5 ways to safeguard your introvert identity

If you follow my “almost everything introvert” blog you know I often draw inspiration from my pastor’s Sunday messages. This week is no exception. He was talking about how we (Christ believers) are always in danger of having their identity stolen. We’re letting our identity be stolen, killed or destroyed.

No it wasn’t a fire and brimstone message. His messages are always full of energy, passion and everyday relatable circumstances.

It was at the turn in his message about his brother-in-law, his “kind of weird” relative, it dawned on me how introverts also need to protect their identity. Maybe Jacqueline Gum’s post, Weird … Where’s The Justice set me up for that.

But wait until you hear about what he said that brought on that light bulb moment!

And, what better time than the holidays to make and act on a decision of protecting our introvert identity?

5 ways to safeguard your introvert identity

  1. Open your gifts

Remember my mention of my pastor’s “kind of weird” relative? It seems that the relative never, opens Christmas gifts?

Whaaaat?

Yes, it’s true. Now this is something I cannot even imagine. When I get a gift that wrapping paper is off as fast as I say, “Oh you shouldn’t have.” But to each his own.

The point is, do we know what our gifts are and do we use them?

Or are we putting different wrapping paper on our gifts? Trying or pretending to be more extroverted even when we are clearly under nourishing your personal energy doesn’t make sense.

Let our gifts – thinking before we speak or act, listening more when in conversation, usually a depth of discussing things, and so much more – shine through with each person and situation we find our self with.

  1. Stop looking for love in all the wrong places

What a great old song! Have you heard it? It’s at the end of the post if you want to take a listen.

We are not our labels. So what if we are more introverted?

introvert_heartDid you realize we each introvert and extrovert all day long?

Like to read, or research or enjoy a relaxing day at a spa? Good grief, these are all introverting activities! Got ya.

Ever go to parties, attend group events like a concert, find yourself having to give a presentation? I know you guessed it – these are all extroverting activities.

But as an introvert if we are looking for those activities that energize us, that make our eyes light up, we’re going to want to be engaging in more introverting kind of things more often.

In reality, many more of us are more right in the middle. There’s a current recognized style omitted by the popular Myers Briggs Type Indicator and recognized as – ambivert.

Listen to and follow your heart.

  1. Cast off the shackles from introvert myths

We’re shy.

We’re anti-social.

We’re quiet.

We’re party poopers.

Puleeeze. These are just not true.

Shy and introvert are different things. I’ve coached many shy extroverts.

We are as friendly as they next social person. It’s just that our butterfly wings need more rest.

Don’t get me started on being quiet. Instead, when we or someone else finds our hot buttons, our passions, we’ll likely talk your head and ears off.

Christmas_TreeParties are fun in small doses. Maybe your invitation for me to come to yours came after I just had a week of holiday invites and this would be the tenth time to “rock around the Christmas tree.”

Let go of what is just not true that you might be either mistakenly believing or worst, using as an excuse to hold in the best of you.

  1. Show up more authentically

When we don’t open our gifts, we don’t know them or don’t use them it’s self-sabotage.

If for whatever reason we’re embarrassed about being an introvert, we’re likely hiding out in places that aren’t serving us well.

Instead what if we were to relax and know, everything is perfect as it is? It’s okay to be us?

It’s better than okay. It’s our God-given right to be us. Too often we don’t trust ourselves. And if we don’t believe in God, that leaves everything up to us.

Regardless of what you believe in this respect, we’re always going to be in situations that we can do better being ourselves.

  1. Recharge and reclaim your energy

One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to recognize that the main characteristic of being more introverted or extroverted is about energy and where we get it. As introverts we get it from within.

Hiding your gifts by not opening them, will take more energy out of you.

Recognizing that being more introverted is simply a label for your and others better understanding will free up some of your personal energy.

Understanding the truths versus the myths about introverts will do the same.

When you are true to yourself you claim more energy.

Go within and find out what is true for you. Anything that’s not you isn’t serving your personal energy.

One reason I wrote Communication Toolkit for Introverts is to share with other introverts life experiences that helped me to protect my identity enough to thrive in business and life. Anyone more introverted can do it.

Now enjoy listening to, and think through, what Johnny Lee’s message in Looking for love in the wrong places, might mean for who you are.

If you’re more introverted, how do you protect your identity to let the real you be the gift you are?

 

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Comments

  1. Donna Janke
    Twitter:
    says

    There is so much wisdom in this post. Knowing our gifts and using them, not trying to wrap them up differently, is such good advice. As is not worrying about labels and following our hearts. it is a shame that so many of us spend a lot of time thinking we need to be something other than what we are, not recognizing our gifts.

