A Personal Declaration on Proudly Being an Introvert

A Personal Declaration on Proudly Being an Introvert

Recently, I attended a dinner party. Due to social distancing, thank god!, there were only four of us.

 

Oh! Hold on a second… I am reminded of a quote I came across the other day, “To all the genuine introverts who still aren’t showing up even when all the social engagements have moved online…” It made me chuckle.

 

Forgive me for the fleeting digression…

 

Back at the dinner table; while expressing how much I appreciate the solitude that accompanies sailing and how I realised more than ever that I actually crave solitude, need it to thrive, the host immediately asked me, ‘Do you hate people?’

 

‘No, I don’t hate people.’ I smiled. ‘I just don’t enjoy spending time in social situations where there are a lot of people.’

 

The wife said she understood, knowing how much of a creative I am. ‘A creative needs solitude to express themselves.’ Exactly!

 

The husband still was unconvinced and tried to dig deeper. The first time I’d met him, absorbing all he said, I’d hazard a guess that he enjoyed socialising and couldn’t quite understand how someone else would feel differently.

 

This isn’t a first. I have encountered such on many occasions. An extrovert struggles to understand an introvert at the best of times. Introverts behave differently in public than they do with the people they love and trust the most.

 

If I meet someone, a one on one interaction, for the first time and we hit it off, this person automatically thinks I am an extrovert and that I love people and socialising. It does not matter if I tell them differently. Even friends have wrongly assumed the same, thinking my “effervescent” nature lends itself to being a social butterfly.

 

And vice versa, if I meet someone in a group, where I am reserved, they do not believe I am the same person if they end up meeting me one on one another time. It perplexes them to believe I’d changed from reserved to bold, confident and playful. Which I always am with the people I hold dearest.

 

According to psychologist Julie Bowker from University at Buffalo, who researches social withdrawal, states that, “Social withdrawal usually is categorised into three types: shyness caused by fear or anxiety; avoidance, from a dislike of socialising; and unsociability, from a preference for solitude…” Read the rest of the article, Why being a loner may be good for you, here.

 

Without a doubt, I fall under two out of the three categories: avoidance and unsociability.

 

It’s simple, and I’m sure I am not alone, I vehemently need to be around people that bring out the best in each other and the rest of the time I need solitude to burrow into my creative world.

 

My Personal Declaration

 

I am not a social person.

Never have I ever desired to be so.

Unhappiness for me is when someone expects me to change my personality to fit in with theirs.

This does not mean I have any form of anti-social personality or social anxiety disorder.

It’s called “Selective Social.” not “Antisocial.” A big difference.

On occasion, I enjoy spending time with my nearest and dearest.

However, most of the time I crave alone time to do what brings me the most joy, pursuing creativity.

“Socializing is from the head, and spending quality time is from the heart.”

 

“I am not open to many people. I’m usually quiet and I don’t really like attention. So if I like you enough to show you the real me, you must be very special.”

 

Do you have any idea how many successful people are introverted? Here is one of many articles to peek at.

3 Replies to “A Personal Declaration on Proudly Being an Introvert”

  1. Hello Cressida,

    No, don’t run away, I would like some social interaction with you, after all, you are saying you are not a social person but you are spreading this on social media. Isn’t that an oxymoron?

    I used to go to a lot of dinner parties with my acquaintances, not anymore. When I met one of my dearest and closest friends seven years ago, it became clear to me that having a proper conversation, one on one, is infinitely more rewarding that social chit chat at a dinner party where the highlights can include oneupmanship, drinking too much wine, and looking forward to going home … oh, I forgot to mention the Ferrero Rochers.

    Can an introvert be an eccentric? I am occasionally accused of being a performer, someone who likes to hold the stage and is comfortable being the centre of attention. Yes, ‘moi’. I am just more choosy about who I spend my precious time with and am happy to leave a social occasion when I have had enough or not even go because “I just don’t feel like it’.

    Go and enjoy your creativity, thoughtful Cressida, and bathe in those waters but don’t forget to absorb what nature has created in this world whilst avoiding those that want to change you.

    1. Dear Jasper,

      Your description of an oxymoron made me laugh! I can see your point. However, I disagree. I may be posting on my blog for the world, or a few, to read. Receiving delightful comments such as from yourself and then responding, which is a social act, but from a distance. After all, you are marooned on an exotic island and myself on a mud island. Oh, perish the thought and render me envious!

      As mentioned within the blog piece, clearly you have omitted to use your good eye, once again, I explained how I am a “Selective Social.” Due to time being a precious commodity and how I value mastering my skills, which can only be done when immersed in solitude, I need to be socially selective.

      For example, I went out with two women last night. A dear friend introduced me to a friend she’d recently met. Now, I knew that my friend, a published writer, successful artist, would only introduce me to someone I’d get along with. The three of us ended up getting along as though friends for years, all with creative pursuits in common. I was in no rush for the night to end… Now, this weekend, I will not be seeing anyone other than spending valuable time with my partner and enjoying things together.

      An introvert can be eccentric, absolutely! Look at all the introverted actors out there, the likes of Tom Hanks and Harrison Ford. Ah! You’ve got the Ford look going on, especially when you were on the front cover of “Esquire In Lockdown.” A look I hope you’re still nurturing. It suits you!

      When I was blossoming at 16 years old, naughtily underage in a nightclub, an international modelling scout approached me. The idea excited me, but actually strutting all over a catwalk and posing in front of bright cameras and hundreds of people directing me, did not appeal in the least. My mom encouraged me and took me to meet her and interview for the agency. In the end, when they handed over the contract to my mom to sign (being underage they needed her permission) she changed her mind and promptly whisked me out of there. I was to be accepted on the condition I lost 3kgs and weighed 49kgs. My mom already thought I was too “skinny” and did not want me to develop a poor body image. I could have returned two years later, but I wasn’t “eccentric” enough at the time. Now, in hindsight… Actually, I don’t have any regrets. I must admit I’d fantasised once or twice about swanning around Milan and New York but I probably would have been addicted to the high-flying life and may have ended up a little worse for wear. After all, at that time, I was a ‘tie me up and hold me down’ party animal. Who would have guessed?

      Go forth and be as eccentric as your nature allows and release that creative energy oozing like a fireball within. Don’t hold back. The world needs more cheering up!

      1. Dear Cressida,

        What a fabulous reply you have posted, it made me grin from ear to ear. I may well be marooned on my tropical island but we are all mired in confusion and quagmire. Social media gives us the opportunity to share and debate wherever we are currently hanging our hat.

        I have a selective eye, a selective ear and, like you, am socially selective. It is good to have a choice and options especially where friends and partners are concerned.

        Yes, I can confirm that the Ford look is still in place. It takes me longer to trim and fashion my beard than shaving which is a challenge as time is precious, we do agree on that one. There is a general agreement that the well groomed short beard does suit me and I am enjoying the attention … from a social distance, of course.

        The thought of you naughtily underage took me back to my own forays into my teenage years and escapades, all decidedly vanilla compared to the torrid tales of your youth I am sure. The modelling world has lost a potential icon in you,
        Cressida, thanks to your Mom refusing to flourish her pen on the agent’s contract but really, could hundreds of people have ever directed you? I think not.

        Your addiction to creativity in photography, writing and art is far more beneficial to your well being and so many benefit from your work. However, we should all take some time to indulge in a bit of playful bondage if you can rope a few friends in. You don’t need to go to New York or Milan to do that.

        I promise to continue to be a burning meteor if you do too.

        Jasper

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