1. Listening: I want to be able hear another person clearly, so that I am sure I have heard it the way they are meaning and not the way I think I am hearing it. I have auto reactions in my mind when I hear something that is surprising to me or that I don’t understand. I often want to ask questions for clarity to what I am hearing however fear often rings its bell and I just go silent. I end up leaving others with the feeling that I just shut them off and don’t want to hear what they are saying. In truth I am unsure that I feel safe to go through my slow process of understanding. I am often afraid to showing my process. The feed back I have received has sent me the message that it is so painstaking to others that it is annoying and feels like I don’t believe them.
2. Vulnerability: Speaking up and saying what is going on within requires trust. The hardest time to be vulnerable for me is when something is disturbing or has hurt me. I want to right the situation and that doesn’t go over well at times. My heart is to find understanding and search out the common facts to come to level ground again, not to prove I’m right but rather to bring both sides of a situation back together, find the missing link so that both feel good and at peace with each other. I tend to think that misunderstanding is the culprit. My habitual tendency is to just float around when the person is near, to not get too close to have to actually step into a vulnerable moment. That is one habit that has been formidable and I am in the process of breaking it. Each time is hard but I so want to enter into that space.
3. Connection: I am slow to warm up to people. I do my best to be friendly. However I don’t hop quickly into relations with others and small talk is not my strong suit. I do it but I feel most awkward. I do not have the gift of gab until I get on a subject I know then I don’t shut up easy. When I speak off the cuff I feel odd and weird. I try to be uncensored but I feel like I am displacing my soul when I do. I prefer to get use to someone’s presence being around me for a while before I open my inner world to them. Being a youth leader this doesn’t work so well. Kids come randomly and so I often feel like I am getting to know them all over again every time they come. Connection doesn’t come easy. I often feel like I am observing others not interacting with them…speaking at them not to them but once I find a connection I will cultivate it and care for it. It is important to me.
4. Expressing my thoughts: Sharing what I think is so much easier on paper or blog. I can write it out and reread it and hear it back to see if it makes sense or if I have fully said what I am communicating. Talking out loud doesn’t have that luxury. Here is why : When I am having a conversation with someone I am thinking about what they are saying to me as they are speaking and in reference to what I have said to them ( keeping in context ) and if the situation has to do with something that was said or done before then I am also reflecting to connect the two situations so that they make sense to me. And if in that conversation something is stated like “3 weeks ago” then I am in a state of recall as to what was going on 3 weeks ago so that I have some point of reference for myself as to what we are talking about. ( yeah sounds complicated ) and this is my process. However all this thinking doesn’t go over well with people, especially if I talk about it. But to me every little piece goes together with another that makes up the real picture. I’m linking the thoughts for clarity and understanding. To them the general feedback feel I get is that I think too much or I analyze everything. Really… I just don’t know what I think until I look at each piece of information. Kind of like a murder mystery, you don’t just arrest some random person, you look at the evidence to find the truth keeping within the parameters of the crime. I am not going to interview a women who lives 5 miles away who doesn’t know the suspect and has no clue what happened.
5. Change: This brings out the strangest things in me and people. It creates instability and for me that causes me to become very cautious. I become very alert to what change has changed and I see differently than I did before. Sometimes it causes me to wonder about where I stand with people and what I think about them. When their emotions begin to flare up I tend to step back a little to make sure I at a safe distance from any ticking time bombs. I don’t usually give myself permission to have an emotional display ( where something happens and I loose it) unless it is fairly private otherwise it is not something I do regularly outside my own home. Growing through change has come a little easier to me as I have loosened up on the need to do it perfectly. ( that’s never gonna happen ) life is a messy deal prepare the getting dirty. When things are changing and the picture is getting remade. I see the cracks in the canvas. The little ticks of nervousness or fear. I sense the distance of some or the fishing for information from others. But when it is comfortable again, when I am not also out of sorts because of change, I too loose my alertness to things. If what I am surrounded with doesn’t excite me a little then I hit the snooze button and zone out in true introvert style.
ANY OTHER INTROVERT OUT THERE THAT FEEL LIKE THIS?