I’m an introvert. Those who know me casually are surprised by this, after all, I can put on a good show, I can be nice to strangers, ask interesting questions. Heck, I’m a therapist and a coach and of course, I can ask interesting questions. And I tend to be nice to people, unless I am having a really bad day or for whatever reason am mad at the universe, after all, I am human. Today I’m feeling down and want to blame my introvert for all my problems and lack of success in the world. At midlife, I’m not going to change my basic introvert self. Acceptance of who we are can make a big difference in how we feel about our lives. How do we accept our inner introvert and thrive?

As an introvert, what has been true for me:

I’m not only an introvert, I’m also painfully shy. I grew up believing that no one would want to be my friend and that no one would want to willingly talk to me when they could be talking with someone else. Calling people on the phone can be painful even if they are people who want to talk with me  Being an introvert and being shy are NOT the same thing.

Most of the time I appear “normal.” Never like my extrovert friends who appear to have made ten new best friends every time they attend a social or networking event. If I don’t call you back, it’s not that I don’t like you or want to talk to you but that I feel you don’t want to talk to me and that you were just being nice when you said let’s get together for coffee or lunch.

Over the years, I’ve learned that I can be very hard to get to know. I tend to think others won’t be interested in what I have to say or I’m just too busy processing what you said, yes I actually listened to what you had to say.

On the days when my energy level is high and I’ve been eating healthy and have had plenty of time by myself, I enjoy the company of people. I enjoy a small group of close friends having a great discussion. I do not enjoy large parties with lots of small talk with very few exceptions.

When I’m tired or not feeling good or my extrovert part is overextended I become speechless, I’ve run out of words and literally cannot carry on a decent conversation even with a good friend.

Don’t underestimate me because I’m quiet. I know more than I say, think more than I speak and observe more than you know. ~ Michaela Chung

Making Peace With My Inner Introvert

I enjoy and know I need friends. Introverts just do friendships differently. Introverts like working by themselves. Introverts process information differently. Introverts can and do succeed in the business world and in relationships and all types of careers and hobbies.

Respecting what your inner introvert needs and being able to express this to others is a big part of being both successful and making peace with your introvert self. As a bonus, list ten things you like about being an introvert. Yes, we can accept our inner introvert and thrive!

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