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A WHOSA-WHATSA-VERT?

What is an introvert?

Introverts gain energy by being alone. Stimulating environments and social situations are draining for introverts. We can only handle so much before we MUST restore ourselves in solitude.

This is where many people are confused about introversion. It’s not about wanting to avoid people because of shyness, or sadness. Introverts NEED to spend time alone to feel at our best. Plain and simple.

In contrast, extroverts are energized by socializing. They get a buzz from the very activities that overwhelm introverts. When extroverts spend too much time alone, they feel bored and depleted.

Neither personality type is superior, we simply have different needs.

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LATEST FROM THE BLOG

How To Explain Your Introverted Personality To Others

Let’s face it, a lot of people don’t understand us introverts. For many extroverts, the introverted personality makes about as much sense as Snapchat does to my grandma. Even fellow introverts might be confused about what it means to be introverted. With all the ignorance out there about introversion, the thought of explaining our personality is daunting, to say the least. Still, we introverts want and need to be understood on a deeper level, especially by those we care about. Sure, showing the people we love an article like this one will do the trick sometimes. But I have to be honest, there comes a time when we all have to speak up about our introverted personality in real life, with real words (no emojis). And it isn’t always easy. It’s tough explaining our introverted personality to people who’ve been conditioned to think of introversion as an inferior personality type, or even a dysfunction. Case in point: This story will piss you off A while ago I did a radio interview for The Candy Palmater Show. During our discussion, Candy shared an experience that had introverts (including myself) across the nation shaking their heads in disgust. She recalled a workshop she attended in which the presenter talked about different personality types. The presenter wrote the words “introvert” and “extrovert” on the board, and then did the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the absolutely unforgivable … He drew a big huge X over “introvert” and circled “extrovert”. His message was loud and clear: introversion is the inferior personality type. All who want to succeed should strive for extroversion. As infuriating as this... read more

The Question Highly Sensitive People Are Asking Post-Election

A lot of people think that those of us who are quiet and highly sensitive are weak. They believe that quiet + courageous is a contradiction. Now more than ever, I whole-heartedly disagree. No matter what your political views, you can’t deny that the recent US election has created a sense of division and brokenness. After reading posts from some of my favorite bloggers, I noticed a pattern in the comments. The phrase “I feel so helpless” came up a lot. But there is another, more hopeful trend, especially among my introverted and highly sensitive friends and colleagues. Highly sensitive does not mean helpless Many highly sensitive introverts are choosing not to run and hide post-election. We are not giving into the sense of helplessness. Instead, we are asking “What can we do? And how can we heal?” True to our conflict-averse nature, many highly sensitive introverts are ardently searching for ways to mend and unite. We want to gently break down the walls of division, rather than build them up. I see introverted leaders like Susan Cain, author of Quiet and creator of QuietRev.com, sharing Facebook posts like this one: Cain speaks her truth in a way that is clear, but never unkind. The overall theme of her message is, “What can we do? And how can we heal ?” I see my friend, publicity and business coach Selena Soo (who is a proud introvert and INFJ) making a stand for unity and compassion. Selena reached out to her community by email to address the “hate and mean-spirited language” fuelled by the US election. She reminded her peeps that real... read more

How Empaths Can Heal From The US Election

If you’re an empath like me, you are feeling the effects of the recent US election right now. As you already know, the 2016 US election was a non-stop train wreck of nastiness that left the country shocked, fearful, and divided. As a highly sensitive empath, you not only feel your own emotions related to the US election, you also feel the anxiety, sadness, and anger of others. You feel the collective energy of fear within both your emotional and physical bodies. This creates a kind of emotional overload, which causes various unsettling symptoms. If you live in North America, you might be experiencing at least one of the below symptoms of empathic emotional overload: high levels of exhaustion and fatigue that seem out of sync with what is going on in your personal and professional life persistent nausea, coupled with an unshakeable sense of anxiety difficulty concentrating, and staying motivated erratic emotions – one minute you are okay, and the next you are moved to tears for seemingly no reason cold symptoms, such as a sore throat (emotions have a major impact on our immune system!) If you are experiencing any or all of the above, know that there is a good reason for this. An entire nation is emotionally shell-shocked right now. Being an empath, you have absorbed more than your share of the bullets. You are dealing with your own confusion and sadness, as well as the intense emotions of everyone around you. A surprising sensation Even though I am Canadian, live alone, and can go the whole day without seeing other people, I still feel the... read more

Why INFJs Love The Rain So Much

I’m an INFJ, and as long as I can remember, rain was always a source of inspiration for me. It makes me feel calm, relaxed, and happy. It turns out that I’m not the only INFJ who feels this way. There are many reasons why our INFJ personality is drawn to rain. I think that it’s because it evokes a sense of peacefulness in us. Don’t get me wrong, not all INFJs like the rain. Some prefer the bright sunny day more than the misty rainy night. The other day my friend asked me: “How can you love the rain? It’s so dark and sad. You can’t go anywhere when it falls”. My answer was that it’s perfectly aligned with who I am. In fact, this question inspired me to write this article and to explain this phenomenon. What rain does to the brain According to Orfeu Buxton, a professor of biobehavioral health at Pennsylvania State University, the sound of rain is “in tune” with our senses. Buxton stated that if the rain could speak, it would sound something like this: “Don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry.” Okay, maybe not so many times, since it sounds a little creepy. Because our INFJ mind doesn’t appreciate loud noise by default, rain is nature’s meditation. It heightens our senses with its healing effect. Like the Formula One vehicle, our mind needs to go into the box for repairs every now and again. Rain is our repair crew. Besides the relaxing sensation, rain can also awaken deep, emotional thoughts. Nostalgia, deep thinking, memories, and even sadness, can all be fuelled by the soothing... read more

Top 7 Introverted Teen Problems (The Struggle is Real!)

The teens are tough for anyone. But being an introverted teen comes with its own specific set of painful problems. There is the pain of wanting to belong, but instead, always feeling out of place . There is the absolute agony of always understanding, and never being understood. Then, of course, there is the confusion of having a personality that turns inward when everyone is pushing you to be more outgoing. As an introverted teen, you also struggle with the pain of constantly being forced into places (i.e. school) that highlight just how different you are. Isn’t it ironic that being quiet and observant is something that makes you stand out nowadays? You are the black crow in a crowded jungle of parakeets. You are simultaneously ignored and singled out for your quiet nature. So, yeah, being an introverted teen isn’t easy. Hopefully, today’s article will help you see that you’re not alone, even if you desperately want to be. Here are 7 introverted teen problems that show that the struggle is real for young introverts: 1. Pretending to be immature to fit in. As an introverted teen, you tend to be more introspective and reflective than many of your friends. While others focus on the superficial, you think and feel deeply. Basically, you are an old soul in a teen body. This isn’t exactly the norm in your high school, so you force yourself to be more superficial and fun. You act immature so that you don’t get called out for that weird inner Yoda thing you’ve got going on. Here’s my simple advice for you: A wise one... read more

An Introvert’s Strange Sleeping Disorder

  2 am knows all my secrets. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that I’m an introvert. We introverts crave the absolute solitude that only the cloak of night can offer. While others are snoozing soundly, dreaming of showing up to school naked, we are wide awake. And enjoying every minute. I used to think that my strange sleeping patterns were just a glitch in my internal clock, something I could fix with practice and determination. But now I know that there are just too many factors that keep an introvert like me awake at night. Quiet house, loud thoughts Since nighttime is usually the quietest time of day in any home, it is also when we introverts hear our own thoughts most clearly. When the lights go out, our brain turns on. We think about our problems, our projects, our passions, and our people. While others stay up to canoodle with their partners, we whisper sweet nothings in our own ear. We must copulate with every idea, dream, and worry until our brain puts on its flannel pyjamas and says it has a headache. Secret conversations Late at night is also when we have the best and most honest conversations with ourselves. Some might call this weird, or even crazy. In truth, our inner conversations are what keep an introvert sane. Unfortunately, they also keep us sleep deprived much of the time. On top of our own thoughts, we have another more sneaky adversary on our quest for eight hours of good night’s sleep. The sneakiest sleep thief This particular obstacle has gotten... read more

An Open Letter to Introverts Who Feel Broken

Dear introvert, I see that you’re hurting. And I think I know why. Like so many of us quiet, sensitive souls, you feel broken. You see yourself as that beat-up old stuffed teddy bear with a missing eye, and limp limbs. You aren’t puffed up and outgoing like the other bears. Your personality seems dull in comparison to theirs. Somewhere along the line, someone told you that they had the magical cure for your brokenness. They told you that the antidote to your pain was to put on a new personality – one that was shinier, more talkative, and more enthusiastic than your true self. They told you to do more and feel less. While you’re at it, stop thinking so much for goodness sake! You took their medicine, and I guess you know what happened next. It seemed to work at first, but it had strange side-effects. The harder you tried to be up and on all the time, the more exhausted and empty you felt. When overwhelm set in, you began shutting down, and pushing people away. This made you feel even worse. “Why can’t I just relax and have fun like everyone else?” you asked yourself, as you checked your watch for the tenth time. What you were really wondering was … “Why can’t I just be an extrovert? Life would be better – I would be better – if I could just fix my personality.” Needless to say, the extrovert’s quick-fix for introversion never works. And it’s not because it makes you exhausted and irritable. Or because it eats away at your soul. Or because it... read more

