I host a weekly talk radio show and do a lot of public speaking. Because of this, people assume a lot of things.
When I tell people I'm an introvert, most think I'm joking. "But you're so good with people," they'll say.
Which is true -- I am good with people.
But, for the most part, I find being around large groups of people draining. And by "large," I mean more than two or three others.
It's too stimulating.
When I fly on a plane, I wear noise-canceling Bose headphones over ear plugs. I can't stand the noise and, even worse, can't stand talking to somebody over the roar of engine noise.
I live in what most people would consider to be a fairly large house, but I rarely have people over.
The ringer on my phone is never on.
When I sleep at night, I wear an eyemask. The light from street lamps or passing cars is too stimulating.
My television has its own room. If that wasn't an option, I likely wouldn't have one at all.
By choice, I've never had a birthday party. I thought about it once, when I was around nine or 10, but after buying invitations, decided not to mail them.
Five weeks ago, I released a new book and have been "out there" a bit more than I usually would. This got me thinking about the subject and looking up more info about it online.
I've been amazed to find how many "turn introverts into extrovert" articles there are. To me, this is as impossible (and pointless) as turning homosexuals straight.
There is also a lot of what I consider to be misinformation advising people to treat introverts like they're fragile -- for example, "give them 15 minute warnings to finish whatever they are doing" or "don't demand instant answers."
Because of this, I'm going to list some of the things I feel are positive about being an introvert.
1. Introverts are in control. - Because introverts are able to recharge by themselves, they don't have to rely on other people for this very important aspect of life.
2. In theory, introverts are more self-aware. - Because introverts spend more time alone, without the noise and influence of others, they spend more time looking at themselves.
3. Introverts are better at (many) things. - While it's important to collaborate on many things, mastery of something is often a solo project.
4. Introverts are automatically more bulletproof to distraction. - Because introverts like to spend time alone, they're automatically more bulletproof from generally shallow, "group" activities that are little more than socially stimulating.
Introverts aren't fragile, they simply like personal space.