11.09.2017

introvert rambles


I know the introvert/extrovert conversation has gotten old. People have moved on to the enneagram thing which makes no sense to me and I have zero desire to explore it. But I'm going to talk about being an introvert, because this is my blog and it's a huge part of how I function. I've said it over and over, but I am as introverted as they come. Most people are probably somewhere in the middle of the spectrum or lean toward one side, but I'm the extreme. Myers-Briggs has given me a score of 100% introvert every time I've taken the test. Clearly, I am very special and should be treated as such. Introversion does not equal shyness, but I happen to be introverted AND painfully shy, which is basically a death sentence to a social life. I've been working hard to overcome both, and my social life is less terminally ill and more convalescing on life support. We're getting there.

For me, socializing is a muscle that has to be strengthened over time and flexed consistently. When I was working full time, I was around people all day and it was fine. It didn't drain me unless I did any other social activity after work. Now that I'm a stay at home mom, any social activity feels exactly like running a 5k when you haven't gotten off the couch in months. That might be a bad example because I actually do know people who can do nothing for months and then bust out a 5k. Those people are probably extroverts too.

With that said, Wednesday was a social day and I am reaping the consequences. It was a great day, one that made me very thankful for my life, but I slept harder that night than I have in ages. And as I typed that, I think I just discovered the cure to my insomnia. I walked into Bible Study with guns blazing. I was more talkative and involved than usual, telling stories, waving my arms around, making jokes and laughing. And, you know, studying the Bible. By the end of the two hours, I was fading. If I had been a flower, I would've been wilted on the ground after a hot summer day with no rain. One of the extroverts made a comment about how refreshed and reenergized she felt after our time together. I would've laughed if I had the energy. I think she must've sucked it right out of me like a vampire.

On Wednesdays, I usually can't do much more than make dinner because I'm so exhausted from a morning of socializing. However, James invited his friend and coworker over for dinner, so I spent the afternoon cleaning and whipping up a big meal full of comfort foods. I was totally happy to do this, just tired. I made a pan of brownies, and honestly that's what gave me the will to push through the social exhaustion.

His friend came over and we had a great time eating and talking and laughing. He left after a couple hours, I put Gracie to bed, and then I crashed harder than I have ever crashed in my life. My head was buzzing. Literally buzzing. I had to tell James multiple times that we couldn't have a conversation because I was so talked out. I couldn't even form a sentence. Then I got a notification from Amazon that the books I ordered for Gracie were being returned to them unless I took immediate action because the mailman couldn't access our front door. According to the message, we live in a gated community and had not told that mailman where to drop off the package. Lololololol. We are neither celebrities, nor do we live in a retirement community in Boca. Any person can walk to our mailbox or front door. We have an equal opportunity front door policy.

I called Amazon to deal with the issue. Yes, I made a phone call after a double header social event. The customer service rep read the items in the order. I only ordered two Little Golden Christmas Books--the classic ones from the 1960s because they are adorable and I never got around to buying them for Gracie last year. He said "Wow...you guys must really like Christmas or something..." with that you weirdo tone in his voice. Yes, I am the Queen of Christmas because I ordered two Christmas books weeks before Christmas. FORGIVE ME, SCROOGE.

He put me on hold to contact USPS and see what the problem was. Ten minutes later he told me he had to conference me in with the USPS customer service rep. I'm not sure what your idea of a good time on a Wednesday night is, but mine is being on a conference call with a member of the post office. BUT NOT. He went silent for minutes at a time, occasionally hitting a key on his keyboard, when he yelled "OK THANKS, BYE." I said "bye?" and he immediately barked at me that his boss was leaving and he couldn't not say goodbye, you know? That would be rude. I had the phone on speaker and James and I were laughing so hard, but at least we had the foresight to use the mute button when we couldn't keep silent. My first job out of college was working in a call center. It was the most hellish experience of my life--up there with morning sickness. I have all the compassion in the world for people with that job and I try to be overly nice and gracious, but I have no understanding when they are rude.

