I like to keep to myself.

    Reply
  5. Cameron
    Cameron says:

    I’m also an introvert, and a selectively social one as well. I can do small talk and conversations and whatnot, it just leaves me utterly drained. I can do it when I need, and for my friends of course, but when I’ll get home I have to be by myself for a bit to recharge!

    | diaryofasouthernmillennial.com

    Reply
  6. Emily
    Emily says:

    I’m the same way! I love being with friends and family but I do need time to myself- unfortunately it’s hard for people who aren’t very close to me to understand.

    Reply
  7. Elizabeth O.
    Elizabeth O. says:

    I would say that I’m more of an ambivert, But I lean more towards being an introvert. I love being alone and I get anxious when I have to be social and it’s forced, like I wasn’t given enough time to prepare for it. It not something that you should be ashamed of though. You have to love who you are!

    Reply
  8. Claire Chambers
    Claire Chambers says:

    This is excellent, I actually wrote something like this on my own blog a few weeks ago. I am totally becoming more accepted of my introversion. Thanks for this 🙂

    Reply
  9. Thecla
    Thecla says:

    I can relate!!! I’m like this too, no one believes that I have introvert tendencies. I like to have “me time”, and be alone. It makes me feel refilled when I have time for myself!

    Reply
  10. Cristina Leau
    Cristina Leau says:

    I feel you. It’s nice to read someone else’s story and realize you are not alone. You made my day with this article.

    Reply
  11. Jessi Joachim
    Jessi Joachim says:

    I have always thought of myself as an extrovert, but as I have gotten older I see more introverted qualities about myself. I like my time with my close friends, but large groups and parties have no interest for me. I like to be home with my kids more often than not.

    Reply
  12. Sheri
    Sheri says:

    I am definitely a mix of both. An ambivert. I am quite shy which to some might translate to being an introvert. I am doing more to coming out of my comfort zone and it’s been going well.

    Reply
  13. Mihaela Echols
    Mihaela Echols says:

    I have noticed a lot of bloggers are introverted. We like our writing and quiet time. I was told introvert people are the more intentional ones because we are refuelling before giving.

    Reply
  14. Victoria
    Victoria says:

    I feel the exact same way you described in this post. I am not anti social but I am an introvert. Mostly because I am shy. I was able to put myself out there by attending gathering etc but I have to admit, I am still an introvert!

    Reply
  15. Daphne K. Lee
    Daphne K. Lee says:

    I love the term “selectively social”

    A lot of people think of introverts as just being shy and quiet, but like you said, they could also come off as very outgoing (probably just don’t thrive off of being a social butterfly). I still have no idea whether I am introverted or extroverted, perhaps a bit of both. Sometimes people say I am quiet, but a friend had said to me, “you’re not quiet, you just choose when to talk” — and that had saved me from some kind of identity crisis hahaha. You put it in a nicer way, though – selectively social 🙂

    Reply
    • 1stClassrvadventures
      1stClassrvadventures says:

      I definitely love being selectively social lol. It does come in handy when we are more careful. I am definitely very comfortable around friends and those I am closer to. I just don’t like having meaningless conversations and that’s a big introvert characteristic.

      Reply
  16. Kay
    Kay says:

    Is it possible that we are introverted or extroverted in different seasons of our lives? When I was younger I swear I loved being around people. But the older I get the more draining it is! And though I still love socializing (selectively as you said), I definitely get my energy from being alone. Could be because I’m adjusting to my 3rd new culture in 6 years… But still, sometimes I wonder who the “real” me is..introverted or extroverted…

    Reply
  17. stacey
    stacey says:

    I guess I am neither. Because it really depends on the situation. I love being alone and finding ways to entertain myself, but I love being around people and get a burst of energy form good friends and laughter.

    Reply
  18. Allison
    Allison says:

    I am 110% an extrovert, however, I my boyfriend of 5 years is an introvert. That’s why I loved reading this. Kind of like getting a glimpse into his mind and understanding how he feels. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  19. ohmummymia
    ohmummymia says:

    I know what you mean Sometimes I think I’m introvert because I want to be alone but on the end of the day I like to spend quality time with other people especially my family

    Reply
  20. blair villanueva
    blair villanueva says:

    I understand what you feel. Am also an introvert and most of the time my silence are misunderstood by the many. Well, I just like to be quiet and observe the environment, and test the waters before I jumped in! 🙂

    Reply
  21. Anna nuttall
    Anna nuttall says:

    This is SO me. I’m very much an introvert and it use to drive me crazy when I worked in retail as they will be business meeting to attend or social event. etc… This is why I love being self-employed – I can be myself and no socialize with people.

    Reply
  22. Krista
    Krista says:

    I am definitely selectively social! I love going to group events, but small groups where the mood is a little more intimate and easy to connect!

    Reply
  23. Amrita
    Amrita says:

    I recently wrote in a post that I was selectively social .I am a doctor and have always been pretty friendly.But I adore me time too.This makes me believe that I am probably an introvert too.Circumstances have a lot to do with our personalI ties .Your mom did the right thing in helping you learn to be social .Great post

    Reply
    • 1stClassrvadventures
      1stClassrvadventures says:

      Ty Amrita! Yes my mom is an amazing momma and I was a lucky child! I agree about our circumstances and I also feel that we are all a little of both but one is always more dominant. I need my alone time to recharge and re-energize.