10 Things an Introvert Wishes She’d Known Sooner

The introverts of our generation have been led astray in many ways. There are about a bazillion (approximately) things the average introvert coulda-shoulda-woulda done differently if we weren’t raised in such an extrovert obsessed culture. In fact, one of the comments I get most from introvert readers is “I wish I’d understood my introversion sooner — my life would have been so different!”. Now that the world is starting to see the power of introverts, we are coming home to our introversion, and living with fewer regrets. Still, many introverts continue to hover in a purgatory of confusion and guilt about our personality. Hopefully, the below list will help you see your way through the fog, and live life on your own blissfully introverted terms. Here are 10 things I wish I’d known sooner as an introvert: 1) Busyness is not a virtue. I wish someone had told little innie me that busyness is not a virtue. It’s a lifestyle choice. For me, it was a fruitless one. It’s okay to leave empty spaces in your day. In fact, adding some nothingness to your day is productive because it reduces angry grumpy thoughts and increases your overall awesomeness. 2) Stop viewing yourself through a distorted lens. Some people are going to think you’re weird, or snobby, or sad because you’re a daydreamer and solitude seeker. Don’t give into the pressure to view yourself through their distorted lens. Embrace and love the true you, and one day the right people will see you in all your gloriously strange splendour. 3) As an introvert, fewer friends is more fulfilling. Popularity is overrated. Focus on the... read more

Could you be an ambivert?

Introvert, or extrovert? That is the question … or is it? For years now, I’ve talked ad nauseum about introversion, and how it differs from extroversion. Meanwhile, I’ve neglected an entire personality type: The mysterious “ambivert”. What the heck is an ambivert? If you’re thinking “ambit-what?”, don’t worry, you’re not the only one who is confused by this term. An ambivert, which is the personality type right smack dab in the middle between an introvert and an extrovert, is an anomaly to most of us. We imagine some strange cross between Bill Clinton and Keannu Reeves. This mix n’match concoction of a person looks like any other human, but really they are a hybrid. They have an extrovert’s nose, an introvert’s eyes, an extrovert’s femur, an introvert’s right tendon … Of course, the above picture is far from accurate. Outward physical characteristics don’t determine whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert. Identical twins can fall on vastly different sections of the personality spectrum. To answer what does make an ambivert different than an innie or outie, I think it’s important to get back to the basics. Introvert vs. extrovert 101 An introvert is someone who gains energy from being alone, and loses energy in stimulating environments, such as social situations. An extrovert is someone who is energized by being out and about and socializing.There are several traits associated with being an introvert or extrovert. Introvert – often quiet – tends to speak more slowly – drained by crowds, busy environments, loud noises – enjoys solitude – hates small talk – hates the phone Extrovert – talkative – can keep... read more

Why Introverts Hate Group Conversations

Group conversations are, and always have been, a pain in the ass for me. They make me feel awkward, inhibited, and totally out of my element. As a fellow introvert, maybe you can relate? You know what it’s like to wonder what to say and when to say it. You wait for a pause so you can share your thoughts, but it never comes. So, you stay quiet. Then comes the worst part … “Why are you so quiet?” they ask, as if it weren’t the most annoying question in the history of annoying questions. You already felt weird for not knowing what to say. Now, you’re also embarrassed that others have noticed. If you’ve ever experienced the above scenario, you are all too familiar with the PAIN of group conversations for introverts. You’ll also probably relate to my disdain for work lunchrooms, and small talk. So, how can little ol’ introverted me become an ace at group conversations? How can I be that person who always knows what to say, and when to say it. The one who tells long hilarious stories, and commands the conversation like a boss. To be honest, I probably can’t — at least not on a consistent basis. Now, before you get all “you can do anything you put your mind to” on me, hear me out. Why it’s so hard Group conversations work against, rather than with, an introvert’s strengths. They overwhelm us, and don’t give us enough time to think about what we want to say. Asking an introvert to command a group conversation (in a social setting, not a meeting) is... read more
Just noticed, I’m reading every mail you sent! Thanks a lot, you are part of my “evolution”.
I have no words to express how it can help me!
Morgane, Belgium

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Michaela Chung is an introvert author, coach and entrepreneur. Her first book, The Irresistible Introvert will be out July 5th 2016.

Copyright: © Michaela Chung 2016

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