We eventually resolved the issue and I got off the phone. I think my brain was spasming at that point from overuse. I tried to make a grocery list and was almost in tears because I was going over budget with hardly anything on the list and NOTHING MADE SENSE. James told me to go take a hot shower and calm down. My brain physically hurt from talking and engaging all day. My mouth hurt from talking and laughing. It felt as though I had given blood 46 times and was left to die a slow, painful death. I tried to lay in bed and read, but just reading another person's words felt too similar to socializing, so I turned the light off and slept the sleep of the dead for almost 9 hours.

I got a text from one of my best friends this morning about meeting up tonight. I love her and I want to see her, but she knows how I am and I told her I needed to take a rain check. I have an introvert hangover to the point that I would've stayed in bed all day if I didn't have a child to keep alive. Keep your friends close, but not so close that they expect you to go out on weeknights.

10 comments:

  1. Girl. I get you!
    Introverts unite!
    But separately...
    In their own home

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  2. Yes yes yes yes yes.
    I'm at a trade show right now with K. It took about 3 hours, but I finally got some of my awkwardness in check. My conversations started getting a little easier. About 30 minutes before the convention hall closed I ended a conversation with someone. As he walked away he opened his mouth to say something and I was expecting it to be "thank you." It wasn't- he said something else. But I still responded with "you're welcome." Hahahahaha. Two more damn days of this. UGH. Lol

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  3. This is so fascinating to read! I'm an extrovert, but my husband and nearly all of my close friends are introverts. I like to think that we balance each other out and that they help me calm down ;) And actually, I think being a mom has made me more of a homebody and a little bit of an introvert, because I am finding that I NEED my alone time! I know a mom who is constantly on the go with her toddler, but I cannot even fathom that. I have to reserve at least 1-2 days a week where we have a "home day" and recharge. Also, I'm right there with you on the weeknight thing-after a whole day of chasing after a toddler and taking care of general life stuff, I typically do not feel like going out. Once the toddler is in bed, I am DONE.

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  4. Dude, I FEEL YOU. Last Friday we had a surprise birthday party for a friend of ours, spent about 5 hours there, went home for all of an hour, turned right around and went to a retirement party for one of Isaiah's coworkers. By the time the evening was over and we were home (at like 9:30pm, way too late IMHO) I was utterly spent. Almost an entire day of talking (to a lot of people I didn't know) and smiling and laughing and attempting to be generally friendly...TOO MUCH.

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  5. I'm an introvert who also highly values people and relationships and wants to spend her life investing in people-focused ministries...and it's very hard to find the sweet spot. Angel just calls me "socially awkward". He's the charming one who can and will talk to everyone including random strangers...I'm more the practical, get stuff done, remember everyone's birthdays and important events and keep in touch. So we tag-team. I remember stuff about people and plan get-togethers and events and whatever and he makes the phone calls and does more of the small talk. Days spent at home seeing no one but my family are utter bliss. But at the same time, days spent out working with others and engaging with the local community are when I know I'm doing work worth doing. It's weird...

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  6. "Keep your friends close, but not so close that they expect you to go out on weeknights." That might be my favorite line I've read on a blog ever.

    I know what you mean though. Two times per month I have to meet with six people I supervise individually, all on the same day. It means I talk and engage all day long and they're my two least favorite days of the month. When I get home on those days, I tell Matt not to be offended but I don't even want to talk to him.

    Think of me tomorrow, I'll be at a baby shower. :-/

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  7. I desperately wish more extroverts took the time to try and understand us introverts. I feel like they just don’t get it when we can’t handle so many social engagements in a week. I feel like I’m constantly fighting that battle with our small group.

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  8. I cannot stand the enneagram thing. A group I'm in on facebook is constantly discussing it and it drives me nuts. They'd probably have an enneagram number for people like me. ;)

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  9. I feel like staying home with my kids has had the opposite effect on me. I got much more peopled out when I was working full-time, but now I craaaave adult interaction. Stay-at-home-motherhood has been weirdly great for my social life. Haha!

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