  2. Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie)
    Twitter:
    says

    Well THIS was enlightening! Probably many of us don’t really open our gifts…until we become more are of what they are…and that is where you and your book come in! Because I think I may just beginning to realize that I may have spent way too much time looking for love in all the wrong places!
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently posted…Weird… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  3. Wow! I can relate to most of this post.
    I have finally accepted that I am fine as an introvert – that I need time alone to reflect.

  4. All such great points and insight that is so useful for growth! I truly appreciate the clarification that the main characteristic of introversion is the source of our energy not our social habits. There have been times when I have felt a bit confused by being an introvert that likes to do extroverted actives. It is essential to understand and unwrap our gifts so they can be shared and we reach our potential.

  5. On my travel blog, I refer to my husband and me as “Mr. and Mrs. Excitement”. This is a moniker bestowed on us early during our relationship by family members. They were being ironic because we are very low key and known to be somewhat reclusive. In my case, it’s that I need a certain amount of quiet. My husband and I can spend hours together at home, often in the same room, but each engaged in our own pursuits. However, as you point out, we’re not hermits. We both have had careers that require/required quite a bit of public speaking. When we travel, we enjoy meeting new people and learning about their lives. I don’t mind being known as “Mrs. Excitement”. The people who know us well enough to joke around with that nickname, know not to be offended if we go home early. It’s not that we don’t like you or don’t enjoy your company, it’s that if we are true to ourselves, we need some time to just be.
    Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…Yo – You Should Visit Philadelphia During the Winter Holiday SeasonMy Profile

  6. Hi Patricia,
    Thanks for sharing the article about 5 ways to safeguard your introvert identity. Each ways are very interesting and informative. I liked it. Patricia, you are doing a great job. Plz carry on.

  7. Cheryl Therrien
    Twitter:
    says

    Opening gifts… Yeah, you got me there. Someone else a few months ago told me the same thing. I need to open up my gifts and start using them. Big sigh…. I love how you help people experience that ‘ah hah’ moment, the one where they realize they are introverts.
    Cheryl Therrien recently posted…#Manners & Traffic RulesMy Profile

  8. All human beings need to open up their gifts and enjoy life to the full. Good article, Pat.
    Catarina recently posted…Communication – The key to Successful Leadership!My Profile

  9. Its really informative post. I like so many tips from this. We need to open our gifts and know what is inside and use them when it is needed. It is sad that we try to be something that we are not. We do not use our qualities and do not take any benefit from them but hide them and do not let us and others to get any benefit. We must recognize our gifts open and use them.
    andleeb recently posted…Ramadan, Now and ThenMy Profile

  10. Had to laugh at the comment about listening more when in conversation. Thought immediately of family parties I go do that just cry out for someone who will listen because everyone else is talking at the same time.
    Ken Dowell recently posted…Americans Discover Vacation: Women on the LooseMy Profile

  11. Pat, do you remember the song ‘this little light of mine’. I know that it refers to spreading the word but this post reminded me of that. We do hide our ‘little lights’ because we don’t think they’re worth much and worth sharing. Hide it under a bushel……..no more.
    Lenie recently posted…Car Emergency Kit – NOT in the Trunk, Please.My Profile

  12. Hi Pat , love this post. Particularly #2 open your gifts. I think this one is so important…discovering what our gifts and talents are and then not being afraid to show and use them, instead of trying to make ourselves into something we are not. Great advice. 🙂

  13. I think when we are introverts, we get to be self-reliant. Accepting gifts is an attack on that self-reliance; this is why we do not do it. We consider a gift of charity, and not a present. I think we need to look at the gift as what it is, a gift.
    William Rusho recently posted…Wrestling and Writing, Round IIMy Profile

  14. Great tips Patricia and I had to laugh when I got to your list of myths. Oh the “shy” thing just really used to push my buttons but I’m much more confident and comfortable with who I am these days so I am better able to let things like that go, with one exception. Every once in awhile I’ll come across an article about Introverts on a personal growth blog and the blogger is SO misinformed and has obviously not done their homework that I simply cannot help myself but to offer a “polite” correction in a comment. 🙂
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Could Today Be The Day?My Profile

  15. Over the course of reading your posts Patricia I have come to be proud of my introvertedness. Not that I was ashamed of it before, I just didn’t know I was one. As for looking for love in all the wrong places I had that down pat for many years. What you say is very true. When I was traveling somewhere new I was always at my most energized and it is in those situations that good things in the love dept happened.
    Tim recently posted…Gram Parsons Found Joshua TreeMy Profile

  16. I enjoyed number 3 Cast off the shackles from introvert myths. Very enlightening for me to understand introverts more. I do have my own dosage of introvert behavior and I believe we are all on a continuum between intro and extro and it is key to know where you lie and where others fall as well.
    Welli recently posted…Return on child investment (ROCI)My Profile

  17. Niekka McDonald
    Twitter:
    says

    Goodness Patricia I had to read this post twice. I have learned so much from you about being an introvert. It explains why I always thought I was different. I have even tried to work on being “more outgoing” sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. I love this list unwrapping my gifts are very important to me.
    Niekka McDonald recently posted…A Year Of LearningMy Profile

  18. I used to go to a lot of concerts and was naturally intrigued by your assertion that going to a concert is an “extroverting activity” – I would say this depends on the person and on the size of the venue.

