Tag Archives: introvert

I’m an Introvert. Here’s How I Learned to Be in My Power

I always used to be the quiet kid.  You know, the one that hardly ever said anything in class and was often referred to as “shy”.

Rarely would I ever raise my hand to participate.  It often produced too much anxiety to do so — and, I’ll admit, at 29 years old it still can from time to time.

I didn’t have many friends and I would often get teased by other kids for being so quiet and shy.

In grade school, I often saw it as if something was wrong with me.  Why was I not a social butterfly?  Why didn’t I like drawing attention to myself?  Why did I not have many friends?

After all, that’s how we are “supposed” to be in this society in order to be considered “normal”… so why couldn’t I just be that?

Despite getting older and going to college, feeling this pressure to be more social and extroverted didn’t go away.  In fact, it some ways, it got worse.

I got a roommate who was very extraverted and couldn’t understand why I’d want to sit in my room and read or write quietly for hours.  I’d get friends who would get mad over the fact that I would use text rather than call them.  I even got a supervisor from an internship who would hound me for not being “social” enough.

Rather than to accept my own personality traits and harness them, I found myself wanting to somehow prove people wrong.  In order to “show them” that I was capable of being outgoing and social, I found myself agreeing to do sales jobs when they came available.  I’d push myself to be more talkative and try to maintain many friendships.  I figured that, by doing so, I’d receive more acceptance and support from others.

But, at the end of the day… I only felt more distressed and unsupported. I often felt overwhelmed and drained because I was trying to please other people rather than myself.

After a few months of living overseas in South Korea a few years ago, things started to change.  Living as an expat forced me to really look inward and focus on myself.  It was at that point in my life where I realized that the only person who has the power to make me happy is myself.

Click to Tweet: The only person who has the power to make us happy is ourselves. @jenilyn8705

So I became unapologetic about texting rather than calling.

I became unapologetic about not being super-talkative in my work environments.

I became unapologetic about sitting at home reading rather than going to some social event with a lot of people.

And I let go of my desire to please others.  I stopped caring what other people thought or expected of me and I allowed myself to be who I truly was.

As a result, I started to develop an amazing relationship with myself.

By improving my relationship with myself I’ve managed to…

… improve my health.

… reduce stress.

… feel really truly happy.

And by developing an awesome relationship with myself, I started to find myself in work environments where people supported and accepted my introversion.  I found myself in relationships, both personal and professional, with people who accepted my introversion rather than to push me to be something different.

Because I started to accept and love myself exactly as I am on the inside, others started to reflect that on the outside.

AcceptLoveOurselvesOthers

Click to Tweet: When we love and accept ourselves, we give others permission to love and accept us as well. @jenilyn8705

Through loving and accepted myself exactly as I am, I’ve been able to finally feel stand in my own power and be in-tune with my true self.

Which, I suppose, someone who knew me as a kid would never expect.  How on earth can the shy and quiet girl ever stand in her power?

Well, ironically, she can… and it didn’t come from being super talkative, extroverted and outgoing as so many people have thought I “need” to be.  Rather, it’s been by fully loving and accepting myself the way I truly am and allowing my truth to be expressed, whether that pleases people or not.

What do you need to let go of so you can truly step into your power?  Share in the comments below!

The cart is still open for my 5-week course, Your Power: How to Harness Your Energy So You Can Truly Shine!  Click here to learn more.

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11 Signs You’re a Highly Sensitive Person

Has anyone ever told you that you’re sensitive or shy?  Do you have busy days and, by the end of the day, find yourself totally wiped out to the point that all you want to do is rest?

I know I totally relate.  And, fortunately, I’ve managed to learn how to care for myself a lot better all because I learned more about how to care for myself as a highly sensitive person (HSP).

Being a highly sensitive person is a totally normal trait.  In fact, somewhere between 15-20% of the population are highly sensitive.  Which, with those statistics, makes being a highly sensitive person totally normal, however, it’s still a small portion of the population.  As a result, many HSPs can feel alone and as if there are few people that can relate to their sensitivity.

Are you curious to see if you are a highly sensitive person? Here are 11 signs that you may be one:

#1 – You effortlessly pick up on other people’s emotions

Someone walks into a room and you get the sense that their stress, happy, upset, angry, worried, or whatever before you even talk to them.

#2 – You’re conscientious

You’re very in-tune with other people’s feelings and inner experiences so you want to act in a way that you perceive to be right for the environment.

#3 – You’re easily overwhelmed by sensory input

Loud noises, sirens, bright lights, strong flavors, coarse fabrics, strong smells, and chemicals bother you more than other people.

#4 – You avoid watching violent movies or TV shows

You avoid watching violent action or horror films or TV shows because can be too overwhelming for you.

#5 – You have a complex and rich inner life

You may not necessarily consider yourself to be an introvert, but you do have a complex and rich inner life.

#6 – When you were a child, others saw you as sensitive or shy

You were commonly labeled as “shy” or “sensitive” by parents, teachers, and peers.

#7 – You have a lower tolerance for pain than most people

While others may have a headache or feel sick and still be able to go to work, for you the pain is so much that you feel you have no choice but to stay home and rest.

#8 – You notice subtle change in your environment

For instance, you may a smell or sound that nobody else notices.  You may also notice that the food at a restaurant is not very fresh, while others may not notice at all.  You may also be able to sense when a person is on the verge of crying even though you’re not even looking at them or see them crying.

#9 – On busy days, you need your time to withdraw

Being constantly on the go doesn’t work well for you.  When you’re busy you need your time to withdraw from the world so you can recharge.

#10 – You get overwhelmed by other people’s emotions

Being around people who are stressed, anxious, angry, or upset can be overwhelming for you.

#11 – You’re bothered by harsh criticism more so than most people

You’re more easily hurt when someone is critical of you than most people are.

Take action now!

Do you relate to any of the traits listed above?  If so, share which traits you relate to in the comments below!

Essential Guidelines for Introverts Living in an Extrovert’s World

The original version of this article was published on JenniferTwardowski.com on August 7, 2013 as one of my very first articles.

I’m an introvert.

Always have been and always will be. My energy drains quickly when I have to be around groups of people for a long period of time and sometimes it takes days for me to fully recharge.

Though I love teaching and leading others, I hate being the center of attention and would prefer one-on-one interaction any day over being in a group.

If you’re an introvert yourself, you know exactly where I’m coming from.

As an introvert and recovering co-dependent with this underlying desire to “please” people, there were times where I really felt unsettled and out of control. I felt like I just kept going down this assembly line of social expectation just because everybody else seemed to be doing it. Until, of course, I reached a moment where all I really wanted to do was jump off and run out of the building.

Not really the best way to handle things is it?

So here are a few general guidelines that I’ve found work for me to help maintain a balance between social connection and alone time:

1. Know that it’s OK to leave a social event early.

If you’re at a social event and you’re completely drained, tired, and all you want to do is go home and recharge, then know that it’s OK to leave early. You can say something like, “Sorry, I’m feeling tired so I’m going to head home.  I’ll catch up with you later”.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in leaving an event early! Honor yourself by acknowledging your own feelings and you’ll feel much better!

2. Set one-on-one meet times with friends.

If you’re at all like me and do so much better communicating one-on-one than in groups, then set regular times to meet one-on-one with friends. Set up regular weekly meet-up with the same friend for coffee, lunch or dinner or you may want to switch it up as you feel it’s appropriate.

If your friend happens to be an extrovert, then they may not always understand your intent for “one-on-one time.” So in order to avoid them bringing other people along, you can let them know that you only want to spend time with them. There’s nothing wrong in saying something like, “Hey I’m setting this up so only the two of us can chat cause I’d really like just spend time with you. So if you don’t bring anyone else I’d really appreciate it”.

And if they ask if they can bring someone along, then there’s nothing wrong with saying, “I’d rather you not bring them” if you don’t feel comfortable with it right now.

3. Set some time in your week for your own “introvert time.” 

If you’re constantly around people at work or school and then come home to be around people again, then be sure to set some time for your own alone time. Exercise by yourself or spend some time reading or writing early in the morning or late at night. Perhaps even set time every week to paint, make crafts, play music, or some other hobby to do by yourself.

In America, it seems that the common place for introverts to hang out are at coffee shops. There is the noise of coffee makers and quiet conversation, but it can generally the introvert’s dream place to read or do some extra work without being bothered.

If, at any moment, you’re struggling to find a balance between your recharge time and social time and you’re not sure what to do, then honor your feelings in that moment. If you are feeling drained or overwhelmed, then acknowledge that you are feeling that way and do what you feel is needed to feel better. You and only you have the ability to be fully aware of your feelings and are able to act in accordance to them. Nobody else can or is responsible to do that for you.

AwareOfOwnFeelings

Click to Tweet: You & only you have the ability to be fully aware of your feelings & are able to act in accordance to them. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

If you’re an introvert, how can you adjust you day today to have more quiet time for yourself? Maybe get up earlier or stay up late? What can you do to help balance your relationships? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

3 Essential Guidelines for Introverts Living in an Extrovert’s World

I’m an introvert. Always have been and always will be. My energy drains quickly when I have to be around groups of people for a long period of time and sometimes it takes days for me to fully re-charge.

Though I love teaching and leading others, I hate being the center of attention and would prefer one-on-one interaction any day over being in a group.

introvert

Perhaps you can see where I’ve had trouble trying to take care of myself while still fitting in with the generally-extroverted-American way of life – and if you are an introvert yourself, you know exactly where I’m coming from (and, for the record, it’s not just the American culture, because I struggled with this even in Korea, where it is generally seen as an introverted society – but that discussion is for another post).

As a people pleaser on top of being an introvert, there were times where I really felt unsettled and out of control. I felt like I just kept going down this assembly line of social expectation just because everybody else seemed to be doing it. Until I reached a moment where all I really wanted to do was jump off and run out of the building. Not really the best way to handle things is it?

So here are a few general guidelines that I’ve found work for me to help maintain a balance between social connection and alone time.

 

It’s OKAY to leave a social event early.

If you’re at a social event and you are completely drained, tired, and all you want to do is go home and re-charge before going to bed, work, or whatever is next on your schedule, then know that IT’S OKAY to leave early and say, “Sorry I’m feeling tired so I’m going to head home now, so I’ll catch up with you later”. Honor yourself by acknowledging your own feelings and you’ll feel so much better.

Set one-on-one meet times with friends.

If you’re at all like me and do SO much better communicating one-on-one than in groups, then set regular times to meet one-on-one with friends. You may want to set up as a regular weekly meet-up with the same friend for coffee, lunch or dinner or you may want to switch it up as you feel is appropriate. Also, if your friend happens to be an extrovert, then chances are they won’t always understand the concept of you intent for “one-on-one time”. So in order to avoid them bringing other people along, state your intention before the meeting. There’s nothing wrong in saying something like, “Hey I’m setting this up so only the two of us can chat, which is something I would really enjoy so if you don’t bring someone else along I’d really appreciate it”. If they ask if they can bring someone along, then there’s nothing wrong with saying, “I’d rather you not bring them” if you don’t feel comfortable with it right now.

Set some time in your week for your own “introvert time”.

If you’re constantly around people at work or school and then come home to be around people again, then be sure to set some time for your own alone time. Go exercise by yourself or spend some time reading or writing early in the morning or late at night. Perhaps even set time every week to paint, make crafts, play music, or some other hobby to do by yourself. In America, it seems that the common place for introverts to hang out are at coffee shops. There is the noise of coffee makers and quiet conversation, but it’s generally the introvert’s dream place (at least for me) to read or do some extra work without being bothered.

If, at any moment, you’re struggling to find a balance between your recharge time and social time and you’re not sure what to do, then honor your feelings in that moment. If you are feeling drained or overwhelmed, then acknowledge that you are feeling that way and do what you feel is needed to feel better. You and only you have the power to be fully aware and acknowledging of your feelings. Nobody else can or is responsible to do that for you.

 

Be an empowered introvert TODAY!

If you’re an introvert, how can you adjust you day today to have more quiet time for yourself?  Maybe get up earlier or stay up late?  What can you do to help balance your relationships?  Share your thoughts and experiences below! 🙂