Monday, January 5, 2015

My Name is Cherie and I'm an Introvert

I'm a slow learner when it comes to knowing myself.  I can pick up just about anything else rather quickly, learning as I go.  I guess my life must be like that....learning as I go.  Because this last year I made a huge discovery.

I'm an Introvert.


Didn't see that coming.

Don't get me wrong.  I've been aware of certain tendencies I have, know what bothers me, what I like.  But to be able to put this descriptor in place changes things.

Those that know me "IRL" (in real life) may find this puzzling.  I don't normally seem shy or quiet. But don't let those adjectives fool you.   Here are some things I have learned about myself:

  • I need time alone to recharge
  • Small talk is hard and awkward
  • I shut down after a period of over-activity
  • Ask me to go to a show with audience participation?  NO WAY!
  • Dress up for Halloween or a costume party?  nope
  • My mind is constantly running an inner dialogue.  Makes getting to sleep difficult.
  • I have low blood pressure
  • In any new situation, I typically will observe my surroundings before jumping in to participate (but only if I have to)
  • After arriving at a party or gathering, I am ready to go home in about 30 minutes.
  • Ask me to choose going out or staying home for the evening?  Staying home is my choice 90% of the time.
  • If you find me reading in public, it usually means I don't want to connect, talk, or participate.  This is my invisibility cloak.  I don't want to be seen.
  • When plans are canceled....time for celebration....a night at home!
  • A quiet house, no TV, no music.....perfect.
  • Too much noise and bright lights overwhelm me.
  • When I watch others Facebook streams crammed full of activity, I stress out!
  • I'm not attached to my cell phone.  It may take me a bit to return a text or call.
  • Crowds are stressful
  • I'll always choose a vacation in nature or off the beaten path rather than a tourist trap or city.

Studying this subject has helped me learn to compensate for these personality traits.  Because let's face it, we live in an Extrovert world!

My biggest challenge has been my job.  I am an Administrative Assistant at a high school of 1500 students.  I sit at the front desk, greet guests, answer phones, help students, and provide support to our other staff and Principals.  Sounds like the perfect job for an introvert, right?  *deep breath*  It took me TWO YEARS to figure out why this job literally sucked the life out of me!  The job tasks are not difficult and are actually what I am gifted at, but it was the people, the constant noise around me, the pressure to be "on" for 8 hours a day.  It is exhausting for me!  This year I have taken a different approach.  I am now taking my lunch away from everyone else in a room by myself.  What a difference this had made.  Just having 40 minutes of quiet downtime to regroup, with no one to talk to, has seriously improved my ability to handle the day's work.

I have two Extroverts in my family who thrive on social interaction.  Yep, this presents itself as a challenge sometimes.  I want to stay in, they want to go out.  I want a walk in the woods, they want to go to Chicago.  As with any family, it takes some compromise and planning to get everyone what they need to enjoy a successful vacation!  Sometimes they have to be happy leaving me home, sometimes I have to be happy walking Michigan Avenue during the light parade!  Don't get me wrong.  I enjoy these kinds of things with my family, but they can quickly overwhelm and exhaust me.

It surprises me to be learning new things about myself at my age (no you can't ask!)  But I guess we are always changing with time and adjusting to our surroundings.

Have you learned anything new about yourself recently?  Please share with us!


  1. I've always known I was an introvert, and I'm married to an extrovert that sometimes drives me crazy!!! I can relate to so many of your comments. I can sit for days and not turn on the TV... my husband and son always have it on and often leave the room with it blaring. I usually read in public as well. Thanks for sharing... I enjoyed reading this!!!

    1. I guess we prove the theory that opposites attract, don't we? :)

  2. I am definitely an introvert. I hide. Honestly? I think that's why I like social media - because it makes me social without leaving the house. LOL!!! Arise Introverts! It's finding the balance - Cherie, I believe we would be friends even "in person" - not a lot of small talk but a whole lot of understanding one another! LOL

    1. I couldn't agree with you more, Susan! Every word!!

  3. This was great. I love that the older we get, the more we learn about ourselves. I just turned 40 this year, and it has been one of the most growing years I've had! I've loved gaining wisdom with age. I've learned that I am fearfully fearless! I am always battling fears, but God has helped me to trust Him and overcome my fears and become more fearless! It's been a lifelong journey for me. My 31 Day writing series was about conquering my fears and is now a book (In His Light: Facing Fear with Faith). It feels great to keep pressing on and learning as I go and grow! And the older I get, the more of an introvert I become. I can totally relate to your "celebrate when plans get cancelled!" :-)

    I think it's wonderful that you know yourself so well, and that you've found ways to recharge and find more joy in your day! I will continue to pray for God to give you ways to be who you are and how He created you to be in this extroverted world!

    Christine Leeb

    1. It is a perk of gaining wisdom with age!

  4. Fabulous list - but sometimes I also think it might be more intentional living - not just going with the flow but actually contemplating what you would like to do with your time/life. I relate my friend.

    1. I agree. We begin to learn what is most important, and the other stuff can just drift away.

  5. If you find me reading in public, it usually means I don't want to connect, talk, or participate. This is my invisibility cloak. I don't want to be seen.

    Absolutely love this! And the Facebook thingy too. Just. Like. Me!

    1. We'll have to agree not to bother one another's reading in public! At least us introverts know what that means!! {Don't talk to me!!} LOL