I was talking to my co-worker today and she was wondering if I was having a hard time fitting in at work because she always sees me eating lunch alone. I told her I like eating lunch alone and she was like: "Lol...why?" I said: "haha..yea I am weird." Later I thought I should have just told her the truth which is I am an introvert. If I don't embrace it, no one will. In our culture where being social and outgoing are considered "normal" and "cool", I a lot of times are timid to be an introvert. There are a lot of misconceptions about introverts. Below are just a few things about this introvert (me).
Get energize on being alone.
Most people feel bored or gets depressed when they have no plans. Spending the weekend at home, no social activities for the week. I actually look forward to those moments. When I know I have no plans, I am already writing a list of TV shows to binge watch or looking up which cafe to go work on my design projects. Being alone doesn't mean I am lonely. I need my "alone time" to re-charge my batteries. Hanging out alone also helps me to keep things in perspective. It allows me to continue to learn and understand more about myself.
Love to watch.
It sounds kind of funny but it's true. I love observing, at a park, at a coffee shop, at the mall... I like to just observe things around me. There is something very soothing about it. People watching is one of my favorite activities. I can seriously sit somewhere all day to people watch. I do have a few rules about where usually would be a good people watching spot. I love the beach, coffee shops, popular touristy spots. However, the people have to be interesting and somewhat attractive with some fashion sense. (e.g. Jardin du Luxembour in Paris, Bondi Beach in Aus...I died just thinking about it)
We do have friends.
A lot of people think introverts don't care about meeting people or having a lot of friends. That's not entirely true. I do hate social events that I have to talk and meet people. For example, networking is a nightmare for me. I can do it but it takes a lot out of me. I am more about quality over quantity. I don't have a ton of friends but it's because I rather have fewer but deeper relationships with people. Even with some of my best friends, I rarely interact with them too much in person. I've always preferred the online world. I think it's because online communication allows me to think and reflect on my responses.
Text. Chats. Emails.
Bring on the text and emails. I really do love them! I agree that you can't beat a face to face conversation with your best friend. For me though, I get really uncomfortable during awkward silences, having to small talk is probably not my strength. Always trying to come up with something to talk about makes me on edge. There's nothing wrong with silences. There's only a few people I feel entirely comfortable being in silence with. That's something I treasure a lot. In terms of online communication, I think just being able to respond in my own time is huge. A common misconception about me is that I don't like to talk. It's not that I don't like to talk, it's just that I think small talk is a waste of time. If we are going to talk I rather it be something deeper. If not, silence is golden. Trust me, I do notice things and I do want to chat and make sure you are doing well and etc. I just rather do it in a less intense way. To me it is much more personal and special being able to text or email on my own time.
Hope this help explains what it's like being an introvert. If you have time, do yourself a favor and watch Susan Cain's Ted talk on The power of introverts: https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts