About 18 months ago, my therapist (the second of four) called me antisocial. And I. Got. PISSED.
You see, around that time, I got my eyes on a lot of things about introverts and about how introversion had been misunderstood for quite some time. This is nothing new. Introverts weren’t anti-social, they just recharged alone instead of in crowds. This made sense to me. I was an introvert. Regardless of when I took my Meyers Briggs test (ie over the span of a decade) I always, without fail came out an introvert. And now I understood what that meant. It helped me bring clarity to those nights when I just wanted to be solo. It helped me explain to friends that sometimes I wouldn’t be as talkative. It gave me a way to explain myself.
And then this summer something funny happened. In search for a career of my passion, I took a product design class. The professor happened to be Israeli and kind of took me under his wing. He became a sort of mentor to me. He, like me, was an engineer who was also interested in design.
He connected me with a potential employer that I was very excited about and when he reviewed my cover letter for them, he told me to throw in the fact that I was an extrovert. I actually laughed when I read that. I thought this was so funny that when my dad got home from work that day I told him the story. He stared at me in confusion and said that of course I was. I tried to explain to him the recharging defintion of extroverts and introverts that I had read long before. This made him agree with my professor even more. He had seen me before the course had started and during it, he said, and it seemed to him I was much more energetic on days that I went to class and interacted with my peers.
Weird. I know longer took my professor’s statement for granted. In fact I added it into my cover letter as he recommended. I didn’t end up getting that job. But I did gain a new perspective on myself. One I honestly didn’t think about until yesterday.
Sundays have been really weird for me since I moved into my new apartment (pictures soon, I promise). Before I moved back home, I spent a good chunk of the day at home on Sundays making my food for the rest of the week. It was part of my routine, a part I really enjoyed. I love cooking. And I knew how much easier this made my week go.
So, when I moved into my new apartment I expected to do the same. For the last two weeks, I spent most of the morning with my partner or family or friends. And then around noon I’d go home to go through my food prep. But both times, this process slowly killed my mood. While cooking still brought me joy, it didn’t take as long as I remembered, and for some reason catching up on TV or reading solo after I was done only darkened my mood. Yesterday, when it happened again, I thought back on my life. I realized that while I felt happy living alone in Michigan, those three years were an anomaly, not the norm. The rest of my life I was happier living with people.
Obviously, until college, I was with my family. Mostly my parents, but with siblings for a good chunk of it too. In college, living with a roommate I struggled, but I wasn’t much better alone. The time I was happiest in college was when I was living in my sorority. I had my own space, but a whole house full of girls I could bug if I got lonely.
So what am I? I recently read that pretty much no one is introverted or extroverted. Everyone is somewhere on a scale. I’d guess I fall on the introverted side, but not too far from the amnivert (the halfway point). I think actually a lot of my closest friends are like this. Knowing us, I don’t think anyone would consider us antisocial, but we all had points in our lives when we thought we were. We’re all introverts according to MBTI and we’re all friends with mostly introverts. My friend from high school said she thinks this is because hanging out with extroverts usually drains her and makes her feel closed off, but when she’s with introverts she feels like the extroverted one. Who knows what that says about the whole introverted extroverted conundrum.
All I know, is learning about this stuff bring me more self-awareness which is something I like. That totally sounds like something an introvert would say.
Until next time!