The concepts of introvert and extrovert had me confused for a long time. I have been told many times in my life that I’m “shy”. And that always struck me as odd, because I have rarely felt shy in my life. And those of you who know me would probably wonder why people would call me shy.
I love people, I love public speaking, yet I’m an introvert. I was convinced over the years that being “shy” and an “introvert” meant that I don’t give off the vibe that I like to be around people, or that I don’t like to talk to people, or that I’m afraid of socializing.
That’s the farthest from the truth! Being an introvert doesn’t mean any of these things! It just means that I need time to be alone, to think and recuperate. I am also “in my head” a lot. It took me a long time to come to terms with being a social introvert, and beat the label of shyness that was mistakenly given to me.
Now, when people say that I’m “shy”, I chuckle inside. If they only know how not-shy I am, and have never been. And when they call my kids “shy” for not stepping up and talking right away, I definitely chuckle at that. My introvert middle child is like me. She is not shy at all. She needs time to figure out where she fits, and she needs to know that she’ll be able to retreat to her own space when it’s time. She’s loves people, just like me. She also likes her space and introspective time.