Is it possible to change introversion? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 44 Old 06-17-2010, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
There's nothing wrong with being an introvert, or even with being quiet. Those extroverts need someone to listen to them!

There's also nothing wrong with having just a couple of close friends.

You can't 'fix' introversion, because that's more about how you gain your energy. I'm an introvert. I regain my energy by being alone. Dh's mother's day gift to me was to take the kids away for a whole afternoon so I could putter about the house by myself.
I think a lot of people confuse introversion with people who don't like to be with people or aren't very good at being with people. That is not the definition of an introvert.

There's a really good book, "The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World."

Here's a bit from the author's website. There are many, many famous introverts even actors & tv hosts (Did you know that Barbara Walters & Johnny Carson are introverts?)

There's a link to self-assess if you are an introvert:

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#32 of 44 Old 06-17-2010, 12:10 AM
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I scored 19 on that quiz..

I have been going back and forth the past few years wondering if I'm intro or extroverted

I feel like I *need* my quiet time, but I am very comfortable in social settings and will start up conversations with strangers if I overhear a cool topic or something, so I was never sure. I do come home and dump everything on my husband about what happened at a get-together, but I don't know which energizes me..

I guess I better reread the definitions.

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#33 of 44 Old 06-17-2010, 12:47 AM
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When I was in University I hit the bottom of social anxiety, I had trouble buying a roll of stamps at the post office and I said enough of this @#$%! I started takling to people, the bus driver, asking the waiter how they were doing. I swear it took 20 years for me to figure out that the answer to "Hi! How are you?" isn't "Hi?..." It's "I'm well, and yourself?" Just as you would give your child scripts to follow in social situations you can use them yourself.

When I am not trying I am told I come across as very intimidating and therefore unaproachable. Put yourself in situations where people will "small talk" to you. Play at the school for a while after school on nice days. As was mentioned earlier ask people about themselves, or better yet, their kids. I have found since having kids I make friends easier than since I was a kid. Most of them will not be keepers, they will be aquaintances who you chat with at the park or meetings. And mostly skip the parties. It is work, being social if you are not inclined that way, but occasionally it is worth it (occasionally.)

Have you ever thought of joining Toastmasters or some other thing that would force you to speak in public?
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#34 of 44 Old 06-17-2010, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Goddess's mom View Post
Put yourself in situations where people will "small talk" to you.
I swear, the only reason I know how to make small talk is because I took a job waiting tables . I know, ?!?!?!

It does teach you social skills fairly quickly, and you get relatively instant feedback in the form of the size of your tips.
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#35 of 44 Old 06-18-2010, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by neveryoumindthere View Post
I scored 19 on that quiz..

I have been going back and forth the past few years wondering if I'm intro or extroverted
Introversion/Extroversion is a continuum. I'm an introvert, but not an extreme one. I definitely recover best by myself, but I also need to interact with other people. it's a fine balance.

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#36 of 44 Old 06-18-2010, 03:27 PM
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I am barely an extrovert, plus I am an ENFP and out of all the extroverts, they need the most alone time in order to stay centered.

I LIKE people, I like talking to people, but if I don't get time alone, quiet time alone, I get cranky and snippy.

I know I fulfill some of my social needs through the computer now, so I don't have to go out there and find someone to talk to as often.

And yes, all the extroverts need someone to listen to them talk! That comment made me laugh, LynnS6!!! I often tell my dh "You don't need to say much, just listen to me, nod your head and say uh huh now and then. I NEED to talk to you!" I also have to specifically tell him I do not need for him to tell me how fix anything. I just need to TALK about it. I'll figure out how to fix it on my own.

There really is a lot of good advice on this thread.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
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#37 of 44 Old 06-18-2010, 04:10 PM
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I love the tips on this thread - I'm an intro, in a more sociable/extroverted job at the moment, but I'm not sure if that helps or not. If I'm in a social situation that's not work I'm hopeless unless I already know lots of people there. I can go and introduce myself, make small talk for a few minutes and then....

And I completely agree about needing time to be alone (if only other people could understand!)
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#38 of 44 Old 06-19-2010, 11:29 PM
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I know how you feel. I just came from Hershey Park with my two daughters, m-i-l(and her ex-stepdaughter) and totally felt like the odd one of the group. Not really comfortable around people I don't know, and HATE small talk. I was the one asking how are you, how's your dad, work, etc just so I wouldn't seem anti-social, but of course no one asked me how I was doing. It's just so frustrating. My DP isn't even here, and I'm the one dealing with all of his relatives. I just want to go home. I'm soo totally out of rhythem and can't relax because I have too many worries on my mind. It's extremely hard for me to make friends, and oh well enough complaints. Try to hang in there.
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#39 of 44 Old 06-20-2010, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by sparklefairy View Post
I used to think that I was "just introverted" but have discovered that low self-esteem and poor social skills are not the same thing as getting energy from time spent alone. I've learned to identify when I need time alone (and have worked with my kids to help them to identify that need in them) and catch myself in the negative self talk loop. I have to actively work to remember to interact appropriately (not interrupting others, saying, "hi" instead of just starting a conversation).

I thought I was introverted until I realized that I just suck at meeting new people. With people I've gotten to know or in gatherings with a clear purpose, I thrive on interaction.

