How would you feel about the following weekend plan? Kicking it all off with drinks straight from work, going out for a meal, moving onto a night of bars and clubs, and following that up over the next two days with brunches, meet-ups, meals out, parties, and a house full of guests to enjoy them with.
What do you think? Are you feeling excited or are you running away at the mere suggestion?
This plan is the exact plan a friend of mine was telling me about a couple of days ago. The thing is, the more she brimmed over with excitement, the more petrified I became of that weekend. I don’t mean to be a wet blanket, but that schedule is my idea of hell.
It’s not that I’m anti-social. It’s just that I find socializing exhausting.
I’d much prefer to spend a day in my head, exploring some of my many interests and getting into a state of flow. I love activities that are so immersive that I don’t even realize I haven’t spoken to anyone for hours.
If you’re not familiar with the world of introversion, let me introduce myself. Hi, I’m Bev and I’m an introvert. Pleased to meet you.
Us introverts tend to be quieter and more inward-looking than most. Unlike extroverts, who gain energy from social interaction, introverts find that spending long periods of time with other people drains us of energy.
You’re more towards the introverted end of the introversion-extroversion spectrum if, after spending time in a large group of people, you feel exhausted and as if you need to recharge by spending some time alone. If you’re an introvert, this is why that packed weekend schedule of back-to-back social engagements might have left you feeling cold.
Introvert Myth Busting 101
Myth #1: Introverts are shy
This is a common misconception, as many folk assume that being introverted is the same as being shy. An introvert may or may not be shy. Shyness, and indeed social anxiety, have more to do with an awkwardness or a fear of social situations and interactions. Introverts don’t necessarily fear these situations; we just don’t seek them out.
Myth #2: Introverts are anti-social
It’s not that we don’t like company; it’s just that we’re more naturally drawn towards our own company. Whereas extroverts are fueled by social interactions, we find them exhausting. We recharge when we’re alone, so it’s natural for us to seek out quieter surroundings with fewer people.
Myth #3: Introverts are conservative
Often people mistake introverts’ quietness for signs that we are conservative or reserved. Introverts can be quirky and unconventional; it’s just that we don’t always shout about our quirks. Quietness doesn’t to have to mean “boring”!
Myth #4: Introverts are selfish
This is one myth that gets thrown around a lot. It’s often assumed introverts are selfish and self-obsessed because they’re inward-looking. I’d argue, however, that in reality it’s quite the opposite. Introverts are more likely to be thoughtful and highly self-aware, and therefore more conscious about how they respond to those around them.
Introversion and Multipotentiality
Many of the common signs of multipotentiality – like a hunger for learning and the craving to be in a state of flow – often involve spending time alone. I’m therefore intrigued as to whether or not there are a higher number of introverts in the multipotentialite community than there are in the average population.
Over to you!
Are you an introvert? If so, do you think your introversion has an impact on your multipotentiality (or vice versa)? Do you think there are more introverts than extroverts in the multipod community?
Bev is an artist, creativity coach and founder of Kickass Creatives, a website offering practical support to frustrated creatives. She’s over 20 years of working in the arts: experimenting with everything from performing in a fire circus and managing a hiphop dance company, through to web consultancy and jewellery design. Bev is passionate about using her experience to enable others to fully develop (rather than hide) their multitude of talents too. Connect with her on Twitter @creativekickass.