I should start that folks are often shocked that I’m introverted. When they think about it, I think it makes sense to them. There’s a reason I’m always hard to find in person, why I’m fast on email and slow to the phone, why I don’t frequent the office lunches, and then there is my obvious love for meetings, ;). My colleagues have learned it’s not that I’m not available; it’s that I’m available to them in different ways.
I also used to be EXTREMELY shy. As a child, I wouldn’t/couldn’t talk to strangers, and they often would even make me cry when they spoke to me. My students always love this example. When I was an undergraduate student, I DREADED speeches or presentations with the sick stomach and all. No, it’s worse than that, I was pitiful. I was one of those folks the audience even felt sorry for…with my voice and hands shaking. On a few occasions in my early college years, I even walked out of the middle of my speeches in tears. And I still get sick to my stomach on the first day of a new class or if I know I have to use a microphone at a speaking engagement. Though finding a sense of humor helps me recover from these more quickly.
There are times when being an introvert is great. When I have the right confidants and trusted friends lined up, it actually makes life easier being an introvert as I can escape much drama and enjoy a simpler life. But it’s hardest when people don’t recognize that this is how I am. I can do the parties and politics, have fun, hang out, talk to different people, etc. And it’s not even that I don’t enjoy it. I love hearing people's stories and hearing about their life. And anyone can tell you that I do love to talk :), it’s just that it makes me VERY tired. It burns energy from me to the point where I feel that my mind becomes unable to function.
Also, some of my long-time friends know that it can take years before they really got to know me. One of the reasons these blogs stretch me in interesting ways. :)