    Concerts in large arenas are highly impersonal experiences (at least I find them to be) and are definitely not an introvert’s cup of tea. On the other hand, I like seeing shows in small, intimate clubs, although I’m not sure I feel any ‘camaraderie’ with the other attendees while I’m there.

    More to your general point, I feel much more alone when I’m in a crowd than when I’m by myself or with a very small group of people – the hallmark of a true-blue introvert, yes? I don’t feel a need to “safeguard” my introversion because I simply can’t imagine ever becoming an extrovert, even as it would serve me well to be more extroverted.

    • Patricia Weber
      Twitter:
      says

      Here’s the point Andy and sorry if it wasn’t clear: extroverting has to do with energy we get from anything outside ourselves, and introverting has to do with energy we get from within. In going to a concert, unless you are fortunate enough to have a private concert where it’s you and the musician, will usually have more than 2 people. This causes those of us more introvert to leak personal energy faster than we would on our own, or as you stated, “with a very small group of people.”

      Having said that, your deduction is correct that none of us are equally one way or the other. We just tend to have a preference of where we are on that spectrum.

      All good!
      Patricia Weber recently posted…5 ways to safeguard your introvert identityMy Profile

  19. “We are not our labels. So what if we are more introverted?” So true. I have probably mentioned that I always made an extra effort as a teacher to point out to students that I was introverted. The extroverts were like, “Okay, cool.” But the more introverted students were amazed I would admit it and that I was brave enough to teach 😉
    Jeri recently posted…#YearInReview: Happy Holidays #2014My Profile

  20. Jenny of Pennedbyjenny.co.uk
    Twitter:
    says

    I love your posts, Patricia! I’m a shy ambivert and I’m sick and tired of extroverts/loudly confident types being deemed more favourable. Thanks for these tips.:)
    Jenny of Pennedbyjenny.co.uk recently posted…Guest Post: How To Blog Away Your InsecuritiesMy Profile

  21. Lorraine Reguly
    Twitter:
    says

    I used to look for love in all the wrong places after I was raped. It took me years to realize my true worth. Now I treat myself with respect.

    I’m also more of an extrovert now, too. 🙂
    Lorraine Reguly recently posted…How To Customize the Size of Your Blog Post Images #video #tutorialMy Profile

  22. Patricia- You said One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to recognize that the main characteristic of being more introverted or extroverted is about energy and where we get it. As introverts we get it from within. What is interesting I get my energy from within and I am an extrovert. I guess as I have gotten older, I have more of understanding of myself. So whether you are an introvert or extrovert life is full of wonderful gifts and your heart needs to be open so you can see that life is wonderful. I don’t think we can put labels and categorize people. As nothing is black or white, there will always be that gray area.
    Arleen recently posted…The Importance of Color and the Pantone Color of the YearMy Profile

  23. Hi Patricia,
    Thanks for sharing the article about 5 ways to safeguard your introvert identity. very interesting and informative article. I liked it. I hope it will helped me. Great points included in the post. Once again thanks for sharing views.
    Sanjay recently posted…Check Out Hilarious Situation on Wagah Border Described By Atul KhatriMy Profile

  24. Very insightful post Pat. We are all different and have to make the best of what we have been given. I like the way you say that shy is not the same as introvert. I’m not sure I fully understand the difference to be honest. I think I need to think about that one. Happy Holidays!!
    A.K.Andrew recently posted…Can We Compare Steinbeck’s East of Eden to Breaking Bad?My Profile

  25. Claire Cappetta
    Twitter:
    says

    Great post and how we look upon opening gifts. Sometimes it’s difficult wondering how o act when we do, surprised? grateful? Just like all the gifts we are given everyday sometimes unwrapping gifts can take some navigating….

  26. Jeannette Paladino
    Twitter:
    says

    Pat — I love the term “ambivert.” It’s true, we’re all a combination of introvert and extrovert. I’m clearly an extrovert but I find it difficult to enter a crowded room and break into conversations. It just seems easier to slink into a corner. I guess the extrovert in me comes out when I finally look for some people talking and interrupt with, “you look like a friendly group – may I join you?” Not original, a friend gave me that line and it works. What are they going to do, say “No”?
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Are You “Prominent” on Social Media?My Profile

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