I was a very shy child. And teenager, horrified of awkward silences or saying something wrong. Until you’re an adult it is never cool to be the quiet one, and I was born an introvert, with all the traits that includes, but around age sixteen I decided that I was sick of it. I jumped out of my comfort zone and became more and more outgoing.
Now I think most people perceive me as exactly that, but the truth is that on the inside I am still very dominated by the typical introvert personality traits. I have taken several personality tests at work and during my studies, and I always come out from 49-51 percent on one side of the scale, depending on the day. I am a perfect hybrid of an introvert and an extrovert. I am an outgoing introvert.
If you wonder whether you or someone you know is also a (closet) introvert, here are some signs;
Eating out alone
If you find me having a coffee or dinner by myself in a public place, it does not mean that no one wanted to come with me. It means that I needed some self-maintenance or perhaps to get some work done, and make no mistake; I love it.
We are never bored
I am not claiming that introverts have a richer inner life than others, but I do believe that we have yet to figure out how to turn our minds off. At least I can keep myself busy for hours with only my thoughts as entertainment; every time I see people getting stuck under buildings after an earthquake or after some mining accident, I always think about what an advantage that would be. That is also why I sometimes don’t sleep very well.
We usually express ourselves best in writing
Word always not come out way the right spoken when.
I admit not having done this as many times as I wish, due to meeting my husband at the age of twenty, but otherwise, I would have loved to. In fact, when I travel with people, I tend to escape their company to enjoy my own. Sorry!
We don’t enjoy phone calls
I have worked oh so hard with myself to accept the fact that grown-ups sometimes have to talk to people through a device. Thanks to my stubbornness and will to overcome the things that make me uncomfortable, I have managed to become a decent phone talker. Just don’t expect me to call you just to chat. And don’t you dare face-time me.
We tend to like animals
Especially cats. They also enjoy being alone and asleep.
We sometimes overthink beyond what’s good for us
It can happen because I once cracked a joke someone did not laugh at. It can happen because I said something twenty years ago that may or may not have offended someone. And yeah, we know it’s irrational, but we do it anyway. It’s like an extra little person inside our heads doing his own thinking beside ours. We don’t like that guy.
We can be a bit nerdy
Since we don’t depend on the company of others, we tend to dig into hobbies or studies that one typically does alone, being collecting stamps, reading, writing, or playing a musical instrument. This is usually the time we feel most productive.
We don’t like conflict
That does not mean we will tolerate anything. It just means that when we do raise our voices, it’s damn serious.
Sometimes we are superstitious
Introverts like to look beyond the surface in search of a more profound meaning, which is why we tend to be a bit spiritual, superstitious, or even religious. Should we really walk underneath that ladder? Was that a premonition? Is that my floor cracking or… is it demons?
These are the things that are going on on our insides, although we love to be social and can be perceived as super outgoing. And we are. But we’re also that other stuff.