When an Outgoing Introvert Hits the Real World

 I figured that maybe I should do a non-writing post since at least five out of the last six posts I’ve written have been focused solely on writing. Then when I tried to think of what else to blog about I was reminded why my posts have revolved around writing: That’s pretty much all I’m doing right now.

Which isn’t exactly true. I’ve also been breathing. And eating at random times. And then life, you know. Which has actually been pretty amazing. I even squeezed out of my comfort zone last night to go to a Lady’s Night with people from our church. (Then I pretty much hung around about two people the whole time and barely talked to anyone because I was SO peopled out from previous adventures during the last few days, but hey, at least I went.)

Ok. We can talk about this little subject for a bit longer. See, I am totally fine being around people. You know this craziness that you get on my blog? Yep. That’s how I am in real life, too. I can be random and jump from subject to subject and I have absolutely no problem going up and talking to complete strangers and being friendly and making friends. I don’t mind talking in front of people (most of the time) and I’m fine with acting totally goofy in an effort to draw someone else out of their shell and help them join in the fun.

I seriously don’t think I’ve ever run out of questions to ask. Plus, I’m one of those strange humans who doesn’t mind when there’s what other people consider “awkward silences” because my imagination is so full I don’t even notice the silences until it suddenly hits me that the other person is feeling awkward. Then I just launch into another one of my million questions. (I can go from serious, like: What’s your passion in life? to interesting, like: What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten? to random, like: If you had a pet giraffe what would you name it? I feel so much curiosity when I’m with people and ask a crazy-large amount of questions.)

BUT. Let’s get real honest here…

I also work the best when I have huge chunks of time without people each day. I work in my office on my writing and my non-writing job for hours each day. I work around our house when everyone else is gone. I cut grass and take walks and spend a lot of time alone. Including sleeping time it’s not uncommon for me to be alone for 18-20 hours out of a 24 hour period. And I like that. A lot. (Most of the time.)

And there are times, like last night, when I decide to hang out with people again before I’ve had my “have the desire to hang out with people” tank filled up again because I’m trying to stretch myself. I love the people from our church. I really do. Sunday is one of my most favorite days of the week. But, I start looking forward and getting my mind ready for church beginning on Friday or Saturday, normally. Why? Because leaving my home or work to hang out with people is not exactly my cup of tea unless I’ve prepared myself.

During the last month or so I’ve been trying to add church Sunday and Wednesday nights into my routine and… Yikes. I don’t know how to explain it to you except to say that often times I spend the whole drive to church feeling sick to my stomach. Once I get there it’s a lot better, but it is a stretch. I don’t even like going to the store most of the time; once I get there though, it’s fine. I suppose I have a mind block that screams Stay Home* and so I’ve been trying to work past that because I know it’s good for me. I’m ok with being introverted. I actually really enjoy being myself. But I know I need to teach myself to step outside of my comfort zone, too. And that’s not easy.

*Pretty much I like staying home or going on far away adventures. I haven’t found that medium-happy spot yet.

At times being introverted has felt wrong. Like when I’m standing at the sink washing dishes and I suddenly realize that I’m enjoying it more and having more fun than I did at the birthday party I went to the night before. Or when we have company that I sincerely like and yet I slip out of the room to go off and breath deeply in an empty room for a few minutes. Or when I don’t want to go to the chiropractor or dentist for ages because that means not being home. Shouldn’t I love being around people more? It’s a valid question and one I haven’t found a satisfying answer to yet.

I know there is a balance and I’m looking for it. You know, the right spot landing somewhere between accepting the way I am and fighting to become who I should be. Which is one reason I’ve been pushing myself and working to go places more, yet not feeling guilty when I need my alone time. I can tell it’s been good for me and I think it will eventually break though and help other areas of my life. It’s not always easy though.

All this to say… Hey, there’s another glimpse of me. Of who I am and the struggles I go through at a personal level. Because I think far more people (creative/artistic/writing people, especially) deal with stuff like this then they let on.

Disclaimer (especially in case you know me in real life… which is the scariest part about blogging, folks…):
 I really do love being around people a lot of the time. Sometimes when walking through a store I make it a game to see how many people I can make eye contact with and smile at. When I’m at work (around my co-workers at least) my jovial attitude is for real about 87% of the time because I’m in my happy zone. Etc…

* * *
What about you? Can you relate to anything in this post? 

5 thoughts on “When an Outgoing Introvert Hits the Real World

  1. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    YES I RELATE. Except for the part about enjoying peopling. hehe. I actually was alone for about 3 days without seeing anyone at all and I was completely okay with that. OOPS. I don't feel guilty for it anymore. Like, if I want to be alone, that's fine. xD And plus the internet makes being “alone” not being very alone…if that makes sense.
    I also think sometimes people find it hard to understand introvert is about energy not about how outgoing you are!! Like my sister is a true introvert. She NEEDS to be alone to get her energy back. But she's completely outgoing!! I on the other hand am a shy introvert. *crawls into turtle shell*


  2. Chris Purdom says:

    Thought about this post a lot. Basically and extrovert/introvert. I always loved spending time with people before, then some things happened and now i prefer to spend time alone. When i want to spend time with people i want to spend it more with certain people and i don't tend to invite everyone new into my lil circle of life.
    What i love about my job. There is people time but there is also plenty of me doing my job alone and not having other people intrude.
    Thanks for writing this blog. Gives incite into who you are and caused me to think more about who i am and the way i work to.
    Keep up the great writing!


  3. Denise Liston says:

    Lydia – I know you and love you just the way you are! I will tell you about another kind of person – an ambivert. Someone who is naturally an introvert who enjoys time alone but who can rise to the occasion of being with groups of people! Maybe you fall in the category??


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