As a child, my family were all extroverts. I was considered an odd, strange and downright unfriendly child. Since I loved to play by myself, I was seen as extremely strange. My mother actually had more than one conversation with my doctor regarding my behavior. Why did I prefer to go for solo bike rides or read in my room when I could be doing whatever it was the rest of my family was doing? Unfortunately, my doctor was no help and his solution was for my parents to force society on me. Just let me say that I’m so glad that my childhood is over! All that being forced into interaction with other people did, was make me even more introverted. Once I got to college, I loved to study in the sound-proofed music rooms. Because I was able to closed myself off for a few hours, I was more likely to be social at other times. The point was, I got to choose when I wanted to interact with others and when I didn’t. I never did tell anyone where I was when they couldn’t find me, I didn’t want to share my location with the people I knew, since I needed that time alone.
Fast forward to my child-rearing years, when I couldn’t shower, much less go to the bathroom by myself. There were times that I thought that I would scream for lack of alone-time. My children have often said that they went to bed much earlier than their peers. Of course they did! By the time night-time rolled around I thought I’d lose my mind if I didn’t get to take a breath without them there! Hence the early bed-time.
As an adult, I’ve gotten really good at small talk. My trick is to ask a leading question, listen to the answer, and continue asking questions. All I have to do is listen and keep the conversation going. In fact, I’ve gotten so good at it that some people would be surprised if they found out that I’m an introvert. Of course, the whole time I’m talking with them I feel like I want to jump out of my skin and run away. However social constraints make that behavior unacceptable.
It’s so wonderful that there have been so many articles and books explaining all about introverted people. I hope that no children are forced to endure the unwanted social interaction that I did. I’ve left some links for you to read if you want to educate yourself on the introverted people in your life, or find some comfort if you, too are introverted.