Psychology defines introversion as:
- the act of directing one’s interest inward or to things within the self.
- the state of being concerned primarily with one’s own thoughts and feelings rather than with the external environment.
I am an introvert. I spend a great deal of time in my own head. Not all of my thoughts are pleasant to hang out with, but generally I prefer them to the ‘external environment.’ Large groups make me feel very uncomfortable and drained. It can take me days to restore my balance. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy interaction, but on a small scale. One to five is the optimum number.
This can make life tough. I enjoy musicals and theater, but going out for an event is exhausting. I don’t go to bars. I don’t like parties. Work Christmas parties, not if I can avoid them. New Year’s Eve? No, but thank you. My work has a three day retreat every year…it’s torture. We have to share rooms and it’s a three day party…~shudder~.
I have learned to suppress my natural inclination to retreat. I can function in social situations. The question is…why do I have to? Why do I have to raise my voice to be heard? Why do I have to socialize to have my work taken seriously? Why is this a part of my job review?