Your best bet will be to volunteer for things like set-up or clean-up. You get to know people a lot better when you're working together and then that gives you the basis for other conversations.

My favorite people are the ones who are really good at getting to know people and make new friends and such and are sensitive to us shyer and more cautious types. Y'know the type, friendly with everyone and still manages to make you feel like the time they spend with you is valuable? I'm not often in the position to do it, but I try to model my behavior on theirs when there's a new person around.

And if all else fails, here's a survival guide. (Note, the linked article is UA-compliant and SFW, but other writing on the site may not be, caveat lector.)
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#40 of 44 Old 07-14-2010, 07:32 PM
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I believe you can but accept that you are introverted. You don't have to become extroverted to change. You can find a balance after you find acceptance.

I find acceptance in that I prefer to keep few close friends and the meaningful distance relationships with others. Its a happy medium for me.

Even if you want to be extroverted there is something about your self acceptance that doesn't allow it. But think about if you really truly deep down inside wanted to be extrovert you'd be that. I don't think extroverts really think on I want to be this way they just "ARE".

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#41 of 44 Old 07-14-2010, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by LittleBattleAxe View Post
Short article on introversion v. shyness...
I haven't read the whole article, but this is a slightly different take on shyness than I'm used to. I've usually seen shyness related more to anxiety around new experiences...

I'm going to keep reading the rest of the thread. Suffice it to say that I'm shy, very socially anxious and pretty seriously introverted.

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#42 of 44 Old 07-15-2010, 11:16 AM
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Sorry...just subbing so I can come back and finish reading this thread....

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#43 of 44 Old 07-15-2010, 02:04 PM
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Just wanted to reiterate what others have said; that there is a difference between introversion and shyness. I am naturally a very shy introvert. I think I went through K-2 grade without saying a single word at school above a whisper, and when I think of myself, that is still the person I see. Yet, as an adult, whenever I confess to someone I've met that I am shy, they are shocked. I think I sometimes come off as snooty, but I've learned enough social tricks that most people don't think of me as shy. And it's funny, but quite a few of the people I remember thinking were snooty when I first met them turned out to be shy people who were pushing themselves to get out there.

I will always be an introvert, though. There have been times in my life when I've really pushed myself to act like an extrovert, and I can pull it off for a little while, but it is really exhausting. Really. I have 3 real friends right now, and that's really it. I see each of them maybe once a month at the very most. That's it. That's all I can handle and stay balanced. Sometimes I feel a little jealous when I talk to extroverted friends who have big girls' nights out a couple times a month, or who have a whole crowd of friends to help out when they have a problem. I think my jealousy mostly comes from the messages that we are constantly bombarded with that that is what we are supposed to want and supposed to have. But most of the time I realize that this is what makes me happy, and I'm content with that.
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#44 of 44 Old 08-02-2010, 10:34 PM
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Another introvert here! I've just turned 42 and it is only within the last year or so that I've:

- let it be OK that I am an introvert, rather than trying (read: forcing) myself to "be" extroverted and failing miserably.

- started to observe myself in social situations. I, unfortunately (or not) have the kind of face that is not necessarily "open" and sometimes when I am listening, concentrating or just being, I can feel that my eyebrows are scrunched and I seem to have a bit of a frown on my face. Now, inside, I am genuinely listening and interested in what the other person/people is/are saying, but I have been told enough times that I give the appearance of being "annoyed" or "bored" (when not actually the case!) to recognize that my face must be giving an untrue story. So I relax the muscles around my mouth, jaw, and eyes, to keep my face "softer." I also try to smile more (when appropriate, of course), and even widen my eyes a little bit (imagine a face of pleasant surprise.)

As an exercise, when I'm home alone, I will "freeze my face" - literally just keep all the muscles as they are and go to the nearest mirror. If I look like I'm scowling, etc. then I relax all of my facial muscles as I continue looking in the mirror and end by giving that very nice person I see a warm smile. I do it pretty regularly and am very conscious of how I "present" my face while around others.

- while in a social setting (a restaurant, school situation, library, etc.), I observe others in their own conversation and realize that what they are actually talking about is often not so important as the fact that they are connecting to other human beings. I have overheard countless, basically meaningless, conversations about the weather but what I've noticed as significant is the fact that each person is pleased because they get to share something about themselves with another human being!. So I know I can say to someone, "Can you believe how hot it's been?" and they really seem so happy to say, "oh my gosh, this is too much, I'm watering my garden every day because we haven't had rain!" Then, if I want, I can talk about my garden and voila! A conversation has started! It might last all of two minutes, and I may never see that person again, but I have made a connection. There are times when I am not interested in chatting so I don't say a word. If the other person initiations about the weather and I don't care to partake, I can just nod and say, "mmm hmm" and let it be that. It's more about my choice to make a connection, or make small talk. Man do I hate small talk! But if I make a connection, I really do feel good inside.

Another thing is that I'm always grateful to be out with extroverted friends because they are in their element as the talker and I am in my element as the listener.

Thank you for starting this thread! It is so important for us introverts to know that it is OK for us to be who we are!

Mama to DS born 11/21/04
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