It’s my cross to bear. It confuses many people, but I am a bubbly introvert. I love people and like most introverts and I enjoy the company of others, but there are times when I need to be alone. I have a quick wit and a sense of humor. I’m loving, affectionate and compassionate, but I still need and crave time alone. As like most bubbles, mine eventually pop.
There are times when I am in a small group of people and I am truly enjoying myself and the company, but then I need to leave. Oftentimes those in my company think they’ve done something to offend me or they believe that suddenly I’m not feeling well. They wonder what happened to the funny lady who has been cracking jokes for the past thirty minutes or so. I have just reached my limit of social interaction at that time and I need that time away to refill my well. After spending a lot of time in social situations I begin to “power down”. This is especially awkward at dinner parties when I can’t just walk away with everyone else still sitting at the dinner table. I tend to get quiet and just sit there. I try my best not to let my desire to get up and leave show on my face, but sometimes it does. When that happens, I get the dreaded extra attention. People begin to ask me if I am okay. Even when I assure them that I’m fine, most of the time they don’t believe me. They feel the need to include me in the conversation and inadvertently draw attention to and increase my discomfort.
What is difficult thing for most to understand is how I can be a bubbly, energetic person and then shut down. I often try to explain it, but it can be difficult to explain. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to me. It is what it is.
I feel this confusion comes from a misunderstanding of what an introvert is. We often see images of people concealed in hooded garments with all of the world shut out or images with captions that read “I can’t people today”, “People go away”, or some other standoffish command. Although I can relate to not wanting to “people” at certain times, that is not the case all the time or even most of the time.
Being an introvert does not mean that I’m shy, have a personality disorder, or am unable to socialize. I am not uptight, arrogant, or hate being around people. I don’t even find socializing difficult, but I want to do it the way I want to do it and I need time to myself to recharge. That does not mean I can’t thrive in a crowd full of people. I can make it work, but I would chose to be in a smaller group of people I already know and even then, I will have enough and want to be by myself. I am also perfectly fine alone. I don’t need to be around people to enjoy myself, but I like everyone else, I need people in general.