Saturday, March 02, 2013

Am I Really an Introvert?


After posting my latest post entitled "Wallflower" and reading the few comments that I received, I feel called to clarify the term "introversion". In that post, I mentioned that I am pretty much an introvert without clearly explaining the term. So I hope that this post would help eliminate any misconceptions about introversion (cause I would not want people to get the wrong idea from my writings).

There was this one time when I came across this one useful article that explains how introverts are really like. I will list down the what Huffington Post writer, Sophia Dembling believes to be signs of introversion. I will also include my personal insights below each one. For the original article, please hop on to this link over here (Nine Signs That You Might Be an Introvert) where you'd find a slideshow explaining the points in great detail. So here goes the list:

#1 You rarely think the more the merrier. 

More often that not, this is how I think. I do socialize, but an ideal environment for me would be when I gather with not more than ten of my closest friends at most (although ten is still a huge number for me). That is when I can really enjoy myself in others company. Attending huge parties with lots of people I don't know is overwhelming for an awkward person like me. So when I do attend such gatherings, I will stick to my clique most of them time and I will only usually make an effort to talk to other people when I feel comfortable enough or when I spot someone who I am delighted to see.

2# You consider doing nothing something.

My favourite pastime is daydreaming. I enjoy watching movies and I study when I have to, but most of the time when I don't do those things, I often catch myself extensively daydreaming. When I was much younger, my mum often told me that I love to "mengelamun" :p I can stay in bed daydreaming and thinking all day long and not get bored. I know a lot of people who would definitely consider going out to meet their friends whenever they have been cooped up at home, but I would naturally just persist with staying at home doing "nothing". Sometimes, when people ask me what I'm doing, I'd usually just say that I'm surfing the internet or eating cause explaining what I really do would sound pretty irrelevant :p

3# Sometimes you feel like your head might explode.

This is exactly how I feel after a really busy week. A busy week for me consists of a lot of classes along with one or two gatherings with my friends. At the end of the week, I would get so exhausted from all of that and I'd usually be unseen and unheard for the whole weekend. I'd simply go M.I.A. I know that I have gotten into my cave for a little bit too long when my friends begin to text me asking me about my well being. For me, it just takes a longer time for my brain to refuel and recover from the hecticness of the outside world.

4# You hide in the bathroom sometimes.

Haha, I don't usually do this. I'm not an introvert up till that extend. I will sit in the crowd and listen to people talking and I would interact when needed. However, I do realise that I often find a way for me to leave a gathering as early as I possibly can. This does not apply to gatherings with my closest friends though. I can talk and enjoy being with them all night long :)

5# You are ready to leave parties shortly after arriving.

Well, I have just elaborated on that :p You see what I mean?

6# You haven't answered a ringing telephone in years.

On the contrary, I actually do answer calls, but I have to say that I'm not a big on phone chats, again, with friends that I don't talk to often. Small talk is a big weakness for me. I rarely call up my old friends and when I do, it's usually when something big comes up. If I could show you my outgoing call/message log as compared to my incoming calls/message log, you'd probably be shocked. I am rarely the sender or initiator. I'm always at the receiving end and I know that this seems so selfish but I can't help it :/ I also can't really understand how some people can cope with having so many close friends. Secretly, it kinda kills me inside when I see people keeping in contact with people so effortlessly cause I know myself well enough to not be able to be like that. 

7# You prefer one close friend to 100 lovely acquaintances.

This is actually quite true, although for me, I sometimes envy people who know how to make tonnes of friends, but only because I feel like it looks socially desirable. But if I were to purely follow my heart, I would definitely enjoy just having a couple of close friends by my side. I don't think I need to explain further, you get the point :)

8# You can't imagine what all those people find to talk about.

Either Sophia Dembling is a mind reader or I'm just very similar to her. I often come across people who text and skype with their friends all the time and I always wondered what they talk about. If you ask me, I only skype with my friends like once a year. I swear I don't know what people talk about when they skype frequently. I don't even text with people for fun or to even keep up with them. I am honestly bad at random texting. I often need a near solid reason to text and the conversation wouldn't go on for long unless the person whom I'm texting with comes up with responds that don't leave me awkwardly hanging. 

9# You actively avoid anything that might devolve into audience participation.

In contrast to what she says, I can be involved with audience participation, given that I truly know what I'm doing. When I'm certain of my opinions, I wouldn't have a problem in standing out and voicing my thoughts. I have read from other sources that introverts aren't necessarily shy. People often have a misconception about this. Introverts can be brave but note that they are known as introverts because they feel energized when they are alone. Extroverts can be shy but they're still extroverts because they gain energy from being around people. I think this last point is not really relevant, but I believe that most introverts could agree with this point.

