Introverting: As told by Jahmella

The term introvert is not a lifestyle that I chose. I didn’t choose this life. I am this life. So what does it mean to be an introvert? I don’t want to give you a definition, there are plenty of internet things you can find on the subject, just a simple google search can take you a long way. I will tell you about the type of introvert I am. I prefer spending time alone, writing, reading or listening to music. Not all introverts are exactly alike it’s not a cookie-cutter personality. Knowing the traits of an introvert helps me to understand how I am and how I navigate through life. The biggest drawbacks I have experienced with being an introvert is social anxiety and being myself in public.

I have missed many opportunities because of my inability to just open up and speak to people. Some may say “well Jahmella just open your mouth and speak.” I would, but it’s not that simple. I have mental roadblocks that I have to overcome to say the simplest things. When I open up and speak to a stranger that I do not know it is a big deal. Even people I do know, but I’m not that close to it is a struggle. On a normal basis I am stuck when I can not give one of my rehearsed responses. They say something like “Hi Jahmella, did you eat breakfast?” I say “Hi, I’m good, thank you” Context is important here because they could be asking to see if I want to get breakfast. The point is I have a few rehearsed responses to help me function and when that is thrown off, I’m stuck.

I also tend to be reserved which people see it as being quiet. I see it as being private. I get embarrassed easy and am very sensitive. When I feel embarrassed I will think about that thing for the rest of my life. It will pop in my head at random times like when I’m trying to sleep. I’ll think about something that happened a literal decade ago and feel that embarrassing feeling all over again. I use to go down a dark tunnel and think about how I can change or what I did wrong. Now I just let it replay in my mind, feel the feeling and let it past. The moment when I’m embarrassed I shut down and can’t think straight. I’m always trying to be cool because I don’t want people to know my true feelings and h why  I’m embarrassed because I don’t want to be judged plus I don’t want people to know me. At the same time people sometimes figure me out anyway beccause I may not say a lot, but my face says it all.

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Most of the time I am able to function pretty normally. I am friendly and can hold a decent conversation. It’s just when people want to be all witty and clever and I don’t have a come back. Or when people are having a discussion and I am listening intently and then, when I’m ready to chime in they changed the subject. Uggh. I am more content with writing. You see with writing I can shine. I can be clever and witty. I can take the time to think about my response without the subject being changed. I can open up about myself. I can show my “personality”.

I have learned to be a little more opened and comfortable around people. I use to think I wanted a lot of friends, now not so much. I don’t want to be a social butterfly, because I wanted to be liked and known. I thought to have more friends was what I was missing in life. Really what I was missing in my life was some compassion for who I am. Someone once told me that I will not have a lot of friends and that is ok. I am happy and content being private and staying to myself. What I am not comfortable with is being forgettable. This has happened to me on a few occasions where I was forgotten and it is not a good feeling.

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Accepting myself means that I try my best to put my best foot forward and bring myself to the table. It means that I can try to be a little more comfortable around people. It means that I can tell myself it’s ok to feel embarrassed or whatever feeling I’m feeling. As an adult introvert, I can be nice to strangers and if an organic friendship comes out of that –  nice, but I’m not trying to force anything. I’m ok with my comfort zone and don’t feel the need to put my energy into being more “not myself”. I will put more of my energy into being more available so my friends and not so close friends can know that I am ok with being a listening ear and they can lean on me, I’m that type of person. I want to be encouraging to others, even though I might not hang with them often. That is the mind of me as an introvert. And yes it is true I want to be invited, but I might not come because I either need alone time or I know I would feel awkward.

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On another note, while I’m not trying get out of my comfort zone in real life, I do want to be more social in the media. That is why I’m directing my attention to you, reader. I am always thinking about how I can help you, but lately I have been drawing blanks. My insights are meant to show you my perspective, if you learn something great. If it helps you understand someone you know better, awesome. If they help you learn something about yourself, even better because I am all about self-awareness. This blog is about stepping into my mind. I don’t want to tell you how to live your life. I don’t want to give you life hacks ( I don’t know why I tried to do that in the first place). I do want to get to know you. I want to be a little more social because in real life I’m awkward, but I still enjoy people’s stories.

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Here’s the thing, the reason why I may not contribute to a conversation or may seem quiet is because I am digesting. I am taking it in absorbing it and trying to understand every piece. At times I can be a little selfish and self-centered which is a downfall of overthinking, but overall I am interested in your life, your story. I tell my story because I believe there is someone interested in it. Even if it is just one person. Me Jahmella, insightful introvert am truly interested in what you have to say. Tell me in the comments about your experience with introverts? Are you an introvert yourself? Also, check out my Instagram for some more insights through out the week.

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