Getting energy from being alone
I used to be a very shy person before entering high school, and even in my early years of high school I was very shy. I did not want to put up my hand or participate in class discussions, and my school reports always said I was a quiet student. They always said it like it was a bad thing. When I went to ballet class, I found myself to be very quiet around my classmates, and when I taught the class a routine I had choreographed (we all took turns), they said that it was the most they had ever heard me talk, because I was so quiet. They didn’t say that like it was a bad thing though, I guess they thought it was pleasant.
I noticed that it was in my jazz dance class that I felt more comfortable socialising with the other girls and taking the lead. I don’t know why I behaved differently around different groups, but this tendency to change my behaviour around different people became more apparent as I grew older.
Over time, I became more outgoing. At school, I think my classmates saw me ‘blossom’ from a very quiet, shy girl to a loud, outgoing and outspoken sort of rebel. I think they were surprised, or maybe they didn’t notice the change because they were around me so much. Sometimes you don’t notice these things until you take a step back.
I have such varied behaviour around different people that even my parents think I am shy and not confident, whereas my friends will say I have more confidence than them, and that I don’t seem shy at all.
I believe I am still shy. I don’t often like to approach people and start conversations, but if someone talks to me I have no problem with talking to them. I wait for people to approach me at meetups, and I let other people ask me questions rather than me doing the asking.
I put it down to being an introvert, and in all honesty, I have always believed I am an introvert, just that I am sometimes shy. ‘Introverted’ does not necessarily mean that I am by definition shy or quiet. In fact, I don’t think being shy has much to do with it. It was not until I spoke to some of my colleagues at my previous workplace that I realised we had, collectively, come up with a great explanation on how to differentiate between an extrovert and an introvert.
An extrovert gets energy from being around others, being around people.
An introvert gets energy from recharging and being by themselves.
I find that I am the type to come home after a big day out and not want to be around people because I just want to be alone and in a quiet place for a while. Just doing my own thing, engaging in my own hobbies.
I’m currently at engineering camp, which was wonderfully funded by our company, and during the break times I find that I need to sit down and do my own thing to regain energy. So I’m sitting in my room blogging instead of going to the beach, because I don’t really feel like going out this evening.
It also takes me back to Damien’s recent presentation at work where he mentioned that you will be surprised how much energy you will get from things that are not ‘going to sleep’. He gets energy from being around his wife and kids and makes sure he has quality time with them. I feel the same. Spending time around a few of my friends, or Nick, or my family, is a pleasant way to relax and at the same time feel refreshed. I am not a hermit, so I don’t always spend my time cooped up. Even though I don’t mind spending time around people, I find that being alone for a bit helps me regain energy. 🙂