Why forcing yourself to converse is so important…

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I’ll just come right out and say it; my natural instinct is to run and hide, turn completely inwards and build things up in my mind. I’m not a natural conversationalist by any means, in fact a comfortable silence with loved ones is something I really enjoy. If someone invites me to a social gathering, I usually worry about the fact I’ll have to engage in small chat with strangers, something I assume poking needles in your eyes would feel like. I’m expected to be courteous, charming and interested while pushing down the screaming introvert within, and sometimes it’s just easier to decline. But at what cost to my growth and development as a human?

I have a girlfriend who calls me nearly every day for a chat, and every single time the phone rings my gut instinct is to not pick it up. Why? What the hell is wrong with me? Even though 9 times out of 10 I’ll feel better after chatting to her, bouncing ideas around and venting about life, I just can’t seem to learn. It’s incredibly frustrating and something I’m acknowledging right here and now that I’m committing to working on. I don’t expect to become a public speaker or the next biggest socialite, but I do hope to stop associating conversations with an ingrained flight response.

I assume this preference of mine was developed over the years from being an only child until I was 10, and from living mostly with my grandparents who aren’t big talkers either. Dinner was usually a silent affair over the 6pm news so my Pop could hear the stories of the day, and discussing your issues in any great depth was something not really done. If anything scandalous happened within the family it was conveyed in hushed whispers, so I suppose I’ve developed an intuitive response to internalise my feelings, or turn to diary (and blog) writing. I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with this, however if I should start a family of my own one day I’ll certainly be more conscious of these behaviours and encourage open discussion.

Would love to hear your thoughts or suggestions on how I can improve this tendency of mine… And hoping you have a great week ūüôā

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Photo credits – rsa_mextures & yuugi83

50 shades of introversion

The sun is out, the pool is fresh, the fridge is stocked and the sky’s the limit. So why am I feeling glum?

The struggle with being of an introverted tendency (I don’t believe in black and white categories – we all fit somewhere on an interchanging scale), is that despite relishing in being alone MOST of the time, there are in fact days when I want to talk to all of my friends at once. This of course, is impossible as everyone is out enjoying their Sunday and living their lives. So what to do? Pen to paper of course. (Or in this case, finger to keypad).

Trying to explain¬†the innate reflex to avoid social situations is difficult to spell out¬†to people who simply relish in them and completely contradictory when, on the odd occasion, I like to be the life of the party and twerk all night to Rihanna. Put me in a room of over-confident SALES people and I’ll happily hide by the cheese platter all night, but get me one on one and I might chew your ear off about the plight of Orca’s in captivity (RIP Tilikum). So why can’t us towards the nether regions of the introversion scale just get it together and be consistent?

I think the key might be in choosing our friends right, and making sure they understand that we aren’t saying no to activities because we dislike¬†them, it’s because we literally NEED¬†time out to re-charge. If I had an activity planned for every night of the week I would probably consider hiding under my blanket and crying at the sheer thought of not having any time to myself. No I don’t want to go out every single weekend and waste half of it hungover, but don’t lose heart – I’d love to catch up with you over Sunday brunch next weekend.

On behalf of anyone else who is feeling like this, we’re sorry and please bear with us. We genuinely value your friendship, but sometimes we just need to hide in a dark room and listen to a rainy day playlist. The good thing about it is – the sun will always rise, the clouds will clear and we’ll slide a few shades down the scale and twerk with you till dawn.

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Photo credits – theophelia & matt.ferr