Introvert Mamas? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 792 Old 02-09-2009, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Definition: Contrary to what most people think, an introvert is not simply a person who is shy. In fact, being shy has little to do with being an introvert! Shyness has an element of apprehension, nervousness and anxiety, and while an introvert may also be shy, introversion itself is not shyness. Basically, an introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people.

Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. They often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy. This is true even if they have good social skills. After being with people for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to "recharge."

When introverts want to be alone, it is not, by itself, a sign of depression. It means that they either need to regain their energy from being around people or that they simply want the time to be with their own thoughts. Being with people, even people they like and are comfortable with, can prevent them from their desire to be quietly introspective.

Being introspective, though, does not mean that an introvert never has conversations. However, those conversations are generally about ideas and concepts, not about what they consider the trivial matters of social small talk.
Whew I just survived another play date at my house! But it definitely is draining for me.
Any other mamas out there that fit the description above?
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#2 of 792 Old 02-09-2009, 07:10 PM
 
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me! me! me!

and
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#3 of 792 Old 02-10-2009, 02:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello Bababa!
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#4 of 792 Old 02-16-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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Yep, this is me...

I totally get drained from social interaction, especially the kind consisting mainly of smalltalk.
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#5 of 792 Old 02-16-2009, 06:50 PM
 
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I was just wondering if there was an introvert tribe! I'm an ISTJ, for those familiar with the Myers Briggs types.

Just bought a book last week, The Introvert Advantage... haven't read it yet though.
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#6 of 792 Old 02-16-2009, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh read it and then share the Cliff Notes version with us!
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#7 of 792 Old 02-17-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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I've become more social since my son was born, but I'm still very much an introvert (and shy as well). I enjoy getting together with friends, but I'm nearly always relieved when it's time to go home.
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#8 of 792 Old 02-17-2009, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are doing a lot of playdates too. It stresses me less when there aren't tons of people though.
Last friday we had another couple visit with their daughter. That was perfect! I had a good time even though they stayed all day.
It's when we have lots of kids and lots of moms over that it really drives me nuts.
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#9 of 792 Old 02-18-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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We are doing a lot of playdates too. It stresses me less when there aren't tons of people though.
I can't imagine hosting a playgroup. I get maxed out just from my own dd, much less other kids... much less other parents... much less making mindless chit chat with other parents when I can't run away cuz it's my house! :

Does anybody else find it hard to be a mom and an introvert at the same time? I'm a sahm, and my dd is almost 1. Just being with her all day and talking to her can really frazzle me. How do you get your alone time to recharge?
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#10 of 792 Old 02-18-2009, 06:12 PM
 
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Does anybody else find it hard to be a mom and an introvert at the same time? I'm a sahm, and my dd is almost 1. Just being with her all day and talking to her can really frazzle me. How do you get your alone time to recharge?
Definitely! My son thrives on being around people, and constantly wants to show me stuff, play trains, sit in my lap while I'm typing, and talk-talk-talk. There are days when I think if I hear, "Hey Mama!" one more time, I'll lose my mind. Don't get me wrong - I love hearing what he has to say, but it can get overwhelming. My alone time is at nap (like now) and in the evening after dinner when my husband takes him for about an hour.
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#11 of 792 Old 02-25-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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My alone time is at nap (like now) and in the evening after dinner when my husband takes him for about an hour.
I always wind up doing chores during naptime. Some things are just easier to do without a little one crawling up my pants legs. But I should figure out how to get all the chores done so I can better use naptime for 'me' time. I'm sure I'd be a much happier mama.
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#12 of 792 Old 02-25-2009, 06:00 PM
 
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Oh read it and then share the Cliff Notes version with us!
Okay, I'm only about halfway through, but I'm learning some interesting things. If you've ever felt critical of yourself for being an innie, it's very validating and explains a lot of our behaviors. There's a section on WHY people are introverted that's fascinating. In an easy-to-understand way, it goes into the possible genetic predisposition for people to be introverted and explains how our biology handles things differently than extroverts. I thought the section was going to be boring and was ready to skip it, but I'm glad I didn't ... very enlightening.

