I’ve always been conscious of how I look and how I’m perceived by others. But my personality isn’t exactly an aspect I’ve spent time nor energy dwelling on. Others have known me to be kind and approachable but also shy and quiet. I would say that with time and validation it all became enough as well as satisfying.
As I get older I’m more aware of who I am and my personality traits. In addition, I’m also learning to accept myself more than I used to in my younger years. It sounds like a cliché, but there is some truth to this; the older you get the more wiser and experienced. Life teaches you a thing or two along the way and a little by little youdiscover the person you were meant to be or were all along (it just took awhile to come to terms).
Sadly, when you hit rock bottom at some point in life, you are faced with one enemy, yourself, in which you are forced to ‘bond’ with in order to heal, grow and persevere.
I had to search long and hard within me before searching anywhere else, evaluate the person I used to put on display at the time and be true to the person I am inside.
Nowadays, I’ve come to terms with the understanding of the type of person I am. I’m a quiet person and that’s fine. I think before I speak, at times it takes me forever to find the courage to convey a thought or feeling. But that’s OK, too. I’m not socially fluent as people perceive me to be, for inside I struggle to keep up and have to reassure myself in order to remain sane in the moment. Luckily, I manage, for I’m aware of the benefits that come with social interactions.
However, as an introvert I feel misunderstood and I’ve come to discover this after several weekend get-aways with friends these past months.
Social settings are proving to be quite exhausting in long periods of time and I will occasionally find myself pull back. I will begin to shield myself from ‘outside noise’. I will retreat thus become more silent. Those around will expect something to be wrong and they will ask, several times, “are you ok?” “what’s wrong?”. They’ll even make a direct statement on how I should open up more and don’t be afraid to “stand my grounds”. I’ll reply back with simple words, sometimes with a smile plastered on my face and other times I’ll be too exhausted to even make an effort to smile: “everything’s ok, I’m just tired,” I’m known to say. It’s not a lie, neither the whole truth.
The truth behind my resignation and obvious silence is that at some point, it all becomes ‘too much’. I will feel mentally drained and I will seek silence in order to reboot my system. For in my experience, being up close with people (over time!) eventually makes me vulnerable and to the extent where I almost feel naked (uncomfortable!). At the same time, having to meet people’s expectations doesn’t quite unload the pressure.
The fact that I’m not enjoying myself is usually not a element, for there is simple logic for that; if I’m not enjoying myself, I leave. I rarely put myself in uncomfortable social settings. Besides, I make sure I surround myself with people I’m comfortable around and enjoy being with.
But there will still be moments where I’ll have to retreat, seek silence and reboot, that’s not going to change any time soon. Socializing is exhausting to me. Sadly, I know it can all be misunderstood but it has more to do about me and who I am rather than who’s next to me. And in a world where extroverts are praised and perhaps accepted, I’ve experienced that an introvert can easily be misunderstood. Fortunately, I’m learning to speak up and give some enlightenments to whomever that may need to understand (however, only when I’ve had a moment of silent).