      Reply
  24. Delecia Segree
    Delecia Segree says:

    This post clarifies the differences between both perfectly. When I was in college I found my good friend to be weird and unfriendly at times. I never understood that introverts gain energy from time alone to think and just be. I’m an extrovert and I’m usually energized by being around others. Thanks for this clarification .

    Reply
  25. Ashlea
    Ashlea says:

    I am also an introvert. I need alone time to deal with people. It seems very draining when dealing with others. Sometimes people don’t understand me at all.

    Reply
  26. Danielle
    Danielle says:

    I am definitely an extrovert. It doesn’t take long at all for me to warm up to others. I am very outgoing and like to get things out in the open 🙂 But i have a lot of introverted friends!

    Reply
    • 1stClassrvadventures
      1stClassrvadventures says:

      That’s awesome Danielle! I have many extroverted friends and now that I understand myself it makes it easier for me to explain that I am not being anti-social when I do not want to go somewhere and it feels good to express this openly and they now understand as well!

      Reply
  27. Joely Smith
    Joely Smith says:

    Your article is so good and really points out the true differences. I also believe we can change naturally, not by choice or force. I used to be an extreme extrovert and now I am totally an introvert! My daughter is an introvert as well.

    Reply
  28. CourtneyLynne
    CourtneyLynne says:

    Same here!!! I can be a social butterfly when I have to be, so when I tell people I’m actually the biggest introvert ever, people never want to believe it! Home is where I like to be and socializing is something I just have to do sometimes lol

    Reply
    • 1stClassrvadventures
      1stClassrvadventures says:

      That’s great Amy I love my time with those I am close to but my alone time is so much needed to refuel my energy and do it again. We are all different and have different needs as long as we understand and love ourselves we will be genuinely happy!

      Reply
  29. Ellie
    Ellie says:

    I am an introvert too but I enjoy social situations. I think it came from having very few childhood friends and being an only child so I got quite content being in my own company. I do try, now, to force myself to be social, it’s always fun getting to know new people.

    Ellie
    http://Www.scotchandstilettos.com

    Reply
  30. GiGi Eats
    GiGi Eats says:

    Everyone thinks I am the biggest extrovert EVER – I am very bubbly, outgoing, energetic, etc… However, honestly, I am a HUGE INTROVERT! I love being alone and marching to my own drummer. I love staying in at night and cuddling up on the couch alone or with my husband and watching a movie, TV or just lounging without a care in the world. Ha! I have no drama in my life because I live my life this way!

    Reply
  31. Jessica Lauren Vine
    Jessica Lauren Vine says:

    Sandra, this is an amazing post. You are a true gem! I totally see how this is at work in myself now. It has taken me a while to figure out why, I love people but after a big event I feel totally zapped. lol I guess I am an introvert. I live and love people though. Confusing as heck. hahaha. You are amazing! A-mazin! =D hehe

    Reply
    • 1stClassrvadventures
      1stClassrvadventures says:

      Haha you made me literally LOL because it is confusing!! I absolutely LOVE people but I get drained too and I need to recharge by myself. Now that I understand it I feel so much better because I am listening to my inner guidance system more often and I have never felt better! It was so awesome meeting you ! Can’t wait to cross paths!

      Reply
  32. Rosey
    Rosey says:

    I relate to this post lots. I’m an introvert and my sister is the biggest extrovert! She doesn’t understand that I can be happy alone and don’t need to be surrounded by people to be happy. She on the other hand “has” to be around others to feel normal and happy. For me, that drains my energy I feel to stimulated and need to go home early if at huge social gathering.

    Reply
    • 1stClassrvadventures
      1stClassrvadventures says:

      That’s great to hear Rosey that you understand this about yourself it took me a while to figure out that there was nothing wrong with me that it was just me lol. It is nice to be able to explain to my extroverted friends they seem to understand me more now too.

      Reply
  33. Author Brandi Kennedy
    Author Brandi Kennedy says:

    I could relate to this on SO MANY levels! I am an introvert too, and have spent much of my life feeling totally misplaced in the world. I’m either not loud enough, or too loud. Too quiet, or too chatty. I’m finding as I get older that I am just enough – I’m finding my own place in the world, with people who “get” me, and that makes all the difference.

    Reply
  34. Jeannie
    Jeannie says:

    This is so important – I think introverts actually get more exhausted and introverted if they try to be more like extroverts! I come from an entire family of extroverts and it took me a long time to realize that I need more down time than them. Thanks for this great post!

    Reply
  35. Djinji
    Djinji says:

    I LOVE being an introvert. I wasn’t always happy about it, though. Like you, I grew up feeling like there was something wrong with being introverted. Once I learned about other proud introverts and realized that being upset with myself was doing more harm than good, I began to love what makes me, me. I love taking the time to recharge. I love hating small talk. I’ve completely accepted my introverted nature, and I’m more successful and happy in my life because of it! Thanks for sharing your story! 🙂

    Reply

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