Will let you know of any more highlights! I got another book, Party of One: The Loner's Manifesto, that I'm hoping to read after this one.
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#13 of 792 Old 03-01-2009, 04:26 PM
 
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I have learned to be social over the years, but I love to be left alone. My husband is a social butterfly and always bringing people over to our house. Having company energizes him but totally drains me. I like people. I just don't feel the need to be around them very often. Having kids forces me to be much more social than I ever used to be, and I really miss my alone time. At least two of my boys (the 3rd is too young to tell) are really extroverted like their dad, so they seem to have a hard time understanding why I want to lock myself in the bedroom and not talk to them for an hour sometimes.
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#14 of 792 Old 03-03-2009, 11:15 PM
 
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I'm one of those! I always have been. I do feel the need for connection with other people I can share with, as probably everyone does. I love my friends, but I don't like big groups. Certain personalities really drain my energy, but it's also helpful for me to hang out with someone outgoing that can bring out that side of me. I like meeting new people, but I am picky about who my friends are.

My 6yr old DD is the same way. She has a few best friends she asks to see, but I just had to pull her out of kindergarten because school was so overwhelming for her. I think it was mainly the large group of kids (loud and boisterous), and having no control over anything. She needs plenty of time at home, or she gets really upset.

I can happily be a silent observer for a long time before there is something I want to say. I'm surprised sometimes when people say I'm quiet because my mind isn't quiet at all. I mean, I am used to hearing it, but I don't feel like that is who I am.

Last year I booked a night in a motel down the street just so I could be 100% alone. It was absolute heaven. Some of my friends thought I was totally insane. My sister asked me why I wouldn't at least want to bring a friend.
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#15 of 792 Old 03-03-2009, 11:22 PM
 
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I am an INFJ. I have always known that I was an introvert, but it wasn't until I was about 30 that I felt "okay" with it. My mom is a total extrovert, and in her mind it is unhealthy and abnormal to be introverted, so I have spent years trying to improve myself out of it.

I have 3 kids, and one of them is a total introvert just like me.
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#16 of 792 Old 03-03-2009, 11:24 PM
 
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LucyRev, I just LMAO in agreement to everything you just said.

I am an INTJ. I crave deep connection with people, but find social interactions to be draining in general. DS is a total extrovert, and I frequently feel the need to hide. A night all by myself sounds like heaven.

So how does our biology make introverts different? Anyone else have trouble finding friends as an introvert? It seems like mine move every time we get really close.

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#17 of 792 Old 03-03-2009, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm surprised sometimes when people say I'm quiet because my mind isn't quiet at all. I mean, I am used to hearing it, but I don't feel like that is who I am.
I've always felt that way too!
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#18 of 792 Old 03-03-2009, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone else have trouble finding friends as an introvert? It seems like mine move every time we get really close.
Yes, I think being a mother just added to the difficulty of finding friends since it's sort of important that the kids click too if you spend a lot of time together.
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#19 of 792 Old 03-05-2009, 10:44 AM
 
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I am an introvert, an INFJ. I used to be painfully shy, as well, but I find the older I get, the less shy I am. I find that it's easier for me to be more social if I make plans. This bothered a couple of my exes, who accused me of not being spontaneous. I responded that I can be very spontaneous; I just need to plan that on this day at this time I am going to be spontaneous. LOL. I am otherwise a very spontaneous person. It's just that I do better planning for social situations.

I find that sometimes I'll be in the mood to be around people but not directly interacting with them too much. Like I love to go to coffee shops and write--by myself at my own table.

And I love my friends and family--but I always need time to recharge. I come from a very large family with lots of sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, etc. and sometimes spending a day with them is very taxing. If I spend a weekend with them, I find I need to get away for a little while--like go to a coffee shop and write for a couple hours. My family, however, doesn't understand this. I love them. I just need to recharge. Likewise, a good friend and her daughter visited me for the weekend recently and I was relieved to have some alone time when they left. That said, I really enjoyed their visit.

Intorversion is probably the hardest part of my personality for others to understand. I think they feel rejected when I need alone time. Also, I don't mean to imply that I don't enjoy being social--public poetry readings, gathering with friends, etc. But I'm always appreciative of the quiet drive home when I can reflect on the experience.
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#20 of 792 Old 03-10-2009, 05:21 PM
 
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Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#21 of 792 Old 03-12-2009, 02:38 PM
 
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"Last year I booked a night in a motel down the street just so I could be 100% alone. It was absolute heaven. Some of my friends thought I was totally insane. My sister asked me why I wouldn't at least want to bring a friend."

