My survival guide as an introvert.

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The prompt for this week’s writing challenge is to take a walk and write about what you see in your neighbourhood. It was the part of the prompt in inverted commas below which prompted me to write the following post:

“Look in a different direction. If you normally keep your eyes down when you walk, look up. If you normally scan the treetops, look down. Make a conscious effort to direct your gaze in a different direction: up, down, left, or right.”  

Even though I am an admirer of scenery and love photographing all the flowers around my area, I am also an avid people watcher…
My area seems to have many walkers, mainly people walking their dogs. My reason for going walking most of the time is to clear my mind, so when I pass these people I often just look down and keep walking.
This behaviour will be familiar to those who are really introverted. When I was younger I was often described as being shy, but the word “shy” is not a proper definition of an introverted person. The problem is though that it is not a good thing to indulge oneself into one’s own introverted-ness all the time.
Sometimes we have to conform to the “norm” (not that being an introvert is not normal) I hasten to add. There are times and places where it is best to follow a few rules. One of the areas that I follow a few of my own simple set of rules is at school when I drop the kids off. I usually take my little daughter in and find myself having to interact with other parents and teachers.
Here are a few of my own personal guidelines which I follow so as not to ostracise myself completely from others.
Instead of looking down when passing a person, rather look at them, just for a second and say “good day.” I have developed a certain tone which I use on the “good” part of the “good day.” Just a slight lift in the voice sounds a little warmer, almost as though you may even be pleased to see that particular person on that morning. On the more humorous side of this, mainly for women, don’t make that eye contact too long, especially with men, because more often than not they will sometimes think that you “want” them, right? It would probably be appropriate to add a “lol” right here.
When sitting with a group of people chatting, never add a more informed view of the current subject (if you have one that is) under discussion, especially if there is a person dominating the discussion, and who seeks undivided attention. You know the type, loud and overbearing. It is ok to voice your opinion about a subject when the conversation has a good give and take flow to it otherwise; it is just simply a waste of time. I find those with the loudest mouths have blocked ears.
It is a total waste of time trying to have a conversation with a person who thinks they know everything. In situations like this, it is advisable to nod, smile and detach emotions.
Body language is key. I usually fold my arms and cross one leg over the other, usually facing in the opposite position of the person I’m supposed to be conversing with. This is wrong of course. Try your best to unfold your arms and assume a relaxed position. Once again eye contact is important again, however brief. It is better to make a little eye contact even if you don’t want to, rather than looking the other way or not looking at the other person at all.
Finally, laugh or smile at things that are supposed to be funny, even of you think they are not.
These are only a few of my guidelines for myself. I know that there are many of you thinking that it is best to be yourself and forget the rules, but for me, most of the time and for most of my life I have always just been myself, but I have found in hindsight that there are times and places that I need to just try to fit in and blend smoothly rather than to go against the flow. Patronising? Yes, I know, but all part of my survival in my introverted world.
This post is a little tongue in cheek and also a smidgen not…

36 thoughts on “My survival guide as an introvert.

  1. All excellent advice! I especially like the one about dealing with know-it-all people. I have a friend who has suddenly crossed that line (and is loud and overbearing too). I will now “nod, smile and detatch!”

  2. Good post. I can identify with what you said. Some good advice here, which would have saved me some grief over the years.

  3. Love all your advice. Wonderful tips! I too make eye contact with people and say hello or good morning, or share a smile. Such an easy thing to do, but we live in a world that does not encourage it or so it seems

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  5. Sometimes… just sometimes I challenge the person who is monopolizing the conversation…with a simple question… ‘Really is that what you believe’ or something similar… and short just to interrupt…. Bad! I was a real introvert growing up and even early adulthood but my husband was an extrovert and so over the years we’ve tempered each other somewhat… Diane

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  8. I find some neighborhoods are more introverted than others, if it’s possible for a place to have a personality. In my neighborhood, most people look away when they pass you. The exception is dog-walkers. Having a dog present gives people an excuse to interact, apparently.

  9. Oh God, this reminded me about a TED talk I have seen about introverts, I have to show it to you 😀
    I don’t know what I am, I think I am an extrovert and I think I recognised myself in the part about the know-it-all, I often get like that in a topic… But, maybe I am just being harsh to myself, I just love to express my opinion loudly which makes me unpopular in some crowds, it is really better somethimes to just smile and nod, but I feel if I do that that my body will twitch… And my smiling and nodding when I don’t aprrove look sooooo fake…

  10. I find that making myself converse with others, gives me a little lift…not that I do it too often, just sometimes.

  11. What a lovely and interesting post Michelle! Great tips as well. Unfortunately I am one of those that shows my emotions on my face and well, my mouth is not far behind. hahahah.
    Love the photo! Stunning! 😀 ♥ Big Hugs ♥

Namaste. My soul honors your soul. I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the light, love, truth, beauty & peace within you, because it is also within me. In sharing these things we are united, we are the same, we are one.

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