Now I get it.....
I used to be shy. Very. Very. Shy. I'm not any longer, but I have always been and always will be an introvert. I have always taken that to mean I just enjoyed being alone.. This graphic not only explains the difference, but helps me to understand myself more. It explains the difference between an introvert and an extrovert is where they draw their energy from. Extroverts draw from other people, introverts draw from themselves. This creates a situation where being with people is exhausting for introverts. And that's exactly how it is for me. It's not that I don't like people, it is just that they take so much energy. I never really understood what that meant, but now I do. I think this help explain a lot of things about me, things I thought were quirks but may just be my introverted nature.
I don't need validation from other people. I never really did. I would hear people say they how they wanted someones approval and I would wonder why? But I see it now. They were extroverts and they get not only their energy but their ego builders (not the right word) from others. They want accolades. I want only to get the job done.
In Crossfit, it is common for people to cheer you on towards the end. There are moments when that actually pisses me off. I don't need your cheering or encouragement, I need to deal with this in my head. Weird, I know.
When people say I inspire them, all I can think is why? I struggle probably harder than anyone and that inspires you? I do not understand that at all. My inspiration comes from me. When I do something good that inspires me to do something great. I do look at certain people and think I want to be like that, but only really in passing, I'm not serious. But I see it now. I'm an introvert. My energy and inspiration come from within me, not from without. I understand that now.
I've never been big on parties or even large crowds. In any situation where I'm with a lot of people, I will sneak off for five minutes to be alone. I always thought of it as recharging, I just didn't know how accurate I was. And no matter how much fun I'm having, that is how I feel.
I also see why I can teach high school but not anything lower. I can tell these kids to get out and leave me alone. I can't do that with younger kids. Makes sense now.
I've always known I was an introvert, I just never had it explained so well. Now, at 53, I finally get it. As a scientist I always have to know the why. Now I know the why and I can live with that.