So, that's it. I hope I helped to make it clear enough and I apologize if some of my words come out a harsh in some way. I have no intention at all to hurt anyone's feelings :) Thanks for reading :)


“I have to be alone very often. I'd be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That's how I refuel."

― Audrey Hepburn: Many-Sided Charmer, LIFE Magazine, December 7, 1953)

This quote literally describes me. I have come to realize that as I grow up, I tend to prefer investing my time in being alone at home. I can stay inside for a long period of time without getting a dying urge of meeting up with people. Whenever I'm alone in at home, I could sense myself feeling content and collected and greatly energized. 

I could definitely tell you how much of a stay-home person I am. For instance, if I had to choose between watching a new movie in the cinema with my friends or watching it alone at home, I'd usually choose the latter (unless I'm dying to see my friends' reactions :p). If I had to choose between attending a grand party with lots of scrumptious Malaysian cuisines or staying at home eating whatever's left in my pantry, I'd still choose the latter. I assure you, I'm not being lazy (in spite of often simply telling my housemate that I "malas keluar"), I just prefer staying at home just a little bit too much. 

I know that deep down inside of me, on a slightly pessimistic note, I became like that because at one significant length of time, it appeared to me as if I was frequently bombarded with expectations. It was somewhat painfully overwhelming for me. I could say that academically, I know that everybody is dealing with some degree of expectation so I don't think it's necessary for me to elaborate on that. However, I believe that when it comes to socializing, I'm rather disappointing. In this case, being a homebody does not help. 

Honestly, I'm not a big fan of huge gatherings and over here in Cork, such gatherings are common. Don't get me wrong, the gatherings here are really splendid and praise-worthy, but I'm not the type of person who fancies attending gatherings anywhere; be it kenduri or jamuan. I am rarely hyped about social events. I think I got this trait from my mum :p If I were to attend one of the gatherings, I'd often find myself plunging into a state of awkwardness, unless I know everyone in that gathering truly personally. Due to this, I often become unreasonably self-conscious. I would think of what people would think of me if I don't talk to them. I would think of what I would do if I don't talk to them or if I didn't attend. I would think of what they have always thought of me. Too many what ifs.   

I expressed my concerns to one of my closest friends and she simply advised me not to think about this whole thing too much. She said that she would always do what she wanted and she wouldn't care about what people might think. The thing is, I'm one of those people who annoyingly cares way too much about what people think of me. I don't want people to dislike me, but I don't want to be too cautious at the same time. I have always been amazed by people who don't give tinge of concern about what people would think of them. When they tweet , they could to tweet whatever that is on their minds without much filtering needed while I would be staring at the tweet compose box for ten minutes before I come up with my serious tweet. When they speak in a serious setting, they could speak eloquently and spontaneously while I would turn blank in a matter of seconds. And when they make friends, they make lots of em in no time, while I increasingly become dependent on 9gag. 

I have tried to be out-going with people that I'm not really close with but frankly speaking, I often end up worrying too much in the end. I'm not saying that I don't enjoy talking to people at all, but most of the time, I would end up over-thinking about what I said and regretting them, even if they were insignificant things. Due to this, at one point, I pretty much had my self-esteem heading rock bottom because I felt like I couldn't make it up to par with them. To me, this world felt as though it was made for bright bold people. I didn't feel like there was much room for people like me. 

Back to Audrey Hepburn's quote, it is clear that she is an introvert, just like I am. The best thing about her is, even though she's an introvert, she's well respected for her class, beauty and personality. Then I discovered that many famous people in our history where introverts; namely, Johnny Depp (I'm seriously not kidding here), Mahatma Gandhi (I didn't expect this cause he was a politician right?) and J.K. Rowling (I am not "jk"! :p). Knowing this truly enlightened me. These are amazing, amazing people. They were introverts but they were appreciated and respected. 

Eventually, I began to realize that being an introvert or an extrovert shouldn't be a problem for anyone. Everybody should try to draw out their potentials and use them to overcome their weaknesses. My weakness may be at socializing, but I probably have ten shocking abilities that I have yet to discover. If you have thoughts like I did and if you have ever felt like you're not worthy of anything, think again. Allah created every individual unique and definitely worth it.

But then of course, things are always easier said than done. Currently I feel more confident with myself but I'm still working on not thinking too much about what people think of me. I guess I had that thought for too long that it became a habit. It would be amazing if I could worry about what Allah would think of me rather than what people would. That's a long way to go and I have many things to mend, but that's achievable too. I just have to focus on the right things.

Anyway, before I end this, I suggest you take a look at this website (Humanmetrics) if you're interested in knowing your personality type based on C.Jung and I.Briggs type theory. It's a reliable personality test and based on that test, I was classified as an INFP. I did other similar personality tests and I got the exact same results :) Go ahead an give it a go :)