: My brother who's a major extrovert traveled to our town for work - instead of being put up in a hotel - he stayed with us . . . I almost asked if I could stay at the hotel then!

"I am an INTJ. I crave deep connection with people, but find social interactions to be draining in general. DS is a total extrovert, and I frequently feel the need to hide. A night all by myself sounds like heaven."

This would be why I stay up waaaaaaay too late at night - all. by. my. self. in the quiet.

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#22 of 792 Old 03-12-2009, 06:43 PM
 
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Whew I just survived another play date at my house! But it definitely is draining for me.
Any other mamas out there that fit the description above?
I do. and by your definition, I'm a bit but as a child/teenager, I was described as the opposite in social situations... yet I spent a great deal of time alone up a tree or in my room.

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#23 of 792 Old 03-12-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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This would be why I stay up waaaaaaay too late at night - all. by. my. self. in the quiet.

Samm
I do that too. Usually I feel like I can't unwind enough to sleep until everyone else has been asleep for a couple hours. Sometimes I'll lay down with DH for a while, reading or whatever . But then I might get back up just to be alone.
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#24 of 792 Old 03-12-2009, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do that too. . But then I might get back up just to be alone.
Me too!
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#25 of 792 Old 03-14-2009, 10:38 PM
 
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Anyone else have trouble finding friends as an introvert? It seems like mine move every time we get really close.
Yep, me too. I've had a few close girl friends over the years who have all moved away. My best friend is a guy and also an introvert... since I got married we don't get together and talk much... since we have a history of some romantic tension I feel like I can't talk to him openly about my marriage (which I wish I had some girl friends to talk with about). My dh is an extrovert, and I feel like our relationship can be kinda shallow and wish we could have a deeper connection. Anyone else with an extroverted dh feel like this?
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#26 of 792 Old 03-14-2009, 11:22 PM
 
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So how does our biology make introverts different?
Apparently extroverts and introverts primarily use completely different pathways in the brain... the biology theories in the book I'm reading (Introvert Advantage) are really intriguing. Here's a quote I found in a review of the book.
"While extroverts mostly use their short-term memory and the parts of the brain that deal with sensory impressions, introverts mainly use their long-term memory and the parts of the brain that deal with solving problems, planning, and internal thoughts and feelings. The two brain pathways require different neurotransmitters. The pathway that extroverts use is activated by dopamine, which is identified with alertness, attention, movement, and learning. Extroverts require lots of dopamine to be happy, and activity and excitement increase dopamine production, so extroverts enjoy being busy. Introverts, on the other hand, use a brain pathway that is activated by acetylcholine, which affects long-term memory, the ability to stay calm and alert, and perceptual learning. Acetylcholine produces a happy feeling during thinking and feeling, so introverts enjoy contemplation. Laney also links these biological differences between introverts and extroverts to introverts' increased sensitivity to temperature, odor, sound, visual stimulation, and blood sugar level." A quote from the book:
"Our physiology is linked to the rest-and-digest side of the nervous system... so every part of our body is attempting to preserve our resources. We are made for contemplation and hibernation... Moving our limbs takes more conscious thought. We have a tendency toward low blood sugar, low blood pressure, shallow breathing, sleep difficulties, tension headaches, and occasionally feeling drained and discombobulated." Some other things I remember from the book... we have a lower body temperature, sweat less, take longer to think of what we want to say, have lower energy levels, go deeply into thought and have trouble finding a place in our thoughts if we get interrupted, get easily overstimulated, and can focus and concentrated deeply when left alone.

It's fascinating to me that so much of my character could be explained by this primary chemical pathway that is genetic and that I was born with.
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#27 of 792 Old 03-14-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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... we have a lower body temperature, sweat less, take longer to think of what we want to say, have lower energy levels, go deeply into thought and have trouble finding a place in our thoughts if we get interrupted, get easily overstimulated, and can focus and concentrated deeply when left alone.

All of that is true for me, except I'm always hot and I sweat a lot whenever I'm physically active, even while vacuuming.

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#28 of 792 Old 03-15-2009, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, treehugz, that's really interesting!
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#29 of 792 Old 03-15-2009, 01:04 AM
 
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Another INTJ who spends too much time up at night.

There's a thread somewhere here titled 'extroverted mamas'

mom of 3 , homeschooling the oldest with google and the internet
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#30 of 792 Old 03-15-2009, 08:38 PM
 
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Wow. I might have to read that book!
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