My students are always surprised to learn that I’m an introvert.
And I don’t blame them.
By day, I’m an animated fourth grade teacher: cracking jokes, leading discussions, sprinkling memes like confetti…
But as soon as I unplug from Zoom, I unplug from that version of myself, too. I’m quiet. I need some time by myself. I spend a lot of time thinking. And even though I’m “unplugged,” I can feel myself recharging because it is this quiet, reflective time that energizes me, that allows me to be that animated fourth grade teacher again the next day.
We introverts are often called “shy” or “quiet” or “sensitive.” Some people think we are “standoffish” because we can be slow to join a conversation but quick to turn down a party invitation. They think we’re indecisive because we can take awhile to make a decision. They think we’re lonely because many of us only have a few close friends. They think we don’t know how to collaborate because we don’t typically like group work. They think we’re loners because we need time on our own.
But by making these assumptions about an introverted person, you miss out, because introverted people are like icebergs: there is so much more to us below the surface. They say that the quietest people have the loudest minds.
- I’m slow to join a conversation because I’m considering everyone’s perspectives in my mind and thinking carefully about how I want to express my own.
- I can be quick to turn down a party invitation if I’ve had a long day of “people-ing” and I desperately need that solitary time to recharge.
- Sometimes I take awhile to make decisions, not because I’m indecisive, but because I’m weighing the pros and cons, the benefits and opportunity costs, in my mind. I don’t think through problems aloud. I think through them in my mind, which can make it look like I’m not engaged, but I am.
- Outside of the school building, I might only have a handful of friends I communicate with regularly…but those friendships are deep.
- I don’t hate collaborating. I’ve worked with many creative, inspirational teammates who have made me a better teacher, but, for an introvert, group work innately works against our strengths.
- I do treasure my alone time, but I love a good game night!
I don’t assume that these are the experiences of every introvert, because like any personality type, there is a spectrum of being introverted. But if any of these experiences ring true with you, know that you are not alone. Celebrate being an introverted person! I’ll be celebrating with you…but separately. : )
learning more about your personality type and the personality types of the people closest to you. Click HERE to learn about the differences between introverts and extroverts. Click HERE to learn how to support the introverts and extroverts in your life. Looking for some silly personality quizzes? Start HERE!