I know you don’t believe me.
But a friend recently defined the term for me and it fit like a glove.
Introvert: A person who recharges by being alone.
Extrovert: A person who recharges by being around people.
My friend Lisa explained me, the introvert, perfectly: “You may be the life of the party, but after an hour, you’re ready to leave, right?”
This is a whole new revelation, and it’s helping me see myself in a new light. Aha! That’s why I have a time limit at parties and events, after which my skin crawls with thoughts of shmoozing and networking. That’s why I prefer sweats and reruns of Beverly Hills 90210 on a Saturday afternoon than a get-together with girlfriends.
It’s not that I’m not social – by a long shot. I prefer one-on-one catch-ups and intimate plans. Soul-searching phone conversations.
And I prefer the quiet life of cooking with my kids at the kitchen counter, reading quietly on a chaise poolside, taking breaks from even the children to sit and contemplate.
So last night, when Dan and I embarked on ballroom dance lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bloomfield Hills, a new client of mine, I was perfectly fine to fox-trot around the parquet. I was even OK switching partners in the group class after our private one to try different holds and glides on for size.
But when they wanted us all to get up and perform for the others what we’d learned, that’s where I drew the line.
“You’ll be fine,” an instructor encouraged. Yes, I knew I would be.
“Don’t be scared,” another said. I wasn’t scared.
I was just done.
I can’t explain it and I know it seemed odd, but I had hit my wall. That’s the introvert in me, standing up and claiming space. Done, over, thanks for the experience, let it sink in, I’ll call you when it does.
It’s nothing personal. Really. It’s just who I am.
An introvert. I am in love with this revelation. Because it finally allows me to embrace my natural tendencies without thinking something is wrong with me or that I have to offer an explanation.
And really, at 41, you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone, ever. I am who I am, and I like it that way.