“It’s an extrovert’s world, we’re just living in it”.
I’m not sure if this is a genuine quote by anyone other than me, but if it isn’t, it should be!
The modern world, especially work environments, is set up for extroverts. That’s a fact any introvert will know (or at least feel).
Being “online” for hours on end, day after day, always being ready to network, socialize, email, talk on the phone, and stay busy, busy, busy is an extrovert’s dream.
But for an introvert? It’s a bit of a nightmare (trust me, I know!).
There’s a common misconception that being introverted means you’re unsociable, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Being introverted simply means you recharge when you spend time alone.
You can still be the life and soul of the party when you’re out with friends. But being like that all the time, night after night? It’s just not happening.
Once you understand that you’re an introvert, everything in life makes sense.
And once other people in your life know you’re an introvert, it makes socializing and making friends so much easier!
If you’re not sure whether you’re an introvert, keep reading. I’ll run through the top 7 feelings you’ve probably experienced if you’re an introvert deep down!
1) You feel relieved about no weekend plans
Let me paint you a picture. You’re having a busy week at work. You’re working long hours and talking to a lot of people on the phone.
You’ve had plans most nights this week. You’ve pretty much had no time to yourself.
For the past few weekends, you’ve visited family or met with friends.
As Friday approaches, you check your calendar to see what’s on this weekend. You see absolutely nothing booked in your diary, which means one thing:
You have no weekend plans.
How do you feel? Relieved?
I know I can feel the relief just thinking about being in that situation!
And if you feel the same, you’re definitely an introvert.
Because when you have an introverted personality, you like to spend time alone sometimes. It helps you relax, recharge, and feel more at ease about the days ahead.
2) You can’t wait to get home from work
Like we talked about earlier, being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re an unsociable person.
It means you have a limited capacity for socializing before you need to recharge (i.e., spend some time with you, yourself, and you!).
When you’ve been working in the office all day, having to talk to others, smile at others, interact with others, and just be around people, you probably feel pretty tired when 5pm hits.
And if someone suggests going out for a drink after work, you couldn’t think of anything worse.
Because all you want to do is get home and “switch off” the part of you that has to stay ready to socialize at any given moment.
3) You run out of energy while socializing, at the flick of a switch
Every single one of us has a “social battery”. When you’re an extrovert, your battery “charges up” when you’re around others – and drains when you’re alone.
It’s why extroverts need to spend time with others to feel “recharged”.
I had an introverted colleague who made it very obvious she’d run out of battery on a night out.
We all used to joke that she’d “hit her wall” when it happened. Because after a few hours of being out, chatting and laughing away, she’d suddenly grow very, very quiet.
She’d stop drinking and her face would fall flat. She could barely even manage a smile anymore.
Because her battery had drained, just like that. And after about 20 minutes, she’d say her goodbyes and leave.
Now your battery draining may not be as dramatic as my old colleague’s.
But if you feel like you reach a point on nights out where you physically can’t socialize anymore, and it happens at the flick of a switch, then you’re probably an introvert, too.
4) You feel exhausted at the idea of plans every night
As a fellow introvert, nothing makes me feel more exhausted than the idea of having plans every single night.
I have extroverted friends who absolutely love being busy. They wake up early for a gym class, spend the whole day chatting to other people at work, then head out to see friends.
They’re always joining social clubs and messaging in the group chat about meeting for a quick coffee or to fill a free weekend.
For me, the idea of being busy 24/7 makes me feel tired.
Because when will I get time to do nothing? To read my book? To cook that meal I’ve been wanting to cook? To reply to the WhatsApp messages I’ve been meaning to get around to (I can’t possibly socialize via my phone while physically socializing!)?
If you feel the same, join the club. Because we’re all introverts here!
5) You love the idea of going somewhere alone
From reading a book in a coffee shop or attending an art gallery, to watching a movie in the theatre or wandering through a scenic park.
When you’re introverted, doing things by yourself, with no one except your own thoughts, just feels refreshing.
Even the idea of doing these things alone fills you with joy.
There’s something romantic and self-soothing about time alone that makes you feel relaxed and happy. And for you, it’s the perfect way to spend your free time.
6) You’re not currently dating
Not all introverts are single. I’m a bit of an introvert myself, but I’ve been in a happy relationship with someone who understands me for a long time.
But, unsurprisingly, I have several introverted friends. I think we sort of gravitate to each other the older we get in life.
One friend in particular is way more of an introvert than I am (yes, there’s a scale!).
Even though she’s been in relationships in the past, she chooses to stay single now.
She’d always struggled when boyfriends wanted to spend every second of the day with her. Or move into her apartment (the horror).
It never worked out, because she loves living alone and having alone time – and no one ever quite understood it.
Now, she’s embraced the fact that being alone makes her happy.
She even said to me the last time we met that she feels like she’s just destined to live her life single.
If you can relate to my friend, or feel the same right now, perhaps you just haven’t found your person yet.
Or not dating anyone is the right thing for you, as a fellow introvert.
7) After several days with someone, you can’t wait to spend time alone
So my friend who I mentioned struggles in relationships? She’s rarely ever vacationed with anyone for longer than a couple of days.
A week’s holiday with a friend is her absolute worst nightmare.
Because she can’t bear the idea of sharing a room, toilet, shower, and living space with someone else for 7 days straight.
Not to mention having to spend the whole day doing tourist things with them, too!
In relationships, she loved it when her old boyfriends visited or stayed over.
But after them staying at her place for a few days in a row, she couldn’t wait for them to leave again so she could spend some time in the peace and quiet.
Feels relatable? Then you’re definitely an introvert!
Once you understand that you’re an introvert, everything you do in life makes sense.
When I was younger, I kept draining my social battery trying to keep up with everyone else (who were either extroverts or introverts doing the same thing I was).
As time went on, it ended up impacting both myself and my relationships – and not in a good way.
I was exhausted and running on empty most days. Sometimes, I’d get snappy. And sometimes I’d make excuses not to see people, which would often backfire.
And that’s no way to live.
But now I understand what my needs are and why, I can better communicate them to the people around me.
My friends understand when I say no to plans because I need a night alone.
I don’t feel guilty for passing up on social events because I’m too exhausted.
And overall, I cut myself some slack for being who I am.
If you recognize many of the feelings on this list, you’re probably an introvert, too.
And if it’s how you are, there’s no way to change it – no matter how much other people (or your workplace) would like you to.
So embrace it, enjoy it, and start living life in a way that’s true to yourself. Trust me, it’ll feel so much better!