I’ve been sliding through trees and down volcanos recently, and I need a rest. So, now, it’s time for a vocabulary lesson. Wait! Really, this vocabulary lesson, it isn’t for you, not directly. It’s to help your extraverted, outgoing, gregarious, and/or in-constant-need-of-stimulation friends understand you and your needs a bit better.
Introverts get their energy from being alone. It’s how we recharge our batteries. That’s all. There are many shy introverts, but there are also plenty of outgoing introverts too, they just don’t get recognized as such since so many people use the word as a synonym for shy.
Some ways to express yourself:
“I need some alone time to recharge.”
“I need to spend some time by myself to decompress, can I call you in an hour?”
People who are shy feel uncomfortable around other people. It’s usually more so around new people and in new situations.
“I get nervous around so many new people. When we get to the party, could you stay near by until I get comfortable.”
“Just to give you a heads up, I’ll probably stay pretty quiet until I get to know everybody a bit better.”
Reserved people hold back, which can include words and actions both. You may not contribute your ideas to a conversation until you feel comfortable, or you may refrain from joining in an activity like karaoke, that makes you the center of attention. For me, this is an expression of shyness.
“Right now, I’m taking everything in. I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say later.”
“Really, the idea of going up there makes me want to vomit on your shoes. Ask me again later.” (the meaning on this one can really change with the tone of your voice, from sincere to sarcastic.)
HSP (Highly Sensitive Person):
The Highly Sensitive Person is more sensitive to his/her surroundings and easily overwhelmed. If you think this describes you, I strongly suggest reading The Highly Sensitive Person. Elaine Aron has a short test on her site, if you’re unsure.
“I get easily overwhelmed, so please don’t be offended if need to leave early.”
“I’m having a difficult time processing everything that is going on, I’m going to go outside (go back to the room, have some tea, stare at the ocean, walk around the block…)”
When I was originally reading about HSPs, I came across Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration and Overexcitabilities. If you think you’re an HSP, you might get some insight into other aspects of your life by researching Dabrowski’s work. Especially if you have a pain disorder. I mention that specifically as I’m pretty sure that I express strong emotions as physical pain. Feel free to email me or message me on Twitter if you want to discuss this privately.
While I stand by my conclusion about Dubrowski’s Overexcitabilities and Theory of Positive Disintegration and how I process emotions physically as pain, I need to go back and research how I got there. Expect a new post early next week bringing all of it together. Thanks for your patience. ~Kathryn
If I’ve missed anything, or you have phrases you use to help your friends and family understand your needs, please tell me in the comments.
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In the comments:
We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud. What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)