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Misunderstood

Most of my life, I’ve been misunderstood as shy. Those who really know me off-line know that I am anything but shy.

I can be a bit guarded, so people sometimes mistake that for being a snob. I’ve had to guard myself emotionally to survive some crazy things in my life, so it’s difficult for me to just be open with everyone about more inward aspects. Those things on the surface are easy for me to talk about with most people, but when it comes to those more sensitive aspects, I have some very thick walls.

I’m quiet and I have a soft voice. I don’t feel I need to yell what I have to say. If someone values my words, they will take the time to listen. If they don’t, then I don’t waste my time.

When I am in a crowd of people, I just don’t feel a need to compete for attention and I prefer to blend into the background to watch and listen. I find people interesting and I like to study them. I value what others have to share.

This does not mean that I am not sociable. I’m very much so, but more so in smaller groups. In smaller groups there is less of a need to compete in order to share. When I’m waiting in line, it’s not uncommon for me to start up a conversation with the person in front or in back of me. I smile at people a lot too and wave. I think that is kind of a Texas thing. People wave at strangers here.

When I first decided to begin college to get a teaching degree, many people that I knew were skeptical. They just couldn’t fathom how this soft spoken introvert could speak in front of a classroom. They were wrong; I did very well in public speaking. You see, when I need to be louder, I can. I just don’t choose to be. I would speak to the person in the back of the room and had no problem looking others in the eye around the room. I always came well prepared and maintained the interest of the classroom.

I got rave reviews from my professors in my education courses and was told that I had a gift for teaching. I maintained a 3.8, with B’s in math holding me back from a 4.0. Of course, being a single mother, college got overwhelming due to life’s challenges and the need to work more to support my family, so I dropped out my last year.

So, I guess the moral here is, don’t assume that just because someone is an introvert that they are shy with low self-esteem or some kind of snob. Many of us are quite confident, but we are just a bit more inward than many of you extroverts. We listen more than we talk and we are more guarded.

 

 

deleted deleted 26-30 9 Responses May 24, 2012

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"we listen more than we talk" you are a smart one

i am an alcoholic.....in remission one day at a time.<br />
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i have suffered sexual abuse in my family of origin. and have chosen to work in the field of psychiatric nursing dealing with trauma. <br />
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thank you for your honest. <br />
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C

a you an avoidant ?

am i allowed to ask "what crazy things you have survived in your life" ?<br />
<br />
C

Very well put! I'm so happy to see someone much like myself in the world. It's hard for me to just talk and wave to people that I don't know though I think it is something I should consider. I've been a teacher for a few years now and love it!:) Thanks for the share! Take care and be well!

Nicely said! As a fellow introvert with a teaching degree who no longer teaches, I can identify with you! Well, except for the part about being able to strike up conversations with people you are standing in line with. I tend to avoid social gatherings because I am not good at starting conversations ... at all. Once someone engages me and gets the conversation started, I am anything but shy, but as for starting a conversation? no way :) That is probably why I like EP so much ... its easier to reach out electronically than in person. <br />
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We are misunderstood, but we have so much to offer, if someone takes the time to get to know us.

Aww, you sound like the perfect mix of attentive observer and participant!! I LOVE folks who actually take the time to pay attention to others. To me that shows a LOT of depth!! I think you would probably do real well at anything you tried with those skills.. :)

I think that is EXACTLY the best way to be. Proactive for your own success ROCKS!!

So much what you state is me. I'm quiet and reserved until the need arises for me to be more out and open. I have an extroverted self here on the internet and an introverted self in person. Sometimes people don't often understand how I can be such a talkative sort on the computer and such a quiet individual in person. It is like you mentioned, being in the background and listening/watching. I can take in a lot of things in a crowd that way that most people don't see. <br />
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Yep, I am an introvert and dang proud of it :)

And that is so true. It takes a different set of skills to read people over the internet and then it still can be very wrong. Gut instinct on what and how people make comments are a better guide in this electronic age we live in.

I've always noticed when someone is annoyed or uncomfortable and i usually just watch in amazement when the person causing them to feel that way does not get the hint. for this reason i do not ask much to be done for me much because you will usually get a fake smile and sure and a flash of annoyance in there eye lol

very well put. Like hearing